Thornton, Robert John (1768?-1837) / Temple of Flora, or, Garden of the botanist, poet, painter, and philosopher.
Protea Cynaroides; or, Artichoke Silver-Tree.
PROTEA CYNAROIDES; OR, ARTICHOKE SILVER-TREE. THIS shrub is one of the most beautiful plants, which are to be found aL tile Cape of Good hope, a country so extremely rich in vegetable productions. At a distance is represented by us the two celebrated mountains, one of which is called Table-Bay, from the flatness of tile top, covered like a table with verdure, and possessing a piece of fine clear water, even at tbat stupendous height. It has the Generic appellation PROTEA, in allusion to PROTEUS, Soil of the OCEAN, and THETIS, and he could assume all forms; and this tribe is not less distinguished by the variety of shapes, in which it appears, than for possessing a leaf, which, in some species, has a glossy hue like silver, varying in different lights, which it the more readily effects by the waving of its foliage. It may have tile name of PROTEUS also from the variety in the flowers of 60 different species of this Genus. In this species the stem is perfectly erect, and without branches, and at different distances all around proceed channelled peduncles, which seem to form a part of each leaf, which is spreading, ovate, and possesses a wave, that gives a singularity and beauty to the whole plant. The flower, as the specific name expresses, has the appearance of an Artichoke, but it is a perfect cone, with the apex downwards, and its imbricated scales below are of a greenish cast, whereas the leaves above are of a most delicate texture, having the rich colouring of petals, being of a fine red, and in several rows. Within this cone, or common calyx, are situated the numerous florets. which are small and slender; the corolla is of a purple colour, and cut into four thin segments, and contains the filaments supporting four anthers, which, projecting from the florets, and placed in circular order, and being incumbent towards the centre, gives a very extraordinary appearance to the whole flower; also a pistillum consisting of a roundish germen, a style setaceous, the length of the stamens, with an obtuse stigma. Hence it conies under Class IV. TETRANDRIA, four Sta- mens, Order I. MONOGYNIA, one Pistilluin, of Linnaeus. Where cool'd by ruts, and curtain'd round by woods, Slopes the green dell to meet the briny floods, The sparkling noon-beams trembling on the tide, The PROTEUS LOVER woos his playful bride, To win the fair he tries, a thousand forms, Basks on the sands, or gambols in the storms. A Dolphin now, his scaly sides he haves, And bears the sportive damsel on the waves; She strikes the cymbal as he moves along, And wond'ring Ocean listens to tile song. And now a spotted Pard the lover stalks, Plays round her steps, and guards her favour'd walks; As with white teeth he prints her hand caress'd, And lays his velvet paw upon her breast,
This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright