This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It is satisfactory to know that some interest is now taken in this pretty little plant, for, although long known to botanists, it is only of late years, so far as I know, that attention has been bestowed upon its cultivation.
G. J. B. is right in supposing it to be indigenous to some cool humid climate, as it is found in the alpine districts of South America, at an elevation of from 8000 to 10, 000 feet, associated with dwarf Acaenas, Hydrocotyles, Alchemillas, etc, and with these forms a very thick and verdant turf in moist situations. It belongs to the extensive family of Cinchonaceae, and is, of course, nearly related to our beautiful Mitchella repens, Oldenlandias and Houstonias, and is, therefore, fitted to form agreeable companionship with these in an alpine collection.
It is of the easiest culture, and perhaps the best method is to set out the plants in prepared earth, in a frame, about the end of May, with the back of the frame to the south, so as to secure the greatest amount of shade, and if this does not suffice, shaded sashes might be placed over them, resting upon pieces of scantling laid on the frame crossways. The sashes need only be used in clear sunshine, and however the weather may be, they should be removed every night, so as to give the plants the full benefit of fresh air, in which they delight. They should be kept constantly moist, and sprinkling over head several times a clay in hot dry weather will do them much good. This method I have followed for the past season with the best possible results. The plants when set out were small; some of them are now in nine-inch pans, and growing finely in a cool greenhouse, where they get plenty of light and air. In this situation they will remain during the Winter, and towards Spring we hope to see them in flower, and in due time studded with their elegant amber-colored berries.