This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In the December issue of the Gardener's Monthly I have noticed the remarks on Isotoma longiflora, and was surprised at the price asked for this plant. Isotoma longiflora, or Rapuntium, or Hippobroma longiflora Don., is an inmate of our gardens here for more than thirty years, and as a native of Jamaica it will never make much in winter in a cold or greenhouse, while in a hothouse it will thrive very luxuriantly, and rather too much so, as often to my great amazement - will not say at all "a pleasant surprise." I find the Isotoma, together with Pteris serrulata, Oxalis and a few more other good things, to overrun our orchid and stove-houses to such an extent that it is at times difficult to state which of them is the worst weed and the most troublesome to the grower, as the Isotoma seeds in great quantities and freely, although the flowers generally come one by one. The plant itself, by this latter quality, will never produce a showy, striking effect as a winter-blooming hothouse plant, but is likely more adapted for out of door culture in a rockery, perhaps, among other herbaceous plants. In regard to using Isotoma for cut-flower work, I would have little to say, as I never have used them, but would think little adapted for this kind of work on account of their length and soft character.
In speaking of the fragrancy of the flowers, I would like to mention that Isotoma belongs to the order of Campanuleae lobeliarise, and, like a good many plants of the same order, possesses in all its parts poisonous properties, even also in the odor or fragrancy; and as there are records of people having suffered from effects of this poisonous plant, I thought a little cautioning would be perhaps not altogether disregarded.