This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In an article in the January number of your magazine, a writer on the Portlandia grandiflora expresses the opinion that it would grow to the height of twenty feet, which opinion I am happy to say I can confirm by actual observation. During the earlier part of January, 1874,1 was in the village of Mandevillo, Manchester parish, Jamaica, which is situated about fifty miles in a north-westerly direction from Kingston, and at an elevation of about 2000 feet above the sea, where a fine specimen of the Portlandia was shown me which had attained to the height of 20 to 22 feet, forming quite a tree. That the size was exceptional however, I found by the pains that was taken to call the visitor's attention to it, and also confirmed by subsequent experience in the gorge of the Rio Cober River, above Spanish-town, where I saw no bushes over 10 feet high, and but few over 6 feet. There were however more flowers on them than in the tree at Mandevillo, which may be accounted for by the difference of temperature, which may have kept the larger specimen back, Spanish-town being but little above the sea level.
The flowers looked from a distance more like the Lilium longiflorum, having more firmness in the petals than any of the Daturas. They were at that time in full leaf, and the fragrance during the day time imperceptible.