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.
Lachenalia Tricolor. Three-coloured Lachenalia.
Calyx subtriphyllus, inferus, coloratus. Corolla 3-petala, receptaculo inferta. Jacquin jun. in act. helv. vol. 9.
LACHENALIA tricolor. Lin. Syst, Vegetab. ed. 14. p. 314. Jacq. Icon. pl. rarior, t. 3.
PHORMIUM Aloides. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. p. 336. Suppl. 205.
To Mr. Lee, of the Vineyard, Hammersmith, the first, and as we understand, the only Nurseryman as yet in possession of this plant, which has but lately been introduced into this country from the Cape, we are indebted for the present specimen.
Mr. Jacquin, jun. who has figured and described it in the Acta Helvetica, gives it the name of Lachenalia, in honour of Warnerus de la Chenal, a very eminent Swiss Botanist, and the particular friend of the late illustrious Haller. Our readers should be informed, that it had before been called by two other different names, viz. Hyacinthus orchiodes, and Phormium aloides, under the latter of which it now stands in the 14th edition of the Systema Vegetabilium, as well as that of Lachenalia.
Its trivial name of tricolor it receives from the three colours observable in the flowers; but it must be noticed, that it is only at the middle period of its flowering, that these three colours are highly distinguishable; as it advances, the brilliant orange of the top flowers dies away; the spots on the leaves also, which when the plant is young, give it the appearance of an orchis, as it advances into bloom become less and less conspicuous.
Like most of the Cape plants, the Lachenalia requires to be sheltered in the winter; during that season it must therefore be kept in a greenhouse, or hot-bed frame, well secured.
It flowers in the spring, but its blowing may be accelerated by the warmth of the stove, for it bears forcing well enough.
It is increased by offsets from the bulbs.