Class and Order.
Cal. 5-phyllus. Petala 5, cordata. Caps. 5-locularis, 10-valvisi, loculis 1-spermis.
Specific Character and Synonyms.
FAGONIA cretica spinosa, foliolis lanceolatis planis lævibus. Linn. Sp. Pl. ed 3. p. 553. Mant. p. 380.
Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 401. Ait. Kew. v. 1. p. 62.
TRIFOLIUM spinosum Creticum. Clus. Hist. 2. p. 242. f. Bauh. Pin. p. 330.
FAGONIA cretica spinosa. Tourn. Inst. p. 265.
Clusius is the first author who has described and figured this plant, he is very minute in his description of it, noticing the exact number of its stamina; it is the more surprising, therefore, that he should have so little idea of generic character, as to rank it with the trefoils merely from the form of its leaves: Tournefort, born to illustrate the genera of plants, named it Fagonia in honour of his friend and patron, Mons. Fagon, privy counsellor and consulting physician to Lewis XIV.
This species is a native of the island of Candia, and was cultivated here by Mr. Miller, in 1739; it is an annual, and as it does not perfect its seeds with us in the open air, unless in very favourable seasons, it is usually treated as a green-house plant, its seeds should be sown in the autumn, as it thereby flowers earlier, and ripe seeds are with more certainty obtained.
It blossoms from June to August.
The plant from which our drawing was made, flowered this season in the very rich collection of Messrs. Lee and Kennedy, Hammersmith.
Its branches are usually procumbent, about a foot in length, and require, if the plant be kept in a pot, to be tied up to a stick.
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