Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Eranthemum pulchellum

Eranthemum, although standing in our ancientest tables, as a name to diiferent plants; must have been, hitherto, considered as a dead letter in all our modern ones, as attached to the tribe of plants it now titles: but perhaps, to none of the former more aptly could it have been applied; (especially this species, as the Greek word [blog does't do Greek!], a compound of the spring, and [Greek] to blossom, fairly indicates;) since the E. pulchellum first begins to flower in January, and continues to blossom till May. Linnaeus in treating this Genus, acknowledges to have seen but one imperfect specimen ; and from this circumstance, left the description of the seed-vessel, and seed, to be determined by future Botanists; as yet, that has not been accomplished, even by the indefatigable and accurate Schreber: indeed, had the character of the pointal been likewife omitted, it would have been as well; since, in place of one, the two unequal summits, (which might escape observation in a dried specimen, from their disproportion in length, and upright situation;) point out a stronger Generical distinction from Justicia, to which it much affines, than either, the regular shape of the limb of the blossom, or the situation of the chives. Our species is a native of the coast of Commandel, in the East Indies, and was first received in seeds from Dr. Roxburg, at the Royal gardens Kew, in the year 1796. It is a most desirable plant, for although it has hitherto been kept in the hot-house, we have no doubt from its flowering and thriving there, with so little care, in any situation ; but that it will soon be confidered as a proper inhabitant of the greenhouse. It is with the greatest ease, and certainty, increased by cuttings. Our drawing was made this month, from a plant in flower at the Hammersmith nursery.

Eranthemum pulchellum Andrews
Botanist's Repository, for new, and rare plants 2: , pl. 88. 1800.

Acanthaceae Juss.

Daedalacanthus nervosus (Vahl) T. Anderson
Eranthemum nervosum (Vahl) R. Br. ex Roem. & Schult.
Fittonia verschaffeltii var. pearsei G. Nicholson
Justicia nervosa Vahl
Pseuderanthemum pulchellum Merr.

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