Bulbs from Wager's Stove sent with letter dated 20 March 1745-6.
[The Julian calendar remained in use in England until 1752, the year beginning on 25 March. Thus, it was 1746 in Germany, but 1745 in England, when this letter was written: 31 March 1746 by modern reckoning.]
No 1) Lilio Narcissus with white Flowers from Jamaica (Tolabo dicta)
No 2) Ditto from Bahamas Islands
No 3) Ditto from Island of St. Christophers
No 4) Ditto from Barbados
When these Roots are in full Perfection with their fine Green Leaves and Charming Flowers all White and Fragrant and they Happen to flower in the Summer Months, I bring them out of the Stove and Sett them in the Parlor Chimney on the Hearth and they Perfume the whole Room and so they will keep flowering a long while as I keep a Coppy of the above Numbers and Sorts I shall be greatly obliged to you to favour Mee, with the Author, that Describes Each Species, Sir Hans Sloane mentions but One with a white Flower in Jamaica pray tell Mee which plant of the Four you take to be His Doc. Martin in his 3rd Decade mentions one from Barbados which I take to be No. 4 but your Nicer Distinction will Determine that; perhaps some of these may be found in the 2 Vols. of the Hortus Amstelodamus when they flower you will Judge
No 5) Roots of the Red Mexico Lilie (vulgo). But they are found in all Our Islands and are undoubtedly what Sir Hans Sloane mentions in his History of Jamaica.
No 6) Roots of Red Flowering Narcissus from China; this was procured from thence with other bulbs, by that Great Lover and propagator of Rare plants John Blackburn Esq. att Oxford near Warrington. (He has now the true Cinamon and Sago Palm) as this Charming Flower is a nondiscript I hope to see it appear in the Commercium Litterarium.
No 7) Root of Redish Purple and white Lilio Narcissus From Cape Coast Castle in Guinea was sent to the Right Honble Sir Charles Wager, First Lord of the Admiralty, in the year 1734 and Flowered in his Stove with surprising beauty anno 1736 I am persuaded Mr. Ehret has sent you a painting of this fine Flower, which I cannot find discribed by any author so I hope you will oblige the World with It. (Crinum zeylanicum or scabrum- LilioNarcissus africanus, scillae foliis, flore niveo linea purpurea striato of Ehret)