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.
Gartenflora 1880 T. 1005. New tuberous-rooted Gesneriacea offered for the first time, being in habit and foliage similar the well known sorts of Gesneria, as for instance G. caracasana, but the form of the flowers is so strikingly different from all other species known that it could not be classed amongst the existing genus, and a new one had to be created. The flowers are finely dotted with purplish brown spots on light green ground, varying in several shades, sometimes almost blackish brown, with only a narrow light green margin; the shape of the flowers is well represented in the annexed figure. If sown in January or February, like the other Gesnerias, the plants will be in full bloom during the summer. Very interesting novelty, of a peculiar beauty, highly to be recommended to all lovers of Gesne-riaceae."
Here we see in the illustration not merely the general habit and appearance of the plant as in the olden time, but the peculiar structure of the flower, so that one botanically inclined can see its relationships to other genera of Gesneriaceae, and judge of the reason why, as the text says, "a new genus had to be created." Even the seed vessel, of no use horticulturally, is engraved especially for the benefit of botanical readers. A few years ago no one would have cared whether a Gloxinia or an Achimenes was a Gesnerace-ous or a Scrophulariaceous plant. Indeed, it might have been deemed pedantic to use a word so apparently learned as "Gesneraceous," and the idea would have been gingerly expressed thus: "I have a taste for those plants which are allied to the family to which the Gesneria belongs." The easy manner in which Haage & Schmidt now speak of "lovers of Gesneriaceae," shows that they correctly measure the breadth of intelligence which now pervades the whole community. It is a good lesson for those who would be up with the times.