This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Your correspondent makes a good point against the Botanists. In the confusion with synonyms among the forty odd genera and over six hundred species, with numberless varieties, included under convolvulaceae, I do not know of any herbarium in the country where one can straighten things out. Calonyction grandiflora, or Ipomoea grandiflora is a very beautiful thing, and is quite common in cultivation in many sections of this country. It is popularly called the " moon flower" by the Hindoos, and the " night lily" by the Europeans. Whether the West Indian Ipomoea Bona-nox is the same thing, 1 do not know; the cultivated plants here have much smaller flowers than the Indian wild form, but that often happens, or the contrary. Numerous seedsmen catalogue Ipomoea grandiflora. There is a variety of Ipomoea Niel (Pharbitis hederacea) with that affix; then there is a variety of Pharbitis hispida syn. Ipomoea purpurea syn. Con-vulvulus mutabilis syn. Convolvulaceae major called Ipomoea grandiflora marmorata by a great American seedsman.
Then there used to be Quamoclit grandiflora, quite a good thing; it may be Ipomcea grandiflora again by this time, for aught I know.
[Our correspondent must not make more confusion than he now complains of. Quamoclit grandiflora is a synonym of Morenoa grandiflora and not of Ipomoea grandiflora, There may be a great many synonyms to the plant in question. Linnaeus called it Convolvulus grandiflorus. No one objects that the genus as Linnaeus left it, ought not to be divided. George Don tried to separate some under the name of Calonyction, and it is only to be regretted that he has not succeeded in doing it. Ipomoea divided from Convolvulus, does stand, and this plant has to go there. There are only two other synonyms, I. Bona-nox of Heyne, and I. muri-cata of Wallich, - the last given because it was thought at first to be distinct.
It is better to have synonyms than to try to maintain distinctions, which experience shows not warranted. - Ed. G M.]