This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Hibiscus Trionum. Bladder Hibiscus.
Cal. duplex: exterior polyphyllus. Caps. 5-locularis, polysperma.
HIBISCUS Trionum foliis tripartitis incisis, calycibus inflatis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 631. Ait. Kew. v. 2. p. 458.
TRIONUM Linn. Hort. cliff. 349.
ALCEA vesicaria. Bauh. Pin. 317.
ALCEA peregrina five vesicaria. Venice Mallow, or Good night at noone. Park. Parad. p. 368. 307. f. 2.
Seeds of the plant here figured are sold in the seed-shops under the name of Venice Mallow, a name by which it was known in the time of Gerard and Parkinson: Mr. Aiton has changed this for the more scientific one of Bladder Hibiscus. Authors have also distinguished this plant by terms expressive of the short-lived expansion of its flowers, which Gerard says open at eight o'clock in the morning and close about nine, from whence he observes, that it might with propriety be called Malva horaria: Miller lengthens the duration of its blowing to a few hours: we have frequently observed its blossoms continue sufficiently open to shew their beauty the greatest part of the day, more especially towards the close of summer.
Few annuals are more admired than this, the inside of the flower is of delicate cream colour, having the centre embellished with a rich purple velvet, on which its golden antherae are proudly conspicuous.
It is said to be a native of Italy; a Cape variety, differing in hairiness and a few other particulars is mentioned by Miller, and considered by him as a species.
The least possible trouble attends the raising of this beautiful annual, as it readily ripens its seeds, which falling on the ground produce plants in abundance the ensuing spring; to have it flower as long as may be, it will be proper to sow it at two or three different periods.