Paxton's Flower Garden, vol. 3 pp. 165-166 (1850)-1853
John Lindley

Plate 106
THE CHINESE ALTHAEA FRUTEX
(Hibiscus syriacus; var. Chinensis)
A beautiful Stove Shrub, native of CHINA, belonging to MALLOWWORTS
Hibiscus syriacus: Linnaeus

THE common Althaea frutex is said upon no very good authority to be a native of Palaestine, and even of Carniolia; but it does not appear to have been known to the Greeks, and Forskähl expressly states that it is a garden plant in Egypt. Colitur in hortis Ægypti; floribus splendidis; aut totis violaceis, vet albis, basi rubris. (Fl. aegypt. arab., p. 125.) Its real country must in truth be regarded as unknown; it however appears to be very common in the East of Asia, but always cultivated. Thunberg tells us that it is grown every where in Japan for live fences, and that it is the Kin of Kaempfer. Of this Kin the latter author tells us that it is also called Mu Kunge, that it is cultivated, and has in one state single flowers, blue shading into purple, flore in purpureum caeruleo, in another state double tinged with blue, caeruleato, with dense crisp petals, but neither style nor stamens. (Amoen. exot. 858.)

One of these forms is now before the reader in the accompanying plate, drawn in the garden of the Horticultural Society, where it had been raised from seeds, presented to the Society by John Reeves, Esq., in June, 1844, under the name of Koorkun Vellory.

The Editor of the Society's Journal speaks thus of the plant itself:—

"I think there can be no doubt that this, although certainly Chinese, is a mere variety, and not a well marked one, of Hibiscus syriacus. It has large violet flowers, with a crimson eye, and its leaves are larger, thinner, and more smooth than in the shrub out of doors, owing, perhaps, to having been grown in a stove. But the last circumstance is evidently unimportant, for in Mr. Fortune's wild specimens now before us, the leaf-stalks are perfectly shaggy. This traveller found it forming a shrub eight to twelve feet high, with light 'blue' flowers, in the hedges and on hill-sides on Poo-too-san, and other islands.

"When growing in a stove, with the same kind of treatment as is required by the well-known Hibiscus rosa-sinensis—that is to say, if grown in a mixture of sandy loam, peat, and leaf-mould, it forms o very handsome shrub, flowering in July and August."

Hibiscus syriacus biblio