This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
This fine old greenhouse herbaceous perennial, which was introduced as far back as 1696, is now very rarely met with indeed. Last spring I saw a large specimen of it, covered with its numerous orange-coloured bell-shaped flowers, and growing in a small conservatory, apparently receiving no extra care, and yet doing as well as the most ardent cultivator could desire to see it. As it blooms early in the winter and spring, it dies down in May, and the plant is then put out of doors in some shady place to rest. In August young growth appears breaking up from the root, like that which comes from a Dahlia, and the young shoots, if taken off, can be struck in a similar manner to the cuttings of the Dahlia. As it will not stand the slightest frost, it must be removed to a greenhouse ere frost sets in; and here the plant will make its growth, and flower before Christmas. Like the Dahlia, it will do with generous treatment: a good fibry loam, enriched with some manure, and helped with some sand, would suit it well.
It is one of those neglected plants that richly deserve a much more extended cultivation, and the example referred to above I saw at Redbridge, near Southampton, the residence of Mr William Stride. The fine condition of the plant was highly creditable to the gardener, Mr Davis.