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Curtis's Botanical Magazine
National Agricultural Library
Curtis's Botanical Magazine began publication in 1787. This watercolor of "Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis. China-Rose Hibiscus" included information about its class, order and general character, as well as more descriptive text about the flower's use:

"The inhabitants of India...are extremely partial to whatever is red, they confer it as a colour which tends to exhilarate; and hence they not only cultivate this plant universally in their gardens, but use its flowers on all occasions of festivity, and even in their sepulchral rites: [Rumphius] mentions also an economical purpose to which the flowers are applied, little consistent with their elegance and beauty, that of blacking shoes..."




2002 The University of Chicago