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.
Wore I desired to select the most picturesque plant, yielding a long-oontinned and profuse crop of flowers without artificial attention to its' after-growth, I should without hesitation fix upon this. It is a dwarf, tuberous, herbaceous plant, rising from two to four inches in height, each plant forming a terminal crown of leaves (similar to a small-growing Clover), from the centre of which arises a profusion of bright rose-colored flowers, continuing in succession from June until September. The-principal precaution required for its successful management consists in adapting the. soil to the tuberous structure of its roots, which differ from most others in their thick, fleshy, unbranched form, capable of absorbing an excessive amount of fluid, beyond what is required for the support of the simple crown of leaves upon their summit. As a general rule, the amount of soil, and the nutritive properties which it contains (when applied to plants), should always bear a strict relation to the extent of growth which they are capable of maturing during the current year. Every degree beyond this is an evil, which lessens the vital energy of their organs.
To induce fertility in the plant, an artificial soil should be prepared in equal portions of old light garden loam, heath mould, and well-washed river or silver sand, and well incorporated with finely-broken brick refuse, equal to one-third of the whole amount. Thus treated, it forms a very beautiful object, either for edging or in the parterre, and when seen expanding its bright blossoms for successive weeks, it appears as one of the few objects of which it may be remarked that it has "few equals, and no superiors." In common with some others, this interesting plant is much degenerated by the inferior varieties from seed, which have almost supplanted the original species, the former being much less compact in their growth, and less brilliant in their flowers. The latter is known by its leaves being not more than from two to three inches in length, and by its flowers being uniformly circular, and firm in their texture, varying from bright .to darker shades of rose color/and when found in favorable situations, the profusion of bloom almost covers the foliage. - W. Wood.