The Gardener's Monthly and Horticulturist 23: 232 (Aug 1881)

This novelty of the present year comes to me from England, from the "Home of Flowers," at Swanley, with the compliments of H. Cannell & Son. Mr. Cannell says of it in his Floral Guide:

Firefly (Swanley Red) by far the highest and brightest color of all the family; habit dwarf, and one of the freest bloomers, throwing out flowers on strong footstalks of the finest shape; certainly one of the noblest, and when grown in a pot it flowers all winter, and all the summer when planted out, and forms one of the best flowering shrubs that we possess.

Parentage. — Mr. George states that he sometime since flowered a small red variety, which had a very lively shade of color, and determining to make this a seed parent, it occurred to him to use it on the pollen of the single deep color Hibiscus, which like the Abutilon is included in the natural order Malvaceae. Mr. George thinks the fine color seen in this new variety, firefly, is due to the happy inspiration of impregnation. It seems to show a marked advance amongst those useful and attractive greenhouse plants.

The following is from the Gardener's Chronicle: "A red abutilon, one of a batch of recent seedlings raised by Mr. J. George, of Putney Heath, well deserves the foregoing appellation. The flowers are of large size and of a much greater depth and vividness of color than that possessed by any variety in the Chiswick collection. It has been provisionally named firefly, and we believe the stock has passed into the hands of H. Cannell & Son, of Swanley, for distribution."

We can hardly expect this novelty to be sent out the present year by our own florists, but those who are in haste to obtain it, can do so without very long waiting by sending to Mr. Cannell. The packages of plants received were in as fine a condition as any that have come to us from our own florists, and were a very great surprise, being wholly unexpected, and a very pleasant one also.

Hibiscus biblio