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.
A specimen of this fine plant was exhibited last summer at Chadwick, by Messrs. VEITCH, and it is certainly the gem of the season in the class of hardy annuals. It will no doubt be as hardy as a Phacelia or Eutoca, the latter of which it resembles in its foliage, but then its brilliant blue flowers are as large as those of a Campanula, and much finer than anything else of the kind. Mr. W. Loss found it in California, on the mountains of S. Bernardino; but it was originally discovered in that country by the late Dr. Coulter, Dr. Harvey, who first described the plant, naming it after Francis WHITLA, Esq., distinguished two supposed species, grandiflora and minor; but we entertain no doubt that they are, we do not say varieties, but states of the same plant We had both of them in flower on our table from Messrs. Vettch, at the same time. The fact seems to be that the plaut when in great health is grandiflora, and when weak, from a shady place, is minor. Dr. Harvey thought they might differ in the form of the scales which stand at the base of the stamens; but we found those scales varying in form from being acutely bifid to being entire and wedge-shaped with the angles rounded off.