This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The multiplication of synonyms has become a most revolting nuisance," both in Pomology and Botany. What right had Mensch to unsettle a name which had been satisfactory to Aiton, and Curtis, and Redoute, and for aught I know to De Candolle? - Pray what is gained by the change? Tritoma, at least from its etymology, is significant of three cutting edges of its leaves; while to my ear Kniphophia is suggestive of nothing but "Knife and fork," - unless it be Lager-bier, or Meerschaum. If one shall ask me for an offset or a seed by that appellation, I shall be strongly tempted to reply as Beau Brummel is said to have done to the vagrant who begged him for a penny: "Fellow, I know not the coin!" - M. A. W - Athens, Ga.y Sept. 14, 1859.
P. S, - As you requested it, I enclose another sprig of Mr. Nelson's Polygonum teretifolium. I learn that it turns out to be Polygonella ericoides, of Gray: and I am glad of it; for I like the name better, and the plant differs so widely in habit from the Polygonums which are well known. It is decidedly shrubby; the stems would stand about 2 feet high, if supported upright; but they prefer to straggle about on the ground, - or in botanical phrase, are "procumbent," while the branchlets are "assurgunt." The young wood is bright-green, and rather brittle, while the old is brown and wiry; not quite so much so as the heath, but more so than Southern wood, which at a distance it resembles.
As you see, it is still in flower, and has been so continuously since July, yielding a vast supply for bouquets. No doubt in the hands of a skilful gardener it can be grown in the greenhouse, and I think will well repay the trouble. - M. A. W.