This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Statice sinuata. Purple-cup't Statice, or Thrift.
Cal. 1-phyllus, integer, plicatus, scariosus. Petala 5. Sem. 1. superum.
STATICE sinuata caule herbaceo, foliis radicalibus alternatim pinnato sinuatis: caulinis ternis triquetris subulatis decurrentibus. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. p. 301.
LIMONIUM peregrinum foliis asplenii. Bauh. Pin. 192.
LIMONIUM Rauwolfii Marsh Buglosse. Parkins. Parad. p. 250.
That this singular species of Statice was long since an inhabitant of our gardens, appears from Parkinson, who in his Garden of Pleasant Flowers, gives an accurate description of it, accompanied with an expressive figure; since his time it appears to have been confined to few gardens: the nurserymen have lately considered it as a newly-introduced species, and sold it accordingly.
It is one of those few plants whose calyx is of a more beautiful colour than the corolla (and which it does not lose in drying); it therefore affords an excellent example of the calyx coloratus, as also of scariosus, it being sonorous to the touch.
Being a native of Sicily, Palestine, and Africa, it is of course liable to be killed with us in severe seasons, the common practice is therefore to treat it as a green-house plant, and indeed it appears to the greatest advantage in a pot; it is much disposed to throw up new flowering stems; hence, by having several pots of it, some plants will be in blossom throughout the summer; the dried flowers are a pretty ornament for the mantle-piece in winter.
Though a kind of biennial, it is often increased by parting its roots, but more advantageously by seed; the latter, however, are but sparingly produced with us, probably for the want, as Parkinson expresses it, "of sufficient heate of the Sunne."