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.
Antirrhinum triste. Melancholy or black-flowered Toad-Flax.
Cal. 5-phyllus. Cor. basis deorsum prominens, nectarifera. Caps. 2. locularis.
ANTIRRHINUM triste foliis linearibus sparsis inferioribus oppositis nectariis subulatis, floribus sub-sessilibus. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. p. 555.
LINARIA tristis hispanica. Dill. Elth. 201. t. 164. f. 199.
Receives its name of triste from the sombre appearance of its flowers; but this must be understood when placed at some little distance, for, on a near view, the principal colour of the blossoms is a fine rich brown, inclined to purple.
Is a native of Spain, and of course a greenhouse plant with us, but it must not be too tenderly treated, as it loses much of its beauty when drawn up, it should therefore be kept out of doors when the season will admit, as it only requires shelter from severe frost, and that a common hot-bed frame will in general sufficiently afford it.
It flowers during most of the summer months; as it rarely or never ripens its seeds with us, the usual mode of propagating it, is by cuttings, which strike readily enough in the common way.
Miller relates that it was first introduced into this country by Sir Charles Wager, from Gibraltar seeds.