The Gardener and Practical Florist, Volume 3: 212+213 (1844)
INGA [Calliandra] HARRISII
Donald Beaton

WE take the following description from the Florists' Journal, which is, this month, exceedingly interesting. The extensive, varied, and very important group of plants, collected into the natural order Leguminosae, does not contain, in our opinion, amore delicately beautiful object than the one we have now the pleasure of noticing, our inducement to which is to be attributed to its individual loveliness, and the accomodating character of the genus. This particular species, however, is one which certainly deserves far more attention from all who delight in floral beauties than it appears to have met. It is a plant of the most easy culture, apparently capable of being made all that can be desired of a winter flowering plant; the habit is free and vigorous, the foliage neat and pleasing, and the flowers more abundantly produced and beautiful. Our figure, which is but a small sprig taken from a plant in the collection of J. H. Schroder, Esq., of Brixton, can convey but a faint idea of the appearance of a well-grown plant, from four to five feet in height, and nearly as much in diameter, when covered, as it may be had, with its very specious inflorescence. Its history appears to be involved in obscurity: no authentic information of its introduction, or from whence obtained, being preserved, the special name was adopted in compliment to ——— Harrison, Esq., of Kingsbury; and we are indebted to Mr. Beaton, of Shrubland Park, Ipswich, who had the plant under his charge at Kingsbury, for the subjoined account of it.

"The Inga Harrisii is, indeed, a fine plant, which only requires the stove when in a growing state, and, as it flowers on the last year's wood, requires to be well cut in after blooming. The history of its introduction is lost. Mr. Harris bought it of Messrs. Lee, of Hammersmith, and unfortunately passed it as a new introduction to Dr. Lindley, when it flowered; it is figured in the Bot. Reg. as such; but I believe it to have been in the country for the last twenty years. Doubtless it is from the more temperate parts of tropical America. It strikes with great freedom, and like many of the same order of plants, if subjected to a high temperature after its growth is finished, is immediately attacked by the red spider. It is one of those accommodating plants that may be treated so as to have in flower for along time in succession: say to be partially dried and set to rest by the middle or end of July, and after three months to be brought into a forcing house in succession, when it may be had in flower from Christmas to April; but treated in the ordinary way, it always flowers from the middle of January to the middle of February.—D. BEATON."

It seems to delight in an open moist soil, such as a mixture of peat and leaf mould in about equal quantities, and attention to pruning, as recommended by Mr. B., is particularly necessary, or it will soon become unsightly. The entire genus consists of above thirty species, the geographical distribution of which is very wide; but all of them partaking, more or less, of the character of tropical plants. They are mostly pretty; but none that we are acquainted with equal to our present subject. Inga is included in class Polygamia, and order Monoecia, of Linnaeus, and in the grand order Leguminosae, of the natural system. The flower as figured in the Florists' Journal, is one of those bottle brush looking blossoms, scarlet with yellow tops, and appears a very striking subject. In fact, it was its remarkable brightness that took our fancy, and induced us to transfer the original notice to our columns.

Beaton Bibliography