VOL2Xm. HANDBOOKS OF
PRACTICAL'' GAR DBNING
i R.E BROTH
HANDBOOKS OF PRACTICAL GARDENING XXII
EDITED BY HARRY ROBERTS
THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
THE BOOK OF
R. P. BROTHERSTON
TOGETHER WITH A CHAPTER ON
RAISING NEW CARNATIONS BY
MARTIN R. SMITH
JOHN LANE: THE BODLEY HEAD
LONDON AND NEW YORK. MCMIV
WILLIAM CLOWBS AK& SOtfS,' UilLTBp, LONDON AND BECCLKS.
THERE may be those who will think that if remarkable
for anything, this little book is remarkable for its omis-
sions. The writer himself feels that to be so, but the
exigencies of space have formed an inexorable barrier,
and he can only hope that, as far as it goes, the matter
contained in its pages will be found helpful. It will be
noticed that Picotees culturally have been merged in
Carnations. The history of the various sections of popular
Dianthi has received more attention than it usually
receives. The position held by the Gilliflower in folk-
lore, e.g. its connection with old-time love affairs, and
with the Blessed in Paradise, has, however, regretfully
been passed over for lack of space.
Thanks are very largely due to the many gentlemen
who have kindly responded to inquiries made as to special
questions that have arisen in the course of writing the
book ; and also to Dr. Masters for permission to make
use of articles contributed by the writer to The Gardener's
Chronicle. The Editor asks me to express our indebted-
ness also to Mr. James Douglas for the loan of some
R. P. B.
November 28, 1903.
PREFACE . . . . . . . v
I. SPECIES OF DIANTHUS . . . . . i
II. HISTORY OF THE CARNATION. . . n
THE NAMES OF THE CARNATION . . 14
III. THE CARNATION AS A GARDEN PLANT . . 19
IV. THE CARNATION IN POTS FOR DECORATION . 25
THE CARNATION FOR EXHIBITION . . 29
SELECTION OF SHOW CARNATIONS AND PICOTEES 33
V. " MALMAISONS " . 34
VI. TREE CARNATIONS ..... 43
ANNUAL PINKS ...... 47
" MARGARET " OR " MARGUERITES " 49
VII. HISTORY OF THE PINK ..... 50
CULTIVATION OF THE PINK . . -54
VIII. MULES OR HYBRIDS . . . . .58
IX. THE SWEET WILLIAM . . . . .64
THE CARNATION AS A MARKET FLOWER . 67
X. PROPAGATION BY SEED . . . , 69
PROPAGATION BY CUTTINGS . . . . 74
PROPAGATION BY LAYERS . . ?6
XI. PESTS AND DISEASES . . . .79
ON RAISING NEW CARNATIONS, BY MARTIN R. SMITH 87
INDEX . . . . . . , . . 93
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
CARNATION, FLORIANA ..... Frontispiece
From a drawing by Ethel Roskruge
TO FACE PAGE
CHEDDAR PINK (Dlanthus ctesius) ..... 4
Photo by D. T. Fish
DlANTHUS DELTOIDES PULCHELLUS .... 6
Photo by D. T. Fish
SHOW CARNATIONS AND PICOTEES, 1812 . . . 14
CARNATION, BOOKHAM CLOVE . * V . . 16
A CARNATION WALK IN MR. MARTIN SMITH'S GARDEN 20
Photo by Henry Irving. By courtesy of Messrs. Cassell
ONE OF MR. MARTIN SMITH'S CARNATION HOUSES . 24
Photo by Henry Irving. By courtesy of Messrs. Cassell
FANCY CARNATION, REGENT . . . . .28
MR. MARTIN SMITH'S TWENTY-FOUR CARNATIONS.
EXHIBITED 1902 ...... 30
CARNATION, HORSA ....... 32
PICOTEE, LADY SOPHIE ..... 34
WILD CARNATIONS AND PINKS . . 50
Photo by D. T. Fish
x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
TO FACE PAGE
PICOTEE, DANIEL DEFOE . . . . .66
PICOTEE, ARGOSY . . . . . . .68
PICOTEE, GLEE MAIDEN . . . . . .70
CARNATION, MRS. CHARLES BARING ... . 72
A PART OF MR. MARTIN SMITH'S CARNATION GARDEN 86
Photo by Henry Irving. By courtesy of Messrs. Cassell
THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
SPECIES OF DIANTHUS
THE genus Dianthus belongs to the order Caryophylleae, of
which it is the chief member, other well-known members
of the same order being Silene, Holostea, Cerastium, and
Lychnis. Dianthus, a classic designation, " Flower
of the gods," utilized by Linnaeus, forms a very large
genus of plants, more than two hundred species having
been described. These inhabit mostly the temperate
zone, but extend to colder and also to hotter regions.
They are largely evergreen perennial plants, but a few
are biennials, and some, dwarf shrubs. With one or
two exceptions, all may be cultivated in the open air
in the British Isles ; but as garden plants the species
worth cultivating are not many; and with the Carna-
tion, Pink, Sweet William, Indian Pink, and a small
selection of Hybrids, the following may be accepted as
comprising all that are worthy :
D. aggregatus. A large. flowered pink variety introduced
in 1817. The plant grows one foot in height, and
flowers in summer. About 1832, there was a double
variety of this in cultivation as well as the single. The
type is figured in Sweet's "British Flower Garden,"
vol. ii. p. 1 66.
D. alpestris was introduced in the same year as the last-
named. It grows in Alpine pastures, and rarely grows
higher than six inches. The flowers are red.
D. alpinus. This is one of the loveliest rock plants ever
introduced, though by no means the least exacting under
2 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
cultivation. Indigenous to the Austrian Alps, it was first
brought to England in 1759, but for a long period was
found in botanic gardens only, its lowly, unassuming
habit unfitting it for a place in eighteenth-century flower
gardens. It is figured in the Botanical Magazine, t. 1205.
The plant where it thrives spreads into large masses, the
flowers rising just above the foliage, and two to four inches
above the soil. The foliage is a shining dark green, which
in June and July is completely hidden by the flowers.
The flowers are rose-coloured, spotted with crimson,
with an inner ring or " eye," the margins of the petals
being crenated. A variety of soils suited to the plant,
ranging from peat to loam, has been prescribed by culti-
vators. It is certain it favours a deep soil always moist,
but the plant itself to be so placed as to escape damp or
stagnant moisture settling among the minute cushiony
foliage. As a pot plant it is easy to manage, and those
who experience a difficulty in doing it well on the rockery,
should try it, as also neglectus, caesius, and others of the
same type, which, cultivated thus, succeed in cold pits
or garden frames. The plant fortunately is not shy of
increase, cuttings slipped off with a heel and inserted in
a sandy compost in properly drained flower-pots emitting
roots with fair success. The cuttings must be kept closely
shut up in a cold frame till roots have been formed. D.
a. ruber is a supposed hybrid between D. neglectus and
D. arenarius. A dwarf European species of no great
beauty. It is figured in the Botanical Magazine, t. 2036.
D. asper. This is a pale-flowered low-growing species,
introduced from Switzerland in 1882. (Syn. D. scaber.)
D. atro-rubens. A small-flowered species . that grows
about a foot high. It carries very dark-red flowers in
heads, and was introduced from Italy in 1802. A figure
will be found in the Botanical Magazine, t. 1775*
D. barbatus. The type from which the Sweet William
SPECIES OF D1ANTHUS 3
is derived. From the botanist's point of view introduced
in 1573, but an English garden plant previous to that
D. bicolor. This species is so named on account of the
undersides of the petal being leaden-coloured, the upper
portion being white. The plant was brought from
Tauria, in South Russia, in 1816, and grows to a height
of one foot or more.
D. crtsius is our English representative of the Alpine
species. It is found only on limestone rocks at Cheddar,
in Somersetshire, hence called the Cheddar Pink, and on
old walls near Oxford, the flowers of the Oxford variety
being somewhat larger than the Cheddar form, and is
known as the Oxford Pink. There is a still larger
flowered variety called D. c. grandiflorus, but the colour is
not so deep a rose as in flowers of the others. In Ray's
" Synopsis," the species is said to have been found growing
in the North of England, as well as on " Chidderoks."
It is not difficult to cultivate, and, even when flowerless,
the plant, on account of its densely glaucous-grey foliage
whence its name, " Caesius " is an object of interest.
As a pot plant, if plenty of lime rubbish is mixed in the
compost, it succeeds well ; and it is, indeed, a commend-
able practice when introducing plants to a rockery to estab-
lish them previously in pots. The plant abhors moisture
clinging about the foliage and stems ; an ideal situation
being on the face of a stone or an old wall. We find it
first designated the " Mountain Pink," and on account
of the colour of its foliage Miller named it D. glaucus.
The Cliff Pink is another of its common names.
D. callizonus is a somewhat late introduction from
Transylvania, and flowered first at Kew about the year
1890. The flowers are much larger than those of
D. alpinus, brightest rose in colour, or rosy purple, with
a zone of deep crimson surrounding the centre, which
is whitish. The habit of the plant partakes more of that
4 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
of D. plumarius than of the Alpine pinks. It grows
rapidly, presenting no fastidiousness in regard to cultural
requirements, though it prefers a fertile soil with shade.
It is propagated by means of cuttings in the same way
as D. a/pinus. A beautifully coloured plate of this
lovely flower appeared in The Garden, vol. Ix.
Z>. Carthusianorum. A German species allied to
D. barbatus, and interesting as the supposed plant that
was largely cultivated as long ago as the sixteenth century
by the name of " Sweet John," or simply " Johns." The
name occurs in Lily's " Euphues and his England," along
with several others, common flowers, roses, violets, prim-
roses " here wil be Jilly-floures, Carnations, Sops-in-
Wine, Sweet Johns," and it is described in all the old
herbals. Wright quotes a stanza that shows it to have
been a dearly loved flower.
" The John so sweete in showe and smell,
Distinct by coloures twaine,
About the borders of their beds
In seemlie sight remain."
Like the Sweet William, it was a common garden plant
long previous to the date noted by botanists as that of its
introduction, 1573. Miller states, the "plant had gone
out of cultivation in his day ; " but traces of it are to be
found till the end of the eighteenth century. The type
is figured in Sweet's " British Flower Garden."
D. Caryophyllus. A little-known species, but interesting
as the type which produced our long race of Carnations
and Picotees. The specific name is one of the many
applied long ago by old botanists to Carnations and
Pinks. It is figured in Sowerby's " English Botany."
D. caucasicus. A good garden plant, with large pink
flowers and dark centre, growing about a foot in height.
Introduced in 1 803, and figured in the Botanical Magazine,
SPECIES OF DIANTHUS 5
D. chinensis. A red flowering species from the East.
Figured in Botanical Magazine^ t. 28 ; see " Annual
Pinks," p. 47- .
D. ctnnabarinus. This is a distinct species, with
cinnabar red flowers dying off to carmine. It produces
flowers abundantly, and requires no special treatment.
D. corymbosus is a pink-flowered species peculiar in the
blue-tinted anthers it produces.
D. cruentus. This is a Russian plant, not so desirable
as D. atro-rubens. It produces its flowers, which are
deepest crimson, in small crowded heads, which are rather
showy. The habit of the plant is very straggly.
D. deltoides. The Maiden Pink, and one of our
prettiest indigenous flowers. The type is rose-coloured,
with a dark circle, or eye ; but a white form is not
uncommon, and on Arthur's Seat, near Edinburgh, a
variety with white flowers and purple markings is found.
This was supposed to have been a distinct species when
first discovered, and was named A glaucus^ a name it
still retains with the type designation added. The plant
presents no cultural difficulty, and is easily propagated
from seeds, and by division in autumn. Its name, Maiden
Pink, is said by old herbalists to have been given it
because one flower only was borne on each stem. It
was also called the Virgin Pink and Small Honesties.
D. dentosus, the Amoor Pink, is a dwarf - growing
species from Russia. The flowers are pretty, of a violet
shade and with a darker centre. The plant begins to
flower in early summer, and continues in beauty till
autumn. It requires no special treatment, and is increased
by means of seeds.
D. discolor produces large handsome flowers of a pink
shade, its petals serrated. The throat is white and
brown spotted. It is a Caucasian plant, and is figured
in the Botanical Magazine^ t. 1162.
Z>. ferrugineus is a pale-flowered species of compact
6 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
habit, introduced from Italy in 1756, and figured in
Miller's " Figures of Plants." It is still worth growing
as a variety. Of this there is a sulphur-coloured form,
which about sixty years ago was known as the "Yellow
D. fimbriatus. A sufFruticose Iberian species formerly
cultivated under the name of D. orientatis, and so figured
in the Botanical Magazine, t. 1069. The flowers are fim-
briated, rosy in colour ; well worth cultivating.
D. Fischeri. There are two species known by this
name. One, the true species, was introduced from Russia
in 1820, and is figured in Sweet's "British Flower
Garden." It grows a foot or more in height, with two
or three flowers in a head, and seems to possess an affinity
to D. superbus. The flowers are red, but at one time a
white-flowered variety was in cultivation as well. The
other is a supposed variety of D. neglectus, with more
than one flower on each stem, and is altogether more
robust than that species. It is generally cultivated as
D. fragrans is an Austrian species brought to England
in 1804. It is white-flowered, tinted with purple, with
fringed petals, and emits an odour of jasmine. Of this
there is a double variety.
D. Freyneri is a tiny form growing only two inches
above the ground. It requires a limestone or chalk soil,
and is of recent introduction.
D. gallicus. A dwarf, pink-flowered species from the
Continent, growing in quantity on the sands at Biarritz
and elsewhere. It is apt to die prematurely under
cultivation ; Wooster's " Alpine Plants " contains a
D. giganteus. A purple-flowered Grecian species in-
troduced in 1828. The plant varies considerably in
height, but is never less than two feet, and sometimes
four feet high. It is a cluster-flowered species.
SPECIES OF DIANTHUS 7
D. glacialis. A native of the mountains of South-
Eastern France, and a very difficult plant to cultivate,
continual wetness at root being essential to its health.
It was introduced in 1820. A supposed hybrid between
the above and D. alpinus is usually cultivated in gardens
as D. glacialis. It flowers in April, and is a desirable
D. hispanicus is a very slender-stemmed species, with
deep crimson flowers an inch and a half across.
D. Holtzeri. A species from Turkestan that seems to
possess many characteristics of D. superbus y but with
D. Knappi. A late introduction, growing nine inches
in height, possessed of flowers of a clear pale yellow, and
partaking of the character of D. liburnicus.
D. latifolius. Much like D. barbatus, but larger both
in flower and foliage. It is figured in Sweet's u British
D. liburnicus. A strong-growing plant, producing its
red flowers in heads. Leaves and stems are glaucous,
hence one of its names is D. glaucophyllus, and it is not
uncommonly cultivated as D. Balbisii.
D. monspessulanus. A good border variety, introduced
in 1764. The flowers are red with petals much
D. neglectus. One of the D. alpinus group, but more
beautiful than that species, with foliage somewhat like
that of D. c&sius. The underside of the petals are
greenish-blue. It blooms earlier in the year than D.
alpinuSy and sometimes succeeds where the last-named
fails. It grows on the Mont Cenis Alps, and was intro-
duced in 1869. Treat as D. alpinus. D. neglectus a /bus
is a rare white form.
D. pallidiflorus. A showy pale-flowered species from
Siberia. It is late flowering, and is suitable for the rockery.
D. pallens is a synonym.
8 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
D. Pancici is a tall-growing plant, attaining four feet in
height, and produces flower-heads of a bright crimson
D. penmylvanicus is a variable species, abundant in New
England, where it is known as the May Pink.
D. petrous. This species is much like D. fragrans,
but having somewhat larger fringed flowers, which are
white. The D. petrous of the Botanical Magazine,
t. 1204, is pink-flowered.
D. pinifolius belongs to the D. crenatus type, though
scarcely so fine as that species. The foliage is somewhat
like that of the pine tree. It is native to Greece.
D.plumarius. The Feathered Pink, or Pheasant's Eye,
is interesting as being the reputed parent of the number-
less race of Garden Pinks, of the Black and White Pinks,
and of the Laced or Florist varieties. The double form
and the double white, as well as a large variety of the
latter, are very old plants, the two first-named appearing in
Parkinson's " Garden of Pleasant Flowers." Botanical
works fix the date of the introduction of the species
in the year 1629, but it is clear the plant was cultivated in
England long previous to that date. Gerard knew it well.
The type-plant is remarkable for its variability from
seed, and a few special varieties have been perpetuated
by cuttings. In any form it is a desirable garden plant,
and, on account of its fragrance, a delightful flower for
cutting. One of the latest forms appeared a few years
ago as " Cyclops." The plants varied considerably, but
all were alike beautiful. About the year 1890 D. plu-
marius hybridus was first seen. This kind possesses stout
erect stems, with large blooms of a soft rosy tint, and
with a crimson zone. D. p. annulatus is an older form
of the same type. D. moschatus and D. dubius are syno-
nyms of the type, which grows wild in England on old
walls, though not truly indigenous ; yet Ray notes how
common a wild plant it was in his time.
SPECIES OF DIANTHUS 9
D. prolifer. This is a very rare English species, con-
fined to Selsey Island and a few more stations, and known
to the old botanists as the Child ing Sweet William.
D. Seguierii. A hardy species from Switzerland, with
rosy-purple flowers, and suited to border cultivation.
D. S. collina is a lovely variety that flowers in autumn.
D. splendeus. A medium-sized flower of a deep crimson
D. squarrosus. A species somewhat like D. plumarius ;
from Tauria in Russia, 1817. The flowers are white,
and larger than those of the latter species, but the plant
D. suavis. A very sweet-scented pink-flowered species
with glaucous foliage. Suited for rockwork.
D. superbus, commonly known as the Fringed Pink. It
is a very old species, being mentioned in Gerard's
"Catalogue of Plants" (1596), where it is called "Spotted
Sweet Johns." By Parkinson it is named the " Feathered
Pinke of Austria," and he remarks it is " like unto the
Sweet Johns some of them of a purplish colour, but the
most ordinary with us are pure white and of a most
fragrant sent, comforting the spirits and senses a farre
off." The flowers at night emit the most delightful frag-
rance. The plant grows as high as two feet, and is very
floriferous ; and though perennial it is apt to die during
winter when grown in rich garden soil. It is, however,
easily raised from seeds, which sown in April or May
produce strong flowering plants the year ensuing. The
species forms hybrids freely, and not improbably a "strain "
of D. superbus exists in our present-day Pinks, if not
also Carnations. D. s. garnerianus^ sometimes called
" Gardneri" is a very fine variety, with deeply laciniated
flowers over three inches across. It was raised about
sixty years ago by the gardener of a Mrs. Gamier, after
whom it is named, and is a supposed hybrid with D.
superbus and an Indian Pink for parents. The flower is
io THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
portrayed in the " Floricultural Cabinet," vol. viii. D.
s. chlnensts was derived from seeds gathered by a mis-
sionary in China about 1898. The flowers are mauve
flushed with rose, with narrow petals deeply cut and
fringed. It sometimes flowers in the open till mid-winter.
A coloured plate will be found in The Garden, vol. Iv.
D. Oreades is a synonym. D. s. nanus is a dwarf form
of the European type that comes true from seeds.
D. syhestris is a species with red flowers not unlike
those of D. Caryophyllus, and with long slender stalks. It was
introduced in 1 7 32, and is figured in the Botanical Magazine,
t. 1 740. It is one of the several species called D. virgineus.
D. Boissieri is a large and curious form growing two feet
D. tener. As in so many other instances this name
has been applied to two plants, the one a form of D.
alpinus, but true D. tener belongs to the plumarius group,
and is of a straggly habit of growth.
D. virgineus. What is now known by this designa-
tion was introduced in 1816 from the Continent. Its
flowers are red and of no great beauty. D. deltoides and
several other species have been at one time or other so-
HISTORY OF THE CARNATION
THE early history of the Carnation is, unhappily, involved
in obscurity, the very earliest record of the plant dating
no further back than the beginning of the sixteenth
century, when Bishop Douglas mentions it among other
garden flowers. " Jerafleris " no doubt occurs even earlier
in "The King's Quhair," and Chaucer has been cited
as proving the Carnation to have been cultivated in the
reign of the Third Edward ; but all good authorities con-
cur in identifying Chaucer's plant with the clove-tree
of commerce. It is, however, safe to assume that the
Carnation was in cultivation much earlier than we are
able to trace by any written record, and not improbably
it was no uncommon plant. Turner's remark in
" Libellus," where he calls it Incarnation, favours that
supposition. In a report recorded in " Hakluyt," and
written in 1568, the word referring to the plant occurs as
if in common use." Hill, in the "Profitable Arte of
Gardening" (1574 ed.), describes its cultivation as if he
were cognizant of the idiosyncrasies of the plant, in the
contents calling it a " Gilifloure and Carnation." Tusser
might also be mentioned, and Lyte, as early authorities ;
but it was not till Gerard published his " Herbal " in
1 597 tnat tne extern to which the Carnation was cultivated,
and the great number of varieties that were at that time
grown in gardens, can be fully gauged. It then bursts
suddenly upon our ken a fully developed flower, already
12 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
divided into two distinct sections, the plants in which
differed from each other in habit of growth and in cultural
requirements, but alike in the remarkable range of colours
embraced in each. Peacham remarks that new varieties
were introduced from Italy, but Gerard's declaration that
" every clymate and countrey bringeth forth new sortes "
is no doubt more consistent with fact. There is evidence
showing two distinct types to have been early in cultiva-
tion in South- Western France, and in Silesia yellow- and
apricot-coloured Carnations were so common that Clusius
mentions them being sold in the market of Vienna.
This type of Carnation exercised a powerful effect on
Carnation-culture in England. Previous to its introduc-
tion there had existed the greatest difficulty in securing
seeds off English-grown plants ; but these, what we
would now call yellow grounds, proved prolific seed-
producers, and at the time John Parkinson wrote his
"Garden of Pleasant Flowers " in 1629, English-raised
varieties were fairly numerous. Parkinson was the first
to attempt a rough classification of the plant, calling those
with large flowers and, be it remembered, some were
as large as expanded damask roses Carnations ; the
smaller and commoner varieties, Gilliflowers ; the third
section being the " Orange Tawnies," or yellow section.
At the time Rea wrote his " Florilege," 1665, the
taste in Carnations had undergone a marked change, the
old varieties having given place to sorts imported from
Holland and Flanders, and which produced flowers some-
what like our Malmaisons. Rea names three sections,
red and white, purple and white, and scarlet and white,
the flowers in each being " well-striped, flaked, marbled,
or powdered." These were cultivated in pots and pro-
tected during winter, while the commoner sorts were
grown altogether in the open, " set on banks or beds."
In 1683, Rea's son-in-law, Samuel Gilbert, published
" The Florist's Vade-Mecum," in which is recorded
HISTORY OF THE CARNATION 13
important advances in the flower. In addition to the classes
named by Rea, there were also red and blush, blush and
white, selfs, tri-coloured, which were obviously yellow
fancies, and the very first mention of an edged flower, or
as we would now call it, a Picotee. Its name and descrip-
tion is perhaps worth recording, " Fair Helena, only edged
with purple." The fashion in large flowers continued
to increase, by-and-by to such an extent that those
sorts alone were esteemed that produced a double bud,
or an inner pod as it was termed, as is sometimes seen
in the present-day Malmaison. Very great care and
skill was expended on the preservation of the earlier-
formed petals, till those on the inner pod were also
expanded. The plants cultivated exclusively in pots,
were disbudded to one bloom on each. From the fact
that seedlings possessed of calyces that split were alone
preserved for cultivation, they were popularly known
as Bursters, ordinary varieties with whole calyces being
called Whole Blowers, these being disposed of in flower
borders as unworthy the serious attention of the advanced
florist. Shortly after the beginning of the eighteenth
century a quite new disposition of the sections occur.
These were Piquettes, or Picketees, Flakes, Painted
Ladies, and Beazarts, or Bizarres. The last named were
still of the Burster type, and it was not until 1740 that
the hitherto neglected Whole Blowers ousted these large
and coarse varieties from chief position. The new type
of flowers seem to have been introduced from France,
because they were called also French Flakes. Serrated
petals were noted at the same time as a serious blemish,
but these were gradually eliminated, and by the end
of the century the edges of the petals were perfectly
smooth. These changes witnessed also the transference
of the unit of perfection from the flower to the petal.
The disposal of the marks in Bizarres and Flakes was also
subjected to clearly defined rules ; and, as a fact, we know
i 4 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
from existing coloured plates of contemporary flowers
that a show variegated, they were designated Carnation
was essentially as it is to-day. Maddocks describes
Scarlet, Pink, Purple, and Crimson " Bizards," Pink and
Rose Flakes as the several sections cultivated in 1792. In
addition to these " is a sort held in high esteem by cultiva-
tors called Picotee, many of which are very beautiful, and,
being hardier than the other sorts, are inconsiderable request.
The colours are principally yellow and white spotted."
Picotees at this time had not, however, got beyond
petals with " serrated or jagged " edges. To Maddocks
belongs the honour of providing a standard for the modern
Carnation, a standard more or less faithfully copied by
" authorities " for at least fifty years afterwards. Space does
not permit a detailed account of the march of the Carnation,
and what we still call the Picotee, during the last century.
Yellow Picotees it may, however, be remarked, were
extremely popular during its first half, and it is only
lately that flowers with edges so clearly marked, and with
yellow of so deep a tint in the ground as those grown
in the thirties and forties, have been produced. The
white ground Picotees by the same date had become
equally refined. But it is interesting that, so late as 1 840,
Picotees were in Lancashire still called " stripes." In the
late sixties and the seventies Mr. C.Turner produced many
yellow varieties from a well-habited, stiff-growing variety
called Prince of Orange; Mr. J. Douglas continued the
work, while latterly Mr. Martin R. Smith has brought
them into line with the other sections, the German variety
German ia having latterly been largely used as a stud-plant.
THE NAMES OF THE CARNATION
A short resume of names applied to the Carnation
seems to be needed, in order to render what has been
recorded of its history more complete. Carnation, like
.,;?', "If -3S ?-V
SHOW CARNATIONS AND 1'ICOTEES
From " Temple of Flora," 1812
NAMES OF THE CARNATION 15
Picotee, is curiously enough not the English name of the
plant, but merely an adjective prefixed originally to define
a variety or a section. The old English name is un-
doubtedly Gillyflower, in one or other of its numerous
spellings, the consensus of opinion being that this is
derived primarily from Caryophyllus. Lawson, in 1618,
recorded it as July-flower, because it flowered in July, and
not a few followed his lead both in the name and its alleged
meaning. " Carnation," by all the old writers, was said to
be a distinguishing colour name, but the late Dr. Prior,
finding in Lyte's "Herbal" and Spenser's " Shepheard's
Calendar " the word " Coronation " applied to the flower,
thought he had there discovered its earliest form and its
true meaning a flower employed in making chaplets for
headwear. However, several instances occur of " Car-
nation " at an earlier date, and there appears no good reason
to doubt that authorites like Gerard and Parkinson were
correct in assuming the designation to be one descriptive
of the colour of the flower, " Carnation " at that early
period being applied to distinguish a deep red colour, and not
always the blush tint of the present day. Picotee is
easily traceable through many variations to the French
Picote" "la Carnation Picotee," Hogg calls it and it
was always applied to spotted flowers, or to those with the
colour splashed on white or yellow. Another old name
that continues till to-day is Clove. Just as Carnation-
Gilliflower distinguished a large red variety, so Clove-
Gilliflower marked one remarkable for its strong affinity
in scent to the clove of commerce. The latter, and also
Geum urbanum^ have indeed been repeatedly confused by
modern writers with the Clove-Gilliflower, a sweet flower
dear to ancient dames on account of its spirit-refreshing
perfume. It was also partaken of at great banquets as a
kind of pickled salad, and in the reign of Charles II. it is
first heard of as being used in a liqueur called clove-gilli-
flower wine. It may be added that the plant known
1 6 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
to-day as the Old Clove is quite distinct from the " old "
one, the latter having been a small flower of neat form.
The Painted Lady section is now cultivated by very few
in Great Britain, but in Germany it is not at all un-
common. The flowers in this section are composed of
petals whitish underneath and coloured above.
At present the Carnation is divided into several sections,
of which the following are names and descriptions.
Bizarres are distinguished by white petals marked length-
wise with two colours, or shades. These are scarlet,
crimson, and pink-and-purple respectively, and all Bizarres
are included under one or other of these designations.
It has been customary of late years to disparage the
artificiality of these flowers, but, especially the scarlet
and the pink-and-purple, Bizarres are really beautiful.
Flakes differ from Bizarres in having only one colour
disposed on a white ground. The colours are scarlet,
rose, and purple, and by these names all Flakes are
defined. Of late years Selfs and Fancies have nearly
ousted the above types from gardens, or it might more
truly be said, they have forced their way into gardens
where formerly Carnations were hardly to be found.
Selfs have long been cultivated and very much appre-
ciated on the Continent, more especially in France,
and thirty years ago, and even more recently, a
varied collection of Selfs could be procured only from
across the Channel. Now, however, English varieties
are equally popular with exhibitor and gardener, and all
colours it is possible for the Carnation to assume are
common. "Self" is equivalent to the French "Uni,"
one colour or shade only in one flower. "Fancies"
include a large variety of flowers, with markings and
colours of the most diverse kinds, and as a section it may
be said to include all those varieties that cannot be
classed in the other section, or with Picotees. Some of
the sorts are no doubt bizarre and uninteresting, but
CARNATION BOOKHAM CLOVE
NAMES OF THE CARNATION 17
others are distinguished by markings and colours that
render them fascinatingly lovely. There being no limit
to the colours, we find the ground or body colour of all
shades, from white and yellow to scarlet, and the mark-
ings are disposed without any of the regularity the florist
expects in Shows and Picotees. In this section the old
Flames (French, Flamand) are now included, these possess-
ing a red ground barred with a darker colour. The Picotee,
as already noted, is simply a form of Carnation. It has now
quite lost the distinctive markings that gives it its name
all Picotees, whether white or yellow grounds, having the
whole of the petal except a clearly defined coloured margin
pure white or pure yellow, any spots or bars being
considered a serious drawback. White Ground Picotees
are classed as red-edged, purple-edged, and rose- and
scarlet-edged according to the colour with which the
petals are margined. These, again, are called light,
heavy, or intermediate, according to the width of the
margin. Yellow Ground Picotees have been so recently
brought into line with the others that there has not been
time to subdivide them into classes ; but the type is now
as rigidly and sharply defined as in the White Ground
section. " Border " applied to Carnations generally
refers to any variety that succeeds well in the open, and
which is possessed of certain properties that render it
suitable for garden decoration.
Tree, Perpetual or Winter-Flowering Carnations were
originally a French strain first cultivated fifty years ago.
They are now, however, wonderfully improved on the
original type, and included in them are varieties belong-
ing to other sections. Moreover, Italy, Spain, Germany,
France and Flanders possess each a strain of Tree Carna-
tions peculiar to itself, and from among these a few varieties
have been secured that run alongside later English-raised
forms. America, too, possesses a distinct strain, and the
best of these are making a rapid conquest in this country.
1 8 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
In addition there are strains of what may be termed
Annual Carnations. Such is the French Grenadin, truly
a biennial, both single and double, with small flowers of a
sweet scent, and extraordinarily floriferous. Marguerites,
which sown in spring flower the same year. The
flowers are of moderate size, fringed, and very sweet.
Allied to these are those termed Riviera Carnations, a
form cultivated by cottagers along the Mediterranean,
but which has not yet made progress in this country ; and
last, though not least, the Malmaison section, which is
treated of separately (v. Chapter V.).
THE CARNATION AS A GARDEN PLANT
ALL kinds of Carnations and Picotees are amenable to
garden cultivation ; even the Souvenir de la Malmaison
existing for years in the open air in quite cold districts.
In the north of England, and in Scotland, it has long
been the practice to cultivate even the more refined forms,
such as Flakes, Bizarres, and Picotees, in the open garden
for exhibition purposes ; but in treating of the Carnation
as a garden plant, I shall keep in mind more particu-
larly its value as a garden flower. Broadly, there are
two courses open, either to cultivate solely in the
open, or to preserve plants under glass protection
during winter and to plant in spring. Of the two
the former yields much the better results, the vigour of
the plant being enhanced and its floriferousness vastly
increased. But it is essential that layers (v. Chapter X.) be
put down at the earliest moment, the middle of July
being quite late enough, so that nicely rooted plants may
be ready for planting any time from the end of August
till the middle of September. These rapidly become
established at root, and though little top-growth follows,
which, indeed, is not wanted, a Carnation that is over-
taken by winter having a firm grip of the soil is proof
against upheaval by frost and is little affected by the
cutting winds of March. Following that, the plant is in
a position to respond at once to the revivifying influences
of genial weather, and at every joint young shoots are
20 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
produced, which develop into flower-stems, so that
instead of the usual one or two stemmed plant, we
secure one with eight to a dozen flower-stems. The inex-
perienced, however, must be warned against permitting
early layered plants to stand too long after root action has
fairly been accomplished. The result is widely dispersed
roots, which have to be broken when lifted for trans-
planting, so giving one of those cheeks to growth which
is invariably inimical to the well-being of the Carnation.
The position selected for the beds is of much im-
portance. Let it be as elevated as possible, dry under-
neath, and open to sun and air. It will be found better
rather to have the beds in open vegetable quarters than in
borders confined by low trees. As to soil, the plant is
not inadaptable, and it succeeds in all kinds, so long as
that which is too heavy is lightened to meet its require-
ments. Manure, as a rule, ought not to be applied to soil
for the Carnation itself, any stimulant of that nature
being better introduced for a previous crop. At the same
time, that is not always convenient, and therefore to
meet its wants the manure employed should be thoroughly
decayed, broken up finely, and as evenly and regularly
mixed as possible with the soil in course of digging.
Fresh earth is, of course, always valuable, and in the case
of very heavy soils, leaf-mould and sand freely incorporated
with the upper six inches is of much value. Generally,
too, a bed raised a few inches above the level of the
surrounding soil is better than one on the flat, and in
forming the bed, let it be somewhat convex. The
Carnation likes a rather firm-rooting medium, and there-
fore previous to planting, and while the soil is dry, have
it firmly compressed by trampling.
It often happens that plants cannot be put into the
positions chosen for them until spring, and in such cases
they must be wintered under glass, either in cold frames
or in pits. Under these conditions it is commonly advised
Hen ry Irving-
A CARNATION WALK IN MR. MARTIN SMITH'S GARDEN
(By courtesy of Messrs. Cassell )
CARNATION AS GARDEN PLANT 21
to plant a pair of Carnations in a three-inch pot, but
considering it is frequently impossible to plant out until
April, when growth has some time commenced, it is
apparent that pots of the above dimensions are deficient
in capacity. Other good growers select four-inch pots,
placing one, two, and three layers in these, and the results
are invariably more favourable. The very best results,
however, are secured by selecting very strong layers which,
potted early in September singly in five-inch pots, are little
inferior to plants set out in early autumn. The winter
treatment of plants in pots calls for a low tempe-
rature, abundant ventilation, and no applied moisture,
either at root or in the atmosphere. If rust or spot
appears, it is essential that the parts affected be removed
as soon as noticed, and forthwith destroyed, and flowers
of sulphur distributed over the plants and their surround-
ings. With the advent of spring, the soil in the pots
will require moistening from time to time, but refrain
from applying water freely. Abundance of air is also
essential, and green fly must be watched for and destroyed.
It is usually April before transplanting to the open can
be effected, and it may be remarked that the soil for
these may be, to some extent, more enriched than for
layers rooted in autumn. Let the soil, however, be
made quite firm, and in planting, do not sink the plant
any lower than it stood in the pot, deep planting being
always resented, more or less, by the Carnation. There
are various ways of arranging the plants, the simplest
being in rows with the plants singly at a foot to fifteen
inches apart. When the plants are not very large they
are sometimes arranged in threes, planted a few inches
apart, with fifteen-inch intervals between the triplets.
Wintered in pots one has to treat them according to the
number in each. The early summer treatment of each
set is identical : repeated stirring of the surface-soil, ap-
plications of soot and pigeon-manure, or superphosphate
22 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
of lime, and the removal of the weaker growths when
these are produced too abundantly on vigorous plants,
embrace the main points. By-and-by stakes, either of
bamboo or the coil-iron stake, so popular of late years,
must be placed one or more to each plant before the
flower-stem has grown many inches. Sometimes it is
necessary to apply water in May, for it is a curious
feature of the Carnation that though it abhors moisture
during the winter-season it, on the other hand, languishes
if it is not applied in dry weather during summer.
If water is repeatedly called for, it ought not to be
given pure, but superphosphate, or some other stimu-
lating material added. During genial summer weather,
the flower-stems make rapid progress and the little buds
not infrequently become infested with green fly. A
little tobacco-powder dusted over these effects a speedy
clearance, which is important, not so much on account of
the harm the insects effect, but because, if permitted to
remain, tomtits are almost sure to discover them, and
while dining al fresco break over the stems to the great
loss of flowers by-and-by. Ordinary garden Carna-
tions are generally not disbudded, but when the more
refined types are thus cultivated, e.g. Bizarres, Flakes, and
Picotees, disbudding is essential, and also, it must be said,
a previous thinning of the flower-stems. Disbudding is
a more difficult-looking business than it really is, particu-
larly if the buds are removed while still small, when a
nimble-fingered operator will disbud a very large collec-
tion in the course of a few hours. The method consists
in grasping each bud to be removed between finger and
thumb, then give it a quick upward jerk, when it comes
easily out of its socket without in any way damaging
those left. Three buds left to expand on each stem is the
greatest number permitted by growers of exhibition flowers,
but that number may well be exceeded where the terrors
of the exhibition table do not loom in the near future.
CARNATION AS GARDEN PLANT 23
Hitherto, these remarks have been confined to Carna-
tions cultivated by themselves for bloom, but as garden
flowers they are also no mean objects from a decorative
point of view, and the requirements of the present day
demand that a carpeting of some brighter material than
their own grass or foliage be provided. As a rule, Carna-
tions arranged in this way cannot be planted till late
spring, and it may be said, once for all, that weakly plants,
either constitutionally so, or those starved in too small
pots before planting-out, can never give satisfaction.
Whether in beds by themselves, or in borders of mixed
flowers, at least, twenty-five plants of a sort should be
employed, a greater number being, of course, preferable.
It will be found a great mistake to set the plants too
close together ; from eighteen inches to two feet apart
being not unsuitable distances. The varieties that con-
form to this style are necessarily limited in number,
first because we must have effective colours, and also
because the plants must possess as nearly as may be a stiff
upright habit of growth, while being at the same time
abundantly floriferous. A new variety, however pro-
mising it may be, should not, therefore, until proved, be
employed for decorative effects.
The plants commonly used as a carpet to Carnations
are various kinds of Violas. Personally, I dislike these
for this purpose, because they are never quite satisfac-
tory, and so dispense with them altogether. Moreover,
the list of suitable plants is so large that there is no
excuse for employing any but the very best. Verbenas in
purple, white, and scarlet, and the lovely pink variety,
Ellen Willmott, cannot, perhaps, be surpassed for the
purpose in view, each plant carpeting a large surface.
The flowers remain bright until the end of the season,
and the colours go well with Carnations. Verbena
venosa and the old F. Metindres splendent are also suit-
able. Another charming plant will be found in Cuphea
24 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
strigillosa, the varieties of Brachycome iberidifolla are also
satisfactory, and may be employed either mixed or in
colours, white being very pretty. Sweet Alyssum is fairly
satisfactory, though not nearly so much so as its varie-
gated form. Gazania splendent, dark-flowered Heliotrope ;
Erigeron mucronatutn, and Madame Grouse Geraniums,
afford other selections. It needs hardly be remarked that
layers must not be expected from Carnations arranged in
this manner, and they must not be planted where either
hares or rabbits can reach them. Varieties suitable for
grouping include, Mephisto, deep crimson ; Comet, crim-
son ; Hon. Adele Hamilton, clear pink ; Hildegarde and
Trojan, white ; Sir R. Waldie Griffiths, deep apricot ;
Asphodel rose ; Loveliness, light salmon-rose ; Barras,
scarlet ; Dundas Scarlet, pure scarlet ; Jeannie Deans
and Cecilia, yellow ; Chloris and Henry Falkland, yellow
grounds ; Raby Castle, salmon. A new variety, in
colouring like Mrs. R. Hole, but of improved habit and
apparently of better constitution, will be found in Francis
THE CARNATION IN POTS FOR
CARNATIONS and Picotees are extensively cultivated in
pots for two purposes. The florist finds the plant in
many respects more conformable to the particular kind of
cultivation necessary to the production of exhibition
blooms when cultivated in pots, though, as already stated,
in the northern parts of the kingdom, culture in the
open garden is largely conducted in the case even of
these. Not so long ago only show Carnations and
Picotees were cultivated in this way ; but, during the past
few years, classes for selfs and fancies and for the novel
yellow-ground Picotees having been provided at exhibitions,
these also have been included among the florist's treasures
and catered for as pot plants. The other purpose for
which they are produced in pots is for conservatory
furnishing, and for the production of flowers for cutting
during the summer months, gardeners, as a rule, confining
themselves to a few reliable varieties, but occasionally a
varied collection is cultivated. The essentials as to
cultural routine in both cases are very much the same.
Propagation is almost wholly by means of layers, which
are generally " put down " in the pots in which the
plants are growing. Not infrequently as a result of the
close shading, to which the plants have been subjected on
account of the flowers, the shoots become etiolated, and
by no means of a satisfactory type. Withered foliage has
first of all to be cleared away, the growing points dusted
26 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
will) tokuco powder t<> destiny any green fly lurking on
the young foliage, and if rust shows, the tips of the leaves
cut off. The soil next the inside of the flower-pot is then
stirred with a pointed stick, a little sandy compost added, the
tongues (v. Chapter X.) made, the stems twisted to enable
the layer to be brought down, and each neatly arranged so
as the whole forms a di< !< just inside the rim of the pot.
A practice common among gardeners is to layer the shoots
in the open. For this purpose a piece of vacant ground on
a warm border is chosen, each plant to be propagated is
then turned out of its pot and plunged sufficiently deep in
the soil to bring the shoots to its level. It facilitates opera-
tions when the layers are made previous to plunging the
balls in the soil. A compost of sandy peat, or sandy leaf-
mould should be at hand, and a little of this mixed with
the soil to hasten root action. Layers treated in this
manner produce healthier and more sturdy plants than
those operated in pots and kept under glass to form
roots. The latter practice, however, can be commended
when the layers are made as soon as the shoots are fit,
these yielding quite a different class of plants to those left
till the blooming season is over. It not infrequently
occurs, too, that splendid material for pot-culture is secured
from layers produced from healthy plants grown in beds
or borders in the open. In any case the inexperienced must
bear in mind that a strong, healthy layer, to start operations
with, is worth any extra care expended to secure it.
It will be more convenient to treat of the Carnation
for ordinary greenhouse decoration previous to enlarging
on the florist sections. A good selection for this purpose
will include : Cecilia, a grand yellow ; Barras, scarlet ;
Lady Hermione, rose; Agnes Sorrel, maroon; Sir
Bcvys, crimson maroon ; Benbow, buff; Ensign, blush;
Herbert J. Cutbush, glowing scarlet ; Lady Mimi, deep
pink ; Anne Boleyn, salmon ; Loveliness, salmon-pink ;
Hildegarde, white ; Mephisto, small bloom, deep crimson ;
THE CARNATION IN POTS 27
Miss Ellen Terry, very large white ; Lady Nina Balfour,
blush ; while Duchess of Fife is usually grown on account
of its lovely pink-tinted flowers. The above are self flowers.
Of fancies, mostly yellow grounds, Amphion, Lord
Justice, Hidalgo, Charles Martel, Falca, Eldorado, Paladin,
Ormonde, Brodick, Ualgetty, a white ground ; Galileo
Goldylock, Guinevere, and Duchess of Roxburghe, form a
reliable selection. At one time I cultivated the above
class of Carnations solely in six-inch pots, one plant in
each. The newer sorts, however, grow more vigorously
than old varieties, as, for example, is the case with
Cecilia, and for single plants seven-inch pots are most
generally employed, while, for larger and more im-
posing specimens, two are grown in eight-inch and
three plants in eight- or nine-inch pots. Starting with
the well-rooted layer, which should be ready to transfer
to pots during the first ten days in September, the
stronger growing sorts, e.g. Cecilia, Barras, Hildegardc,
and Loveliness, will require pots five inches in diameter,
while those of the type of Hidalgo, and Mephisto will
succeed better in those four inches in diameter. The
pots, as in every instance, must be efficiently drained,
nothing being better for this purpose than potsherds, broken
into very fine pieces, to be placed above a flat potsherd
laid over the hole for drainage. The soil may be
good fibrous loam with a third of leaf-mould, and one-
sixth of sand added, and in potting be careful not to
lower the stem of the plant, while the soil must be made
moderately firm. Strong plants should be steadied by means
of a short stick placed to each, and instead of standing the
pots in the open air, I greatly prefer to place them at once
in a position where they can be protected from heavy
rains, and consequently treated as to water at root in the
most careful manner. The plants must, indeed, be supplied
with water in quantity only sufficient to keep them in a
healthy condition without stimulating growth, while during
28 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
the winter season the supply must be stopped altogether.
This does not cause a cessation of root action, nor,
indeed, of a certain amount of activity in the plant itself,
for examination shows that new roots are being produced
all the winter, long, and to the experienced eye the stem of
the plant at the same time increases in bulk. With the
advent of February, preparation must be made to afford
the plants more room at root. Seven-inch pots for those
to be grown singly, and larger ones, as above noted, for
those to be grown in triplets, and in twos, being clean
washed and drained in the manner indicated for the layers.
Potting soil, as a rule, is prepared in advance, the material,
if it can be procured, being coarsely broken rotted turves,
with leaf-soil, a little thoroughly decayed manure, some
artificial manure, and sand to render the whole open.
A compost that suits Geraniums, Fuchsias, and the
general type of soft-wooded plants may indeed be safely
employed for Carnations of the class under review. In
repotting be careful not to break the ball or meddle with
the roots, and ram the soil somewhat firmly home. Be
also exceedingly careful for a while in the application of
water, so as not to over-moisten the new compost ; but
once root-action has begun freely, and especially if the
weather is warm, water must not be stinted. If there
is a freely ventilated cold pit in which to grow the
plants they will succeed perfectly; next to that a cold
frame must be made the most of, but as the reason for
growing the plants in this way is to secure an earlier
bloom, anything that retards growth is regrettable.
Staking the advancing flower-stems, applying manure as
required, with attention to the early destruction of insect
pests, are the chief items the cultivator has to see to.
Once the buds begin to open a light shading is necessary,
and superfluous buds should be removed at an early stage
of growth. Lovely blooms, bright in colour and of large
size, are secured under the treatment just noted.
FANCY CARNATION REGENT
THE CARNATION FOR EXHIBITION 29
THE CARNATION FOR EXHIBITION
Large numbers of Carnations and Picotees are cultivated
in pots, as already stated, solely to produce flowers for the
exhibition table the cultivator having these under con-
trol in a degree that he does not attain with those planted
in the garden. The treatment generally is as recorded
for those cultivated for decorative purposes, with the
difference that the florist true and simple does not
cultivate for quantity, but for those qualities that many
generations of past florists have stereotyped past change.
There is always an abiding distinction between a gardener
and a florist, inasmuch as while the former with a due
amount of care and knowledge produces a crop of bloom,
the latter has to exercise a rare amount of judgment to
secure the end he has in view, for unlike the mere gardener
who cultivates to produce flowers and plenty of them, the
florist, taking the petal as the unit of perfection, devotes
his energies to produce a few blooms composed of petals
as near as possible to the standard of perfection. There
is, indeed, as much difference between the two cultivators
as there is between the fisherman who drags the river
with his net and hauls out all and sundry of the finny
tribe, and the follower of Izaak Walton, who, using his
bait as though he loved him, stalks his fish, and hooks
and lands it. The one has the greater pleasure, the other
the greater spoil, and so whosoever desires to become a
cultivator of the show Carnation and Picotee, must be
content to act the part of the man who woos Nature by
other than forceful means. From these remarks it will
be apparent that while absolutely healthy and robust
plants are essential, the treatment must in some respects
vary considerably. The florist treats his plants during
winter in exactly the same manner as described, but he
is invariably most particular as to the composition of
his potting soil, and as to the time the plants are set
30 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
into their flowering-pots, which are, as a rule, eight
or nine inches in diameter, and contain each three
plants. After the potting operation has been completed,
and weather favourable, the pots are placed in the open
on a hard bottom of cinders, and left there till the
advancing buds invite removal under cover, where the
flowers can be protected from the vicissitudes of weather
and the burning sun. The chief routine treatment
during summer consists in the application of water, staking,
tying, insect destruction, and the removal of buds from the
stems. Some growers leave only one bud on each plant,
thus securing only three blooms to each pot ; but this
frequently tends to coarseness and to burst calyces, and I
believe the tendency among cultivators at present is to
allow three blooms to each plant. It is the practice, too,
with some growers to slip a gutta-percha ring halfway
down the still unopened bud, or to tie a strand of raffia
round it, and as the bloom expands, the calyx is split and
turned back to the tie, and the petals in like manner care-
fully manipulated, so that a much larger bloom than Nature
unaided could furnish is secured. " Run " and badly
placed or superabundant petals are removed, and by this
simple method of dressing the cultivator sees, developing
under his eye, blooms with few or any of the disqualify-
ing marks that annoy. If, however, the blooms are
intended for competition, a different kind of dressing must
be employed. As already noted, the petal is the unit. It
ought to be flat, or the outer edge alone somewhat turned
up, and the tyro will be surprised to find how many
varieties, otherwise beautiful, do not conform to this simple
test. The markings, whether a flake or a bizarre Carna-
tion, a white ground or a yellow ground Picotee, must
conform as nearly as possible to requirements. Purity of
ground-colour is essential, and a self-coloured petal, or a
bizarre with flakes must be removed, as well as all mis-
shapen, curled, or narrow petals, and as far as possible those
THE CARNATION FOR EXHIBITION 31
alone left that are perfect in the section to which they
belong. Once this has been effected the petals fall to be
arranged so as to produce a " bloom." The calyx if it
has not been already split halfway down must now be
manipulated, at the same time, with a pair of tweezers,
folding the split parts back. A large circular card is then
provided, and the stem of the flower thrust through a
hole sufficiently large not to press in the calyx, and under
this a smaller card having three half-inch cuts through its
centre is pressed tightly underneath it, the cut portions
fitting tightly and holding it in position. The operator,
then, with a pair of ivory tweezers arranges the outer row
of petals on the upper card, being careful, however, not
to overdo size, a second row follows, and so on till the
centre is reached, three or four neatly arranged petals
finishing off the bloom. " Dressing " is difficult, but
any one bearing in mind that every petal of which
the flower is composed should be so arranged as to
expose its particular beauties, the bloom, as a whole, being
a composition of neatly arranged petals, every one as
perfect as possible, he will be certain to improve the bloom.
Much care is, however, needed in handling the petals not
to rub or in any way to damage them. Equally difficult
with the dressing of the flower is its arrangement in the
show-board. To the experienced it is simplicity itself
to distribute the blooms effectively, yet perhaps in no
instance does the beginner place his blooms before the
judges to the best advantage. It occurs with all kinds of
flowers, and at the beginning of his career as an exhibitor,
instead of trusting to his own judgment, he ought to secure
the services of some one experienced in staging to set up
his blooms. The rule that long experience has proved
best is to arrange the largest blooms in the backmost, and
the smallest in the front row, the very finest specimens
always at the left-hand side of the board. Invariably
name the blooms.
32 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
The practice of showing Carnations in vases is now
becoming general, and the need of tact and judgment
is just as essential with these as in the case of single
blooms shown on boards. It is a rule that dressing
must not be conspicuously apparent or, indeed, apparent
at all ; but the fact remains that the exhibitor who
prepares his blooms, other things being equal, is the one
who will* secure the prize. Without the aid of cards
it is possible to add somewhat to the dimensions of any
Carnation by a careful arrangement of the petals, and
its beauty as a flower is invariably enhanced by the
removal of imperfect petals. A most important point
is a selection of varieties suitable for exhibiting in this
way. Those only that stand boldly up should be chosen,
and those that droop rigidly excluded. Sometimes, too,
foliage is overdone. Anything that detracts the attention
of the judges from the flowers is to be deprecated, and
superabundant foliage undoubtedly has that effect. A
little is indeed useful in helping to preserve blooms in
an upright position, but beyond a little the exhibitor
should not go. It is generally impossible to secure
several blooms of a sort of equally good quality, but
much may be effected in staging to show up the better
blooms. Before closing this portion of the subject it
may be said that directly a bloom is cut the stem should
be placed in water, and left so for an hour or two before
it is subjected to manipulation.
The undernoted selection of varieties in the several
sections will be of use to the beginner in exhibiting,
who will do well to rather cultivate a number of plants
of reliable sorts than to grow a greater number composed
largely of second-class flowers.
SHOW CARNATIONS 33
SELECTION OF SHOW CARNATIONS AND PICOTEES
BIZARRES. Scarlet : R. Houlgrave, Admiral Curzon,
Robert Lord, George. Crimson : Master Fred, J. S.
Hedderly, Lord Salisbury, J. D. Hextall. Pink and
Purple : William Skirving, Sarah Payne, Edith Annie,
FLAKES. Scarlet : John Wormald, Sportsman, Guards-
man, Miss C. Graham. Rose : Merton, Thalia, Rob
Roy, Mrs. Rowan. Purple : Gordon Lewis, G. Mel-
ville, Martin Rowan, C. Kenwood.
WHITE-GROUND PICOTEES. Red edge : Ganymede,
Brunette, Isabel Lakin, Thomas William, Mrs. Gorton,
Grace Darling. Purple edge : Muriel, Mrs. Openshaw,
Amy Robsart, Somerhill, Lavinia, Pride of Leyton. Rose
and scarlet edge : Mrs. Payne, Little Phil, Mrs. Beswick,
Lady Louise, N. H. Johnston, Liddington's Favourite,
Fortrose, Clio, Nellie.
YELLOW-GROUND PICOTEES. Childe Harold, Gertrude,
Abbot, Alcinous, Countess of Strathmore, Gronow,
Countess of Verulam, Kate Coventry, St. Just, Lady
St. Oswald, Rabelais. (For Fancies and Selfs, v. Chapter
" MALMAISONS "
THE popularity of what are now termed Malmaisons,
and more especially of the queen of the section, the
pink-coloured Souvenir de la > Malmaison, sometimes
called Princess of Wales and also Lord Rothschild, is
little short of marvellous. This is the more striking
because the Malmaison is admittedly one of the most
difficult of plants to cultivate successfully during a series
of years, its erratic behaviour proving a source of the
greatest worry to gardeners and of distress to garden-
owners. It is an admitted fact, too, that numbers of
efficient gardeners literally fail with the plants, and it
has been remarked that the cultivator who thoroughly
understands the ways of the Malmaison is yet to
appear. Those who are unacquainted with the flower
will naturally want to know why a section that brings
so much trouble to the cultivator, and about which there
constantly remains a kind of uncertainty as to what it
may do next, should still continue the object of solicitude
and care. The reason is that the three varieties of the
true Souvenir de la Malmaison surpass all other Carnations,
not alone in the size, but also in the superbly fascinating
form of the flower. Joined to that no variety is quite
so strongly fragrant of the delightful clove perfume.
The colour of the pink form, moreover, and particularly
when it assumes its deepest rose tint, is unsurpassed in
its loveliness. Nothing is more remarkable in connection
riCOTEE LADY SOPHIE
" MALMAISONS " 35
with present day gardening than the fact of one, two,
three, and more structures in private gardens being
devoted solely to the cultivation of this one plant, some-
times solely to the one variety the Pink Malmaison.
There long remained the utmost uncertainty accom-
panied by the vaguest guesses as to where and when the
original Souvenir de la Malmaison with its blush-coloured
flower originated. It is now clear that it is not nearly
so old a plant as some have conceived, it having been
raised from seed by M. Laine, a Frenchman, in 1857.
Mr. David Thomson cultivated the plant at Archerfield
in 1864, having received the stock from Mr. William
Young of Edinburgh. I have been at some trouble
trying to secure trustworthy evidence as to the time
when and the place where each of the sports originated,
and I think I may safely aver that " Lady Middleton "
appeared at Luffness in East Lothian in the year 1870,
and the Pink Malmaison a few years later (1875) in a
garden near Musselburgh. It is a curious trait in con-
nection with this trio derived from a common stock that
the last-named is accounted the easiest to cultivate and
Lady Middleton the most capricious.
Of late years a large number of new Malmaisons,
the result of successful cross-fertilization, has been pro-
duced, at first by Mr. Martin R. Smith, who latterly has
been joined by others, by whom the varieties have been
greatly improved. The earliest attempt at increasing
varieties appears to have been made in Belgium, but the
flowers were of no great beauty, though in Madame
Arthur Warocque, a scarlet form, there was a decided
advance. But it appears that the increase of new
varieties of Malmaisons has received a great impetus on
the Continent during the past few years, where, as well
as in England, there is now a large number of varieties
It will, perhaps, appear strange to growers of the
36 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
present day to be told that Malmaisons at first were
propagated solely from cuttings, that the young plants
were pinched to induce a bushy growth, and that speci-
men plants were produced without permitting the pro-
duction of flowers until they had attained the proportions
desired. I remember the first plant of Malmaison of my
acquaintance was a large specimen in full flower, with
the shoots and flower-stems tied to a globe-shaped wire
frame ! The plant is of course really a tree carnation,
and there was less difficulty in training it to that form
than at first sight might appear. By degrees the practice
of layering superseded propagation by means of cuttings,
though the older race of cultivators retained the belief
that plants were less healthy produced in that way.
Malmaisons from layers are treated somewhat differ-
ently from other carnations. The general practice is to
set apart frame-space sufficient to hold the number of
plants to be manipulated. The plants are then turned
out of their pots, the ball sunk into the soil, and the
shoots pegged into some material that will produce roots
rapidly. Shortly after the emission of roots, the layer is
severed from the parent plant, permitted to make a nice
ball of roots, and then transferred singly to flower-pots
of four or five inches diameter. My own practice during
the past few years varies somewhat from the above
method. Acting on the well-recognized principle that
any check to a Malmaison is by any means to be avoided
or at least minimized, I have layered the shoots into
three-inch pots, in this way securing the young plants
against any check at this stage. There is a little more
labour involved in carrying out this method, but the
results, I think, amply compensate. Another system that
appears to me worth adopting in the north, where growers
are seriously handicapped in getting layers down suffi-
ciently early in the year, is that long customary among
cultivators of ordinary Carnations in pots, who root the
" MALMAISONS " 37
layers in the latter. By this means Malmaison shoots can
be layered some weeks before the plants are in flower,
and be rooted and potted off before it is possible to have
them even layered by the present system. It is quite
possible, of course, to layer shoots at any season of the
year, but what is referred to at present is the mass of
summer flowering plants from which the succeeding
year's stock must necessarily be produced. (For Propa-
gation, v. Chapter X.)
It will, perhaps, be most convenient to make the stage
when the layer is ready to be potted up, the starting-point
from which to detail the necessary cultural remarks.
First, as to soil. Experience proves that the Malmaison
is not at all exacting as to soil. At the same time, a
fibrous loam, particularly a loam that is naturally friable
when the fibrous portion has decayed, is best suited to
its requirements. The compost must by all means be
what gardeners term open, and sand, to render it so
beyond suspicion, must be added when necessary. A
portion of really good peat is in some cases advantageous,
and some growers like leaf-mould, a material I have
generally eschewed. As to manure, I cannot advise its
employment. If, however, considered essential, I would
use either dry cow-dung, rubbed down to a very fine
condition, or manure that had lain so long as to become
rotted almost to a mould, also rubbed down or passed
through a quarter-inch sieve. In selecting pots, it should
be remembered that the Malmaison succeeds most satis-
factorily when not straitened for room at root. True, it is
possible to produce nice stuff in pots comparatively small,
but if those of respectively five, six, and seven inches
diameter are selected, it is found that the strongest plants
in the end are those in the largest size. In potting up
layers, four- or five-inch pots are suitable, which ought to
be drained efficiently by means of very finely broken
potsherds. Compress the soil moderately firmly, and be
3 8 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
watchful that little of the stem of the plant is buried.
During the autumn months it is customary to let potted
layers stand in the open, but it is an expedient of doubtful
benefit, and, as a rule, the plants ought to be cultivated
entirely under glass protection, though affording the
plants at all times abundance of fresh air. Very careful
watering is essential, because the object is to induce
a firm, consolidated growth that will render the plants
immune to disease. If previous to, or by the beginning
of, October it is observed that the plants are becoming
root-bound, they ought to be transferred to larger pots
those in four-inch to six-inch, and those in five-inch
to seven-inch ones. In this instance compress the soil
very firmly, and maintain caution in the application of
water, till in November, December, and part of January,
if the condition of thorough coolness with dryness can
be secured, the plants will be better kept dry at root.
Growth will recommence at the period last named ;
but up till the beginning of April great carefulness in
watering must be observed. Late layers wintered in small
pots will require repotting early in February, and in the
same month plants to produce bloom during the next
winter and spring should be selected and potted in nine-
inch pots, employing a rough compost, and ramming it hard
in. By April the treatment of all these plants will be
identical ; water will be required in greater abundance,
with the occasional addition of some manurial agent soot,
pigeon-manure, cow-dung, and various chemical agents
being employed to stimulate the plants. While the stems
are " spindling " until the flowers are expanded, the winter
treatment, as regards water, must be reversed, and the
plants at this stage on no account permitted to become
dry at root, or the atmosphere parched. It is essential,
too, to break the direct rays of the sun off the foliage
from the end of March onwards, increasing the density
of the shade when the buds have become sufficiently
MALMAISONS " 39
large for the colour to be affected, flowers of deep
colour being impossible unless the shade is thick enough
to intercept every ray of sun. The cultivator has to
make up his mind early in the year whether the stem
shall carry one bloom only, or perhaps four or five,
which will be found an ample crop, and, acting on this
determination, reduce the buds to any of these numbers
directly they are large enough to manipulate. Large
blooms five and a half to six and a half inches across,
borne on long stems, are most often secured by the
" one plant, one bloom " system. It is also beneficial to
reduce the young shoots to five or six on each plant,
though, in the case of plants being grown to produce
bloom in winter and spring, no shoots, unless those that
are weakly, should be removed. Moreover, the latter
ought to have stakes inserted just inside the pots, one for
each shoot to be tied to. If there is no other affection or
affliction, there will certainly be aphis, unless unremitting
attention is bestowed in preventing its appearance. This
and other matters of a kindred nature is treated of in
We shall now follow the fortunes of those plants that
were potted into nine-inch pots, the young shoots of which
have been tied to stakes, and which, after being cleaned
and the old flower-stems removed, require the attention
of the cultivator to induce the production of bloom during
the off-season. If properly managed, the more forward of
these will produce flowering-stems during autumn, but the
larger proportion in spring. Up till October the whole
should be stood in a structure where abundance of air
circulates about the plants. From September shading
should be discontinued, while as regards the application
of water the soil must be preserved in a healthily moist
condition, but never either quite dry or, on the other
hand, saturated. From November till March those in 3
40 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
quiescent condition will require very little water at root,
but those it is intended to flower must be placed in a light
structure in a temperature of fifty to fifty-five degrees,
and watered as required. The flowers produced during
this period are not, as a rule, so expansive as summer
blooms, but they are generally deeper in colour, and are
never unwelcome. Mostly, too, the plants should be
thrown away after this forcing treatment. Not in-
frequently, however, the growths which break freely from
the stems of these strike root with little loss if inserted as
cuttings in sandy soil, and kept in a warm temperature till
the emission of roots. The less forward plants of the
batch under review, kept perfectly cool during winter and
spring, produce a succession to the forced flowers by
merely subjecting them to greenhouse treatment. Large
specimens of Malmaisons are rapidly produced by re-
potting plants as required, preserving them meanwhile
insect free, and all withered or diseased foliage removed.
Some cultivators prefer old plants to those that are
younger, but the general apprehension is that yearling
and two-year-old plants are at once the easiest to control
and to manage, while from these the very choicest blooms
The true Souvenir de la Malmaison succeeds well
planted in borders of prepared soil, and if a plant has space
to grow it will increase to the size of a bush, and produce
abundance of blooms. I have repeatedly cultivated young
plants in this manner, but destroying them once the crop of
flowers was gathered. In 1903, I had a very fine lot of
bloom on single stems, that is, one flower to each plant.
The best method to secure bloom of this kind is to plant
out healthy young stuff either in autumn or spring, in
friable soil, in a light, thoroughly ventilated pit. The
plants need not be more than seven and a half inches apart
each way, but under this system it is indispensable that
not one growth more than the flowering-stem is permitted
" MALMAISONS " 41
to push, and every bud, with the exception of the centre
one, removed as it appears. The plants require no
attention during winter, but when in growth a fair
supply of water applied to the soil is essential, sticks
for support must be supplied, and attention to aphis
attack and disbudding, as already noted, comprises the
To condense in a few words the essentials of Malmaison
culture. Be careful at all times against subjecting the
plants to a check, no matter how slight. Over-watering in
winter, and, equally, insufficient water in summer, neglect
to protect the foliage from sun ; aphis, or any other
parasitic attack left unattended to for even a short time,
each and all having a more or less enervating influence on
the plant, the results of which no one can estimate or
foresee. Every means too must be taken to build up a
hard, firm growth to pass through the winter free from
infection or disease, and never on any account should stock
be propagated from a plant that is known to be diseased
or infected by eelworm. Change of stock it may be said
is helpful in securing vigour, as it is in the case of other
Malmaisons and also Carnations or various sections are
successfully cultivated in glass structures, varying in many
essential points, but the best type of house is undoubtedly
a span-roof, fifteen to eighteen feet across, with six-foot
sides, and fitted with ventilating appliances that will
admit an abundance of fresh air at any season. Piping
sufficient to dry up damp and to exclude frost is also
necessary. The inside arrangements should include a
broad central stage and a side one extending all round
the structure, and also a roomy pathway. There are
several methods of shading, the worst, that of obscuring
the glass permanently with some liquid composition.
Tiffany is often employed, but the best system is one of
lath-rollers that while intercepting the sun's rays at the
42 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
same time admits a large percentage of light. It is,
however, rather expensive to inaugurate.
Appended are the names of a few varieties of Mal-
maisons, which, on the authority of Mr. J. H. Cutbush,
Barnet, intending cultivators may be assured are the cream
of the section. The three original forms of Souvenir de
la Malmaison must, of course, be included. Baldwin,
dark pink, large ; King Oscar, crimson ; Lord Welby ;
Mercia, salmon ; Mrs. Martin Smith, rosy-pink, enor-
mous blooms ; Mrs. Torrens, large salmon-pink ; Mrs.
Trelawney, dark salmon ; Thora, fine white ; Sault,
light ; Lady Ulrica, deep rose. In addition note may
be made of the Queen, which approaches the apricot
tint of Mrs. R. Hole, and Duchess of Westminster,
an early flowering kind, of great beauty, with true
Malmaison foliage, and which may prove exceedingly
useful for winter flowering.
THE so-called Tree Carnation can be traced back beyond
a hundred years, but it does not appear that it underwent
improvement until the year 1840, when a French
gardener, named Dalmais, raised new varieties ; and once
a break was made, by 1846 many sorts were catalogued.
These, however, appear to have been tall-growing plants
of straggly habit, and therefore of no great value ; but
about 1850, M. Alagetiere, another Frenchman, originated
a strain possessed of stirFer stems, which proved a vast im-
provement. Dwarf forms among these are the progenitors
of the splendid varieties that are every year being increased,
not only in England, but also in other countries, though
it would appear that the United States and Great Britain
are in these to have a fight for supremacy. The long
stems, one of the chief characteristics of American sorts,
are being added by English raisers to the finer formed
flowers of this country. Small flowers are being elimi-
nated ; and latterly, by judicious intercrossing with the
larger self Carnations, the long desiderated question of
size has been fairly met.
Tree, or, as they are being more generally called,
Perpetual Carnations, are quite hardy, and during the
summer months the plants may safely be grown in the
open air, as is the practice on the Continent and America.
In Great Britain, or at least the less favoured portions as to
climate, it is, however, perhaps best to cultivate the plants
44 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
wholly under glass. Under the protection of a thoroughly
ventilated pit, the shoots, while they do not become
etiolated, are without a doubt kept free from such dis-
eases as spot and rust, the only drawback being the
repeated assaults of green fly, which must be determinedly
met and repulsed. Another reason why Tree Carnations
are best grown wholly in glass structures is the very
important one that the plants bloom with more regularity
during winter than those not so favoured, and which
sometimes fail to bloom until the winter and early spring
has passed away. Named varieties are almost wholly
propagated during the three first months of the year by
means of cuttings, later than which the plants have too
little time to grow into a serviceable size. Under
favourable conditions the cuttings produce roots with
much facility and with few losses, the most important
factor governing the success of the operation undoubtedly
being the condition of the cuttings themselves ; those, the
shoots of plants grown in too high a temperature and
insufficiently ventilated, or any infected by eelworm or
rust being almost certain to fail. On the other hand,
shoots from plants grown in light airy positions, and in a
temperature of about fifty-five degrees, possess the con-
ditions that render rapid root emission certain. The
cuttings ought not to be large, as a fact rather small
cuttings are most generally satisfactory. Dibbled thickly
close to the inside rim of four- or five-inch pots in a
compost of equal parts loam, fine peat, and sand, the pots
plunged in a mild bottom-heat, with an atmospheric
temperature not exceeding sixty-five degrees, roots ought
to be freely emitted in three weeks, after which bottom-
heat becomes prejudicial, and the pots should therefore
be placed near the glass for a little time till a small tuft of
roots has been formed. At this stage the young plants
must be transplanted, either singly into small pots, or
they may be " boxed off"/' that is, a number planted out
TREE CARNATIONS 45
into ordinary wooden cutting-trays, in which they sooner
gain strength than in pots. Where no efficient means
of producing bottom-heat exists, an ordinary dung-
heated frame may be employed, but the utmost caution
must be exercised not to overdo the heat, nor ever to
saturate the cuttings in the steam that is seldom absent
from the confined dimensions of this type of propagating
structure. Cuttings root readily also if inserted in a
shallow layer of sandy compost placed in a cutting-box
or tray, fitted with a pane of glass as a cover, and placed
above the heating-apparatus of any forcing-house in opera-
tion. Where any of these methods is impossible, the
Continental practice of striking cuttings or layering in
late summer, will be found an efficient means of producing
stock. By the latter method the young plants ought to
be ready to place in three-inch pots in September, those
that require stopping having the growing point extracted
at as early a moment as convenient. The young plants
winter well with Malmaisons and other sections, treating
them in the same manner till the warmer weather of
returning spring induces growth, when they will require
transplanting into larger pots and shortly be in a condition
to be grown in the same manner as spring-rooted plants.
Reverting to these, as soon as possible after recovering
from the effects of propagation and transplanting, a course
of greenhouse treatment must be substituted for that of
the hothouse, and by April the young plants will thrive
best in a pit, where fresh air always plays about them.
Much the same system as regards repotting and general
treatment should be pursued as in the case of other soft-
wooded greenhouse plants, that is, they ought to be re-
potted previous to the plants being possibly checked in
growth, the shoots must be stopped once or twice in
order to induce a bushy habit ; but stopping cannot be
pursued beyond May or June without endangering the
winter's bloom. Nice blooming plants, with five to
46 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
eight flowering-stems each, are produced in pots six
inches in diameter ; but extra strong plants afforded a
further shift into eight-inch pots produces a more than
relative amount of bloom. Ordinary turfy loam,
lightened with the addition of leaf-mould, a small pro-
portion of sifted cow-dung, and sand to render the com-
post open beyond question, forms a suitable rooting
medium. It is a mistake to try to force plants into bloom.
The proper method is to time the plants so that buds are
well forward previous to the advent of winter, when a slight
accession of heat will bring them on without enervating
the plants, finally leaving them diseased and worthless.
The number of varieties in cultivation is quite per-
plexing, especially if one grows Continental forms, some
of which are quite lovely, though it must be confessed
the flowers as a rule are rough and unkempt, as are
American sorts when compared with English varieties.
Still it is apparent that the Americans are more and more
attracting the attention of cultivators, and in a select
dozen such as the undernoted they cannot be over-
looked. A first-rate twelve will include America, one
of the best sorts at present to be had. It is of strong
growth, with cerise flowers ; Duchess of Portland ; La
Villette, yellow ground with crimson stripes, and a sweet
perfume ; Melba, fine pink, with long stiff stems, blooms
very fragrant ; Mrs. Leopold Rothschild (Madame
Therese Franco), a very free and lovely variety ; Mrs.
Lawson (Mrs. Thomas W. Lawson), the long-stemmed,
deep pink American variety that is now grown every-
where ; Mrs. S. J. Brooks, a strong clove-scented pure
white form ; Mr. Edward Smith ; Prosperity, one of the
finest, rosy ; Royalty, very fine, with long stems ; Winter
Beauty, said to be an improved Winter Cheer, which,
however, cannot be left out. In addition, Yule Tide,
Deutche Brant, General Gomez, Uriah Pike, and William
Robinson, are sorts that may well be grown too.
ANNUAL PINKS 47
Dianthus chinensis y the Indian or China Pink, intro-
duced in 1713, is now treated as an annual, though an
earlier race of horticulturists cultivated it as a biennial,
and sowed the seeds in June and transplanted the seedlings
when fit to handle into prepared beds, while to strengthen
the young plants still further flower-stems that pushed
the same year were rigorously suppressed. Cultivated
in that way very large plants that flowered in much
profusion were produced. Latterly, however, the Indian
Pink, in all its numerous varieties, has been grown as
an annual. The period during which the seeds may be
sown with every certainty of the plants flowering the
same year extends from February, in which month it
is the general practice to raise plants under glass, until
the beginning of April, when the seeds are sown in the
ground where the plants are to flower. This species
succeeds best when given a fairly fertile soil, the addition
of some year-old manure, well-rotted, effecting a vigorous
and floriferous growth.
The varieties at present in cultivation are very
numerous, there being many subsections, in each or
which a wide range of colours exists. The most re-
markable step in advance occurred about the year 1860,
when the Japanese variety, D. Heddewigi, was introduced
from St. Peterburgh, a Mr. Heddewig of that city
having obtained seeds from Japan a few years previously.
The flowers are very large, with a range of colour
embracing white to darkest crimson in both single and
double forms. In addition to what may be termed the
type there is another called D. H. laciniatus^ the flowers of
which possess deeply fringed petals, some very charming
colours having been produced of late years in this section.
Yet another break in which the petals are edged with
white is that called D. H. diadematus, so that in the
48 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
Heddewigi section alone there are many dozens of single
and double varieties of which it may be said with truth
that all possess qualities rendering them worthy cultiva-
Of what may be termed the ordinary Indian Pink
there exists several subsections, each containing many
varieties both single and double, but none so showy as
the Heddewigi class. The double forms, especially the
white, are, however, of distinct value, and a clustered
double called D. c. plenissimus is a very desirable form.
D. c. nanus comprises a large number of varieties that do
not exceed six inches in height, and in D. c. diadematus
we have a counterpart of the cut-leaved D. Heddewigi
diadematuS) but much smaller in all its parts.
A most distinct large flowering form is that called
D. c. imperialis^ but this belongs to the hybrid section,
being the result of a supposed cross between D. chinensis
and a Sweet William. The Indian Pink is indeed
remarkable for the beautiful hybrids that have resulted
from crosses with other species, the very first recorded
hybrid, Fairchild's Sweet William, which Bradley termed
a mule and now always called a Mule Pink, having
appeared about 1715-16, the other parent having been
a Sweet William. It is also a parent of the gloriously
brilliant D. Atkinsoni, as well as of others, references to
which will be found in the chapter in which hybrids are
discussed. All the Indian Pinks are of much value in
the flower garden, employed either in massing or as floral
carpets to plants of a stately growth. They form thick
masses of foliage and flowers, and continue in bloom
until stopped by frost. A selection is also suitable for
providing material for cutting, the double white, Salmon
Queen, Eastern Queen, and the Heddewigi section
generally being invaluable in autumn. For this purpose
the plants should be set in beds allowing each a space of
about fifteen inches, and there every freedom may be
" MARGUERITES " 49
used in cutting without risk of spoiling flower-beds. As
well as for furnishing vases the flowers with buds are
charming in bouquets or rough posies.
" MARGARET " OR " MARGUERITES "
These are a sweetly scented strain with flowers
mostly double, the petals of which are deeply crenated.
Seeds sown in spring under glass protection and grown
on without check produce nice plants that flower the
same autumn, and continue well into winter, providing
a succession of sweet flowers. They have indeed been
found to flower under favourable conditions six months
in succession. It is a not uncommon practice to plant
out the seedlings in May, lifting and repotting them in
October, a method that while it saves much labour
during summer at the same time suits the plants.
HISTORY OF THE PINK
THAT it would be rash to conclude the word " Pink," as
applied to a flower, is derived from a colour is clear from
the fact that no authority has ever assumed this to be the
case. Dr. Prior thought it to be a derivative from
" Pinksten " (Pentecost), meaning fifty days after, from
the season one species flowers. Older authorities have
traced the word to a Dutch source, " an eye," and when
an eye is mentioned by old writers, it must be understood
the very centre of the flower is not always referred to, but
rather a ring of another colour encircling the central spot.
Pink has yet other meanings, one of which Parkinson has
in his mind in describing a " Nectorin with a pincking
blossome," the petals in this sort being mere strips, such
as one sees in the deeply incised petals of Dianthus
plumariuS) and even more pronouncedly in those of D.
superbus, so that, without having recourse to the rather
far-fetched theory of Dr. Prior, one may choose either of
the other meanings a word indicative of a colour circle
near the centre of the flower, or one descriptive of
deeply fringed petals. One thing is absolutely without
doubt, that up to the end of the sixteenth century the
Pink was invariably a single flower, the larger single
Carnations, for instance, on account of not being double,
coming under that designation. In Tusser's list of flowers,
first published in 1573, "Pinks of all sorts" occur, and
in Lyte's " Niewe Herball" of 1578, a fairly lucid
HISTORY OF THE PINK 51
description of garden Pinks is given, the figure accom-
panying the text being a cut of Dianthus superbus. " The
Pynkes and small feathered Gillofers are like to the double
or cloave Gillofers in leaves, stalkes, and floures, saving
they be single and a great deale smaller. The leaves be
long and narrow, almost like grasse, the smal stemmes are
slender and knottie, upon which growe the sweete smell-
ing floures, like to the Gillofers aforesayde, saving cache
floure is single with five or sixe small leaves, deepe and
finely snipt, or frenged like to small feathers of white,
redde, and carnation colour." Elsewhere, Lyte remarks
there were " divers sortes great and small," and as diverse
in colours as Carnations, adding they were " called in
Englishe by divers names, as Pynkes, Soppes in Wine,
feathered Gillofers and small Honesties." Gerard is the
earliest authority to introduce us to double Pinks, obviously
forms of D. plumarius^ of which when Parkinson wrote
there were two or three. If we are to credit Rea, Pinks
were of little esteem, and were grown in gardens mostly
as edgings to flower-beds, and sometimes used in posies
along with damask roses. Writers on gardening in
the early part of the eighteenth century, include Pinks
among other flowers esteemed in gardens. It is at
this period the Pheasant-eyed Pink first appears. A
" gardener," writing in 1732, notes the Pink as "a very
sweet and fine Flower, having a great many Varieties, some
single, mark'd finely with Red in the Middle, call'd
Pheasant-ey*d Pink, one sort as large as a Carnation, and
double, with the Pheasant-eye in the Middle." The same
authority mentions " a striped Sort, call'd the Old Man's-
head Pink, which blows all the Winter, if it be sheltered
in a Green-house." Miller adds other names to those
noted above, and other writers add to the varieties,
showing how much this sweet flower was esteemed in
the early Georgian era. Among the varieties named
by Miller, is one called Dobson's, which shortly after
52 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
we find superseded by a New Dobson's, commended as
the prettiest of the whole tribe, and a sort to use for
raising new kinds. The colouring of this variety was
distinct from all others, the centre being deep chocolate
with an edging of white, the nearest approach of any
known old variety to what are called the Black and
White Pinks. A break from these, not impossibly from
the New Dobson's, occurred about 1770, when James
Major, gardener to the Duchess of Lancaster, secured
a seedling with markings to the edgings of the petals
of the same colour as the centre. This was named
after his mistress, and so highly was it esteemed, that
plants of it were sold to the value of j8o. Seed saved
from the Duchess produced Lady Stoverdale, long con-
sidered a very fine form of what is termed the Laced
Pink, the present-day type of the Pink of the florist.
The muslin weavers of Paisley, in Renfrewshire, as a
class, were greatly devoted to floriculture, and one or
more of their number, about 1785, having secured seeds
of Pinks from London, the plants from which produced
among others some Laced Pinks, the culture of this
flower was entered on with such enthusiasm, and attended
with so great success, that varieties were shortly dis-
tributed over the country equal and even superior to
others. These were known as Scotch Pinks, and though
that name has somehow become attached to " Black and
White" varieties, or those without a lacing, it is clear
that the weavers themselves considered their laced pro-
ductions the more meritorious. During the first half of
last century, the cultivation of Pinks had undoubtedly
reached its greatest perfection, since when they have
gradually declined in favour, and it is doubtful if the
delightful Black and White section, also called Plain Pinks,
is now even in existence. Laced Pinks were divided into
three sections, being according to the depth of colour in
the markings called dark-laced or red-laced. The
HISTORY OF THE PINK 53
markings on these were on a white ground, but there was
another section called Rose Pinks, in which the .ground
colour was rose, with the petals marked and laced with a
darker shade. Of the last-named section is Anne Boleyn,
a variety raised about seventy years ago, and figured in The
Florist's Magazine, 1835-36. It is still cultivated alike
for its beauty as a flower and for its pleasant perfume.
About 1850, "Lord Lyons," the forerunner of what
has proved a most useful section, called Border, and also
Forcing Pinks was secured by a gardener of Bury St.
Edmunds, named James Clarke, the parents being a seed-
ling derived from a Laced Pink and Anne Boleyn. i Lord
Lyons has not yet been surpassed in its colour, purple,
but the range of colours has been greatly extended,
latterly, sorts with picotee edges having been produced.
Even more popular and more useful than these are the
White Cutting Pinks, the first of which was Mrs. Sinkins,
derived from a cross between a Clove Carnation and a
Pink, and than these no Pinks are so largely cultivated at
the present time.
Before concluding this chapter^ it may be remarked
that Loudon, as well as some other early authorities, con-
sidered the Pink not solely an improved cultural form or
Dianthus plumarius, as is, perhaps, too rashly assumed in
these days, but that D. deltoldes and varieties of the Car-
nation at one time or other contributed to its production.
A careful examination of the case leaves one satisfied
that Loudon's conception is largely consistent with fact.
Carnations, undoubtedly, as in the case of some present-
day varieties, have played a part in their production, the
Old Man's-head, for instance, by several old writers
having been assumed to be more closely allied to a Car-
nation than to a Pink, and I think it not unlikely that the
Rose laced forms, of which Anne Boleyn alone remains
to us, were partly derived from that sort. Nor is it
unlikely that D. superbus is unrepresented.
54 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
CULTIVATION OF THE PINK
In treating of the cultivation of the Pink, it will be
convenient to divide it into sections, the first of which
shall be devoted to the florist's type.
I have been unable to gain any information as to Plain
or Black and White Pinks being still in existence. To
many who know these it must be a matter of much
regret that a flower so attractively marked and withal so
sweet should have been permitted to become a castaway.
The plants conformed to the treatment that suited Laced
Pinks, and if grown for exhibition, it was usual to be
very particular in protecting the blooms from weather of
all sorts, and this, generally, by means of glass blurred.
Named varieties of these, and of Laced Pinks, were wont
to be propagated almost solely by means of " pipings,"
which a past generation considered gave the best results,
the month of June being the most suitable time to pro-
pagate these. They are also increased by means of ordi-
nary cuttings, and occasionally by layers (v. Chapter X.).
As the Pink makes its annual growth earlier than the
Carnation, so it can be propagated correspondingly
sooner, and in order to gain strong plants, early propaga-
tion becomes a point of some importance. The plant,
being absolutely hardy and less affected by the vicissi-
tudes of winter than the Carnation, is invariably planted
where it is to flower, the month of September, from a long
experience confirmed by all cultivators, being eminently
suitable. Plants not transplanted till later or left till
spring do not produce the marking called the " lacing "
in such perfection as do those set at the earliest possible
moment. Nay, so fastidious is the Pink as to this matter,
that those spring -planted very frequently refuse to furnish
a lacing at all ! Though the Pink will thrive in any
ordinarily fertile soil, it prefers that which has been
thoroughly cultivated and pulverized, and with which a
CULTIVATION OF THE PINK 55
two- or three-inch dressing of decayed manure has been in-
corporated, applying a portion of the less rough to the layer
of soil in juxtaposition with the roots. To strengthen newly
rooted plants previous to setting in beds it is the practice
to establish them first in nursery beds. Where these can
be composed solely of fresh material it will be found of
much advantage. Loam one part, with leaf-mould and
finely triturated cow-dung in equal proportion forming
the other part, makes an ideal compost. Place this not
more than three inches thick on a firm bottom of coal
cinders, compressing it meanwhile moderately firmly, and
set the young Pinks in this, at four inches apart each way.
When ready to transplant, every plant ought to lift with
a closely netted ball of roots. A foot apart will be space
sufficient for each in the flowering quarters, and in planting
care must be taken not to lower the plant into the soil,
but rather to have it elevated, but to an almost imper-
ceptible extent, above the surface. If treated as thus
advised, beyond stirring the surface of the soil, previous
to winter setting in, nothing further will be required till
spring, when, on evidence of growth commencing, a
slight dressing of sifted pigeon-manure, or, if that is
impossible, some other manurial agent should be sprinkled
evenly over the surface of the soil. Soot forms a
suitable fertilizer too, and may be applied later as an
additional stimulant. For exhibition purposes from one
to five stems are left on each plant, and these are disbudded
in due time, never more than three buds being left to
expand. The older florists were particularly careful to
tie the calyx of each bloom with a piece of matting in
order to preserve it intact, and as it was a cause for
disqualification to exhibit a bloom in this condition, it not
infrequently occurred that in the excitement of staging
a tie was overlooked, and the expectant victor became a
disqualified delinquent. Some good exhibition flowers
are unfortunately produced by weakly constitutioned
56 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
plants, and, if the Pink is given a place as a garden flower,
which it is well fitted to fill, these should be shunned.
Mrs. Waite and Victory are sorts that are very free and of
vigorous habit, and for this purpose these, it may be said, do
not require to be propagated annually. Some of the best
exhibition varieties are, Boiard, Mrs. Dark, Modesty,
Device, Harry Hooper, Zoe, Empress of India, Godfrey,
Minerva, Amy, Reliance, The Rector, and Princess
What have been termed Garden or Forcing Pinks
comprise another section. The oldest, and still one
of the best varieties, is Anne Boleyn, which is best pro-
pagated by layering. Next in age is Lord Lyons, and in
various shades of colouring such as Ascot, Paddington,
and Ernest Ladhams may be mentioned. These are
increased with facility by cuttings, and a rough-and-ready
way of securing large clumps consists in pulling an over-
grown plant into good-sized pieces, when, if operated on
in September, the pieces will certainly produce roots, and
grow. As forcing plants, the practice is to grow them on
in the open like violets, and in autumn to lift with balls
of soil attached, and to plant in pots five or six inches
diameter. The best place to stand the plants at this
stage is in a protected position out-of-doors. Lifted in
the end of September, or early in October, they are ready
to place in a pit early in November, where they come on
slowly, and with the aid of just a little heat in January
soon produce flowers. What may be called the White
Flowered section, including Mrs. Sinkins, Her Majesty,
Albino, and Snowflake, is also amenable to forcing treat-
ment as above. Their weak point is the hardy nature of
the plants, which resent the amount of heat a too enthu-
siastic attendant would like to supply them with.
As edging plants to divisions in gardens or by the sides
of walks this class of Pinks is invaluable, and for this
CULTIVATION OF THE PINK 57
purpose the old fimbrlata and fimbrlata alba (the White
Shock) must not be overlooked. It is advisable, too, that
those who are called upon to produce much material for
cut flowers should devote space to a selection of these.
Mrs. Sinkins and the newer forms being annually produced
possess a distinctly perpetual habit, and flower from June
to October, so that at any moment we may have in
our hands a new plant of incalculable value for garden
decoration all through the summer and autumn months.
Because established plants flower more profusely than
young ones, it would be a mistake to replace beds
still floriferous by those filled with yearlings. As a fact,
they partake greatly of the nature of perennials, and, as
an instance, I have a clump of Her Majesty that is at
least ten years old. It must be added that Pinks of all
kinds are easy to produce from seeds, the management of
the flowers as to seed-production being the same as detailed
for Carnations. They do well sown in the open ground,
though the protection of a frame will, as a rule, yield
more certain results.
MULES OR HYBRIDS
DIANTHUS, as a genus, is remarkable for the facility one
species crosses with another, thus producing hybrids
or mules. Every hybrid is of course not a mule in the
sense of being sterile. If that were so, it would be an
impossibility to secure seeds off Pinks, which undoubtedly
have had an admixture of more than one species in the
various sections, nor can we certainly admit that the Carna-
tions of to-day are the result of breeding from one only
species. While the heading of this chapter is " Mules,"
it therefore must not be understood that all the plants
mentioned are necessarily incapable of seed production.
Napoleon III., for instance, certainly produces seeds on
the Continent, and it is invariably called a Mule Pink.
The name dates from the beginning of the eighteenth
century, and was the happy inspiration of the botanist
Bradley to indicate a new type of plant, the parents of
which were stated to be a Carnation and a Sweet
William, that was produced in Fairchild's Nursery at
Hoxton. It has, however, been shown that pollen of the
latter is impotent applied to a Carnation, or in other words,
the two do not "cross," and judging from the fact that
Dianthus chinensis, a species noteworthy for the facility
it crosses with other species, had been introduced shortly
previous to the appearance of the new hybrid, and that
such hybrids were common afterwards, it may, I think,
be safely assumed that a mistake had been made, and
MULES OR HYBRIDS 59
the Indian Pink, instead of the Carnation, was one
of the parents. At the time this plant appeared as
a chance seedling, Bradley was deep in the then novel
discovery of plant fertilization, and he at once pounced
upon the novelty as a splendid illustration of the correct-
ness of his theories. Otherwise the history, or perhaps
any knowledge of the hybrid, might have been lost, as no
doubt any crosses that may have been effected in earlier
years were. This plant was known for a long time both
as Fairchild's Sweet William and the Mule Pink. In
A Monthly Calender, 1738, "several Varieties" are
noted, but the authority is perhaps not reliable ; but in
the year 1770, a Scottish nurseryman indicates as a com-
panion to Fairchild's mule a fine red double Sweet
William, of the former of which, he says, it is a variety.
" Of late years there has been a variety obtained from
seed with a Sweet William leaf, upon which it has got
the name of Sweet William Indian Pink." It reproduced
itself freely from seed. Another old plant was reintro-
duced, about forty years ago, to general cultivation by the
late Thomas S. Ware, of Tottenham, by the name of
Dianthus barbatus magnificus, and became generally known
as Ware's Sweet William. This plant has been cultivated
in Scotland for a very long period, one of its names
being Murray's Sweet William. The plant is sterile, and
though the foliage is distinctly of the Sweet William type,
the habit is not the same. It grows to a height of six to
nine inches, and produces a large number of stems, which
form broad heads of deep crimson sweet-scented double
flowers. In some soils it is perennial, though at any time
it is apt to dry up and die during summer, hence it is
advisable to propagate young stock annually. September
is the most suitable time to undertake this operation, the
base of the leaf growths being then covered with air-roots,
and all that is necessary to ensure success is to take up a
few plants, pull them in pieces, and dibble or line these into
60 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
a bit of newly dug ground, at a few inches apart. As
the work proceeds, compress the soil firmly. In spring the
then well-rooted plants are in fit condition to lift, and to
plant where wanted to bloom. But they may be trans-
planted at any time, even when in full bloom, without
affecting the plants injuriously. This is undoubtedly one
of the gems among hardy border plants, and deserves
extended cultivation. A recently introduced kind, called
Prince of Wales, has close affinities to the above.
The following are mostly of recent introduction, some
of which are best propagated by means of layers, though
the majority strike root freely from cuttings or side
growths slipped off.
Dlanthus Abbotsfordianus is a double-flowered mule, with
rosy-purple flowers. Raised in Scotland.
D. Alice Lee is a very pretty double white form, with
foliage not unlike a Pink. It is of much value as a low-
growing border plant, or for planting in the rockery.
Dianthus Atkmsoni. This is one of the most gloriously
beautiful of the Mule Pinks, and is supposed to have been
the offspring of D. chinensis. It was raised about the
year 1845 by Mrs. Atkinson, of Bacton Hall, Norfolk.
The flowers are blood-red, one and a half to two and
a half inches across, borne on slender stems over a foot
high. It has never been known to produce seeds, and
flowers so profusely that, like D. Napoleon ///., it is
difficult to perpetuate, or in many soils to preserve, as
after flowering the plant is apt to die. Cuttings strike
root freely if inserted among sandy soil in pots in autumn,
and kept in a cold frame until rooted. It is, however,
not always possible to secure cuttings unless one or more
plants have the flowering stems removed as they shoot
up, when an abundant crop of young growths will follow,
and these must be utilized as cuttings. The plant other-
wise is not difficult to cultivate.
D. compactus. A good form ; pale rose with crimson.
MULES OR HYBRIDS 61
D. Courtoisi. The result of a cross between ). barbatus
and D. superbus, with brilliant flowers ; makes an excellent
rock plant, and is a good doer.
D. Highclere produces single scarlet-crimson flowers.
A good border flower.
D. imperialis. A supposed mule between a Sweet
William and D. chinensis, is generally treated as an
annual, along with Indian Pinks. It is a very fine thing,
though it is very variable, and many varieties are in
D. Lady Campbell is a clear pink colour, and well worth
D. Lady Dixon. Said to be a cross between a Sweet
William and a Clove Carnation ; is a very desirable plant.
It was first exhibited in London in 1901, and received an
award from the Royal Horticultural Society. The flowers
are red-crimson in colour.
D. Lucy Ireland is a double crimson variety.
D. Marie Part has been extensively cultivated for
many years. The flowers are a pure white, of much
beauty, and the plant should find a place in all good
D. Crimson Bedder is a perfectly distinct form, estab-
lished plants forming cushiony clumps which produce
during summer an abundance of dark-coloured double
flowers. This variety is eminently suited for an edging
plant. It is not known whence it originated, or the
parents, but in some respects it approaches D. deltoides,
and is propagated in the same manner by division.
D. dentatus hybridus is a double-flowered form of no
D. Diana. Pale rosy-purple double flowers.
D. Fettes Mount is a charming free-flowering variety
of a rosy colour, the flowers being most abundantly
produced. The foliage is apt to suffer from "spot."
It is perhaps best increased by means of layers in July
62 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
and these, when well rooted, should be planted out about
the middle of September. It was originated by Mr. Potts,
who also gave to garden lovers the hybrid Montbretia
D. Grlevei. Like the above, this also hails from
Scotland, having been raised by Mr. James Grieve, and
is a hybrid, with a Sweet William and a single Laced
Pink as parents. The flowers vary from white to rose,
and the foliage is that of a Sweet William.
D. floribundus is a bright floriferous variety.
D. Lindsay i was raised by Mr. Lindsay, late of the
Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, the parents being a Sweet
William and D. alpinus. It has now become exceedingly
D. Miss Bateson. Very pale rose.
D. Michael Foster is an exceedingly showy double
variety, and valuable for border decoration. The plant is
free, and easy to cultivate. Assumed D. alpinus X D.
D. moschatus is a Continental kind, of a distinct shade
of rosy-lilac, the flowers being exceedingly fragrant.
D. multlflorus. Of this there are two forms in cultiva-
tion the one scarlet, the other rosy-pink.
D. Napoleon HI. This is undoubtedly a gem of the
first water. The flowers are dark crimson, not large, but
produced most profusely on wiry stems, which are about
nine inches in length. The foliage is small and neat.
Where a number of plants are grouped together, the effect
when in flower is exceedingly brilliant and effective. As
a pot plant, too, Napoleon III. is of much value. It is,
however, unfortunately a difficult plant to preserve unless
special means are taken to continue a supply of young
plants, it being so floriferous as to flower itself to death.
The same method must be pursued as in the case of D.
Atkinsoni, namely, to set apart a few plants, preventing
these from flowering, when abundance of shoots will be
MULES OR HYBRIDS 63
produced ; these strike root freely, treated in the same
way as advised in the case of that hybrid. Rust some-
times attacks the tips of the leaves, which it is advisable
should be cut off when first observed, in order to prevent
infection to others. Otherwise, the plant presents no
difficulties in its cultivation.
D. Quelteri is another dark-crimson form.
D. Rose Perpetual is supposed to be a plumarius hybrid.
The plant is valuable in flowering continuously far into
Z). Rosetta produces a neat flower of a pinky shade.
D. Spencer Bickham resulted, about 1900, from a cross
between D. c&sius and D. deltoides. The flowers are
deep rosy-crimson, and the plant growing only five inches
in height is well suited to the rockery.
D. striatiflorus produces striped flowers, and is a variety
that has been in gardens during many years. It is,
perhaps, more bizarre than beautiful.
Z>. superbus, though bearing the name of a species, has
nothing in common with that plant. This is a dark-
crimson double-flowered mule, exceedingly fragrant, and
possessed of a perpetual habit, and a plant altogether
D. superbus garnerianus. This has already been noted
in the chapter on Species. It is commonly called
D. s. Gardneri.
THE SWEET WILLIAM
COBBETT somewhere made a remark to the effect that a
bed of Sweet Williams was the most beautiful thing that
one can behold of the flower kind. Though few will
subscribe to a like enthusiasm, all lovers of simple flowers
find with him a great attraction in even the commonest
forms of Sweet William, its delightful perfume alone being
all-powerful in gaining admirers. While all the old
authorities rightly considered the plant to be nearly
related to the Carnation and to the Pink, they by no
means confined the name to Dianthus barbatus. That
exuberantly humorous writer, Bulleyne, for instance, in
"The Boke of Simples," defines the Wallflower as a
Sweet William, while among Wild Williams are in-
cluded Silene muscipula, Lychnis Flos-Cuculi, and Dianthus
It has never been satisfactorily settled what "William "
means whether the name of a saint, or, as Dr. Prior
with some hesitation proposed, a derivative of the French
CEillet. Unfortunately for the latter view, Sweet
William is not found in sixteenth-century French as
"CEillet," but as "Armoire," though, later, CEillet
d'Espagne appears. Co-existent with this plant is the
" John," or " Sweet John," which modern authorities
identify as Dianthus Carthusianorum, but which all the
old gardeners, including the astute Philip Miller, con-
sidered only a variety of >. barbatus. But Sweet William,
THE SWEET WILLIAM 65
pretty as it is as a name, and appropriate as it is applied
to a flower in itself so sweet, is by no means the only
appellative belonging to the plant, which was called also
Tuft Gilliflower, London Tufts, and the altogether
incomprehensible designation, Tolmeniers, each of these
representing a self-coloured variety of the Sweet William.
One, with spotted flowers, was called London Pride, a
name transferred, according to John Ray, the botanist, to
The earliest form of double Sweet Williams was
double in the sense of possessing two rows of petals to
each flower, and of these, if we are to credit Samuel
Gilbert, the florist, the double Sweet Johns were alone
worthy esteem. The first variety possessed of a distinct
eye is noted by Parkinson in 1629, an< * this was dubbed by
Rea, on account of its rich colouring, " The Velvet Sweet
William." A peculiar feature of these early forms was
the tall habit possessed by the plants. How delightful if
we had a few such to-day !
Closely following the advent of the eighteenth century,
a remarkable impetus to gardening is observable in all its
branches, and, about the year 1715, appeared the first
recorded hybrid with a Sweet William as one of the
parents, to which the name Fairchild's Sweet William
was given, but better known as a Mule Pink. Flowers
wholly double were also originated about this period, and
were extensively cultivated in gardens, as well as in pots
to adorn " chimneys," or fireplaces, and apartments
generally. There were also varieties with striped flowers,
and the inevitable " Painted Lady," which was a double
form, having a dark centre and a white edge to the petals.
In MacDonald's "Gardener's Dictionary" (1807) tne
above and many other kinds are said to be varieties of the
" Sweet John," and in the same work a plate of a beautiful
auricula-eyed Sweet William, by Sydenham Edwards, is
evidence of the advanced condition of the Sweet William
66 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
a century ago. The latter were called Variegated Sweet
Williams, and as such can be traced well back into the
eighteenth century. But the Sweet William has always
been so common a flower that writers have taken for
granted that nothing novel could be said about it, and
consequently we are left very much in the dark concern-
ing its progress. In Scotland it has long been held in
great esteem, and fifty years ago or less a number of
double varieties were cultivated, all of which are now
non-existent, with perhaps the exception of that sort
known in England as Ware's Sweet William.
The Sweet William being a biennial, and under some
conditions a perennial, seedlings do not flower till the
second year. Seeds are sown in the open garden in May
or June, and when sufficiently large to transplant are
either transferred to the position selected for them to fill,
or are bedded in nursery lines till required. The plant
appreciates a fertile open soil, in which large heads of
flowers are freely produced, remaining in beauty for
about three months. If seeds are required they will be
found in quantity in the dried seed capsules. In order
to perpetuate any particularly fine variety, seeds cannot,
however, be relied on, and as of late years some distinct
double varieties have been obtained, it may be noted
that the basal shoots of the Sweet William produce
towards autumn abundance of roots. In dry or warm
positions this propensity should be taken advantage of
by applying a light covering of soil and leaf-mould, of
which the stem roots will shortly take possession, following
which let them be separated from the parent and planted
where required. In the case of cool soils the above pre-
caution will generally be unnecessary, plenty of adven-
titious roots appearing without any extraneous aid. It
must be noted, too, that the plant, if grown under suitable
conditions, exists for many years, becomes a perennial in
fact. It possesses, moreover, the happy quality of not
PICOTEE DANIEL DEFOE
CARNATION AS MARKET FLOWER 67
taking much amiss ; transplantation at any season, even
when in full flower, requiring, however, a sufficient supply
of water at root till re-established.
THE CARNATION AS A MARKET FLOWER
A short notice of the place this family occupies as a
market plant may be considered necessary. For up-to-
date information I appealed to Mr. George Monro,
junior, who kindly furnished the following details, which
afford a glimpse of the remarkably limited number that
are thought worth the market-grower's attention. The
colours, it will be seen, are distinct, and of their kind as
perfect as may be had, though the form of the flowers
are not such as appeal to the florist. During the
outdoor season the Carnations chiefly brought to market
are Raby Castle, Mrs. Reynolds Hole, Uriah Pike, and
Duchess of Fife, of the latter of which I can vouch for
its fine quality as offered in the streets of London. A
few years ago I passed in Gracechurch Street a street
merchant, whose stock-in-trade consisted solely of a
large bunch of lovely pink Carnations, which I thought
was the Duchess, but to make sure I put to him the
question, " What are these ? " Business, alas ! had
dulled his other senses, and his reply, "A penny each,
sir ! " contributed nothing to its identification. Germania
is also produced in great quantities during summer, but
are grown in glasshouses. During the London season
the pink Souvenir de la Malmaison (Princess of Wales)
is very popular. Guernsey used to be a great growing
centre for these ; but I believe the plants there have
become badly affected with disease, and the supply
has accordingly diminished to a great extent. The
greatest proportion of this variety is said to be sent to
London from private gardens, and the best samples are
derived from Scottish growers. During winter and spring
68 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
the supply is derived chiefly from the neighbourhood of
Hampton-on-Thames, the sorts cultivated in greatest
quantities being Duchess of Fife, Winter Cheer,
"Franco" (Mrs. Leopold Rothschild), White Clove,
Mrs. Moore, General Buller, and Germania. American
varieties seem to be gaining in the regard of purchasers,
and Mrs. T. Lawson is now cultivated largely, while
it is clear that Royalty, Prosperity and others will soon
be equally so. Of pinks, Her Majesty is the favourite,
and Mrs. Sinkins next.
I'ICOTHE - AKGOSY
PROPAGATION BY SEED
THE wild flower designated Dianthus Caryophyllus is the
assumed parent of the long line of Carnations, Picotees,
and Clove Gilliflowers, an intense obscurity as already
mentioned resting on their early history ; but it is not a
little remarkable that all along from the time we have any
definite knowledge of them, sorts of the finer section,
alike on the Continent and in England, have been culti-
vated in pots, vases, or tubs, and protected from inclement
weather in winter, while alongside these, plants of a hardier
not by any means always a more robust strain have
been left to take care of themselves, exposed in the open
garden to every change of the elements. Theoretically,
all Carnations are hardy, but it is an incontrovertible fact
that a necessity exists, and has always existed, for treating
a certain number as not altogether hardy. Yet, as seed-
lings, all thrive in the open, though once reproduction by
other means has been effected a proportion betray a
constitution demanding protection and care. The plant
under some conditions is by no means short-lived, and I
have indeed had seedlings that throve during a number of
years, the plants extending meanwhile into large clumps.
The most perfectly adapted, as also the most natural
method of propagation would accordingly appear to be by
means of seeds, which, moreover, possesses other com-
mendable points, being at once the most facile, cheap,
and rapid method of creating a stock of plants that in
70 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
their turn exhibit a profuse floriferousness immensely
ahead of those produced any other way. To the ordinary
flower-lover, whose tastes are simple, the diversity in
colour and form, and the exquisite single varieties never
absent from a batch of seedlings, indicates this as, to him,
the most interesting phase of Carnation culture he can
pursue. The seeds sold in England are generally the
production of German florists, the produce varying very
much in quality. High-class seeds are naturally expen-
sive. Even on the Continent it is the practice to cultivate
seed-bearing plants in pots, and in this country it is
practically impossible to produce seeds under any other
conditions. Moreover, fertilization and other processes
such as harvesting and cleaning are all effected by hand.
Cheap Carnation seeds should therefore be eschewed, for
while expensive seeds may prove unsatisfactory, it is
certain that cheap ones will be so.
Up till a quite recent period the quality of seedlings
was largely a question of chance, the fertilization of
flowers being effected entirely by insect agency. Now,
however, in all parts of the country enthusiasts carry out
the process on lines more or less scientific, and that none
may despair of succeeding it is a fact worth noting that
some of the more popular and long-standing varieties
have resulted from the labour of unknown workers.
The Carnation is bisexual, or possesses in each flower
an ovary with styles and stigmatic processes, and fertilizing
pollen-bearers or anthers. If the petals of a bloom are
carefully removed, there will be found springing from
the apex of the ovary or seed-capsule, two, and not
unseldom three, styles, which in some varieties are bent,
curled, and twisted in a curious manner, those in dark-
coloured varieties being generally coloured. When in
a condition to receive the pollen the whole surface of
the style is erupted, rough in appearance, and covered
with a clammy exudation that catches and retains any
PICOTEE GLEE MAIDEN
PROPAGATION BY SEED 71
pollen that falls upon its surface. The part the would-be
raiser of seedling Carnations has to play is to watch for
this condition, and the development of the anthers, ten of
which will be found, hidden not infrequently by the petals.
When ripe the anther-cases burst and set free the pollen,
which in the Carnation is in the form of a fine dust. It
attaches itself to anything by which it is touched, a fine
camel-hair pencil being usually employed to convey it
from the anthers to the styles of the flower selected to
bear seed. But the filaments carrying their anthers may
be wholly removed and the pollen distributed without
employing any intermediary agent. The pollen, it may
be added, retains its potency for some time after removal,
and may be preserved dry to apply to the flowers of any
variety not yet expanded when the pollen selected for
cross-fertilization is ready. Some varieties are more
fertile than others, and occasionally sorts are discovered
that refuse to be fertilized. But in every case experience
shows that the Carnation must be treated with much
consideration in order to induce the production of perfect
seeds. The plants, as a primary means, must be placed
in a dry, airy position in a glass structure. It will
be advantageous also to remove a few petals of those
flowers in which the anthers are debarred from air and
light, the old florists making a practice of selecting for
seeding purposes those flowers only that had few petals.
Once fertilization is completed the petals shortly wither,
and when this does not occur it is advisable to repeat
the process, thereafter removing all the petals. It has,
too, been long the custom to slice away a portion of the
calyx as a precaution against moisture lodging round the
base of the seed-capsule and causing it to rot. The
greatest care in the cultivation of the plants must con-
stantly be exercised till the seeds attain maturity, this
being indicated by the splitting of the apex of the capsule
when they are ready for removal, drying them thoroughly,
72 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
and preserving the seeds intact till required for sowing
the following spring. In selecting flowers the more
successful raisers do not favour the largest blooms, but
prefer side ones of perfect form. Those produced on
drooping stems should be rejected, and plants alone of
erect growth and of robust though not over-vigorous
habit chosen for seed-bearers.
Seeds are sown from February, and with every pros-
pect of success during April and May, but late sowing
is naturally productive of plants that are less floriferous
than those obtained from seeds sown early. I prefer
ordinary cutting boxes two feet by eighteen inches by
four inches in depth, to pots in which the soil becomes
dry more quickly, and requires watering more frequently,
for seedling raising. Soil should be rather light ; loam, the
siftings of orchid peat, and sand to preserve it open, form-
ing a good compost, leaf-mould being substituted for peat
where the latter is not to be had. Compress the soil
only to a slight extent, and in sowing allow each seed
about a quarter of an inch space ; the seeds may of course
be sown more thickly, but there is always a danger of loss
from thick sowing, while under ordinary circumstances
the box space required is not so great as to induce one to
save on that and court loss in the result. The seeds if
covered one-eighth of an inch will germinate regularly.
To this end it is an aid to cover the boxes with a sheet of
glass, blurring it with whitewash to exclude light. Place
the seed-receptacles in a structure where a temperature of
fifty to sixty degrees is maintained, and if water is required,
dip the box with its contents for a brief moment in a tank
of water, when sufficient moisture will be extracted to
moisten all the soil. When germination has been effected,
remove the glass and give the seedlings access to light and
air, and while still small transplant them into other boxes
prepared with a compost of a like nature, setting the seed-
lings at an inch apart, and compressing the soil somewhat
C ALi i*'ORi'*
CARNATION MRS. CHARLES BARING
PROPAGATION BY SEED 73
firmly in the process. Once root-action and growth has
recommenced, remove to a frame, being careful at this
stage in the application of water. When the plants are
an inch to an inch and a half high, they ought to be
transferred to the position selected for their growth out
of doors, where, if they are to remain to flower, each
should be accorded a space of eighteen inches each way ;
but if on the other hand these are to be transplanted to
their flowering quarters at the end of summer, then half
that distance apart will be ample. The method of treat-
ing Carnations in the garden will be found at pages 17 to
24, and to these the reader is referred for instruction as
to cultivation of soil and other matters. Meanwhile
we shall resume operations in early summer, when the
spindling flower-stalks demand consideration. Frequently
they are left trailing and twisting about until the buds
show colour, then stakes are brought out, and an endeavour
made to attach the draggled stems to these ; but the
attempt is never so successful as to hide the fact of their
having been left a prey to forgetfulness. It is much better,
and wastes less time, that always precious commodity in
a garden, to attack the plants as soon as the stalks have
grown a few inches ; and having provided a sufficient
quantity of short sticks, apply one to each stalk, giving it
just one tie, and no further attention will be required.
A more rapid, though less tidy, but withal a perfectly
efficient method, consists in sticking a quantity of short
brushwood among the plants, upon which the stems rest.
When the flowers begin to expand, the hopes of the florist
begin to rise, and no matter whether none of the varieties
are quite so good as others in cultivation, there will be
sure to be some that the raiser would like to perpetuate.
A few layers should accordingly be prepared of these at
the earliest moment, though I have known varieties bloom
so late that it was impossible to root layers the same
season ; but cuttings may be taken quite late in the year,
74 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
and reference may be made below for remarks on these
methods of propagation. Pinks are raised from seeds with
much less trouble, and may be sown in the open air.
PROPAGATION BY CUTTINGS
Pinks are more generally increased by means of cuttings
than are Carnations, though these too are not infrequently
propagated by this means. Cuttings are of three kinds.
There is the cutting that in gardening parlance is broken
off with a heel. That is, the cutting is originally a short
side-shoot, which the operator breaks off entire from the
stem, bringing with it a piece of the latter, which is called
the heel. This kind of cutting can be more certainly
induced to emit roots if partly broken away from the stem
a few days before it is wanted to insert in the rooting
material. Side-shoots of Malmaisons are generally em-
ployed in this manner, but any section may be treated in
the same way. Of Pinks, the garden varieties, Mrs.
Sinkins, Her Majesty, and others root freely from cuttings
of this kind, and many of the Mule Pinks and species are
best propagated in this way. Another kind of cutting is
produced by a lengthened shoot, severed under a joint, as
usual in the case of cuttings generally. The two under
leaves removed, this kind is ready for insertion. Some-
times, however, and this applies mainly to strong growths
inserted late in the year, it is found beneficial to split the
stem up, which, being kept open by some simple wedge,
is inserted in that way ; while yet another method con-
sists in putting one half the cut stem in the soil, the
other half being laid flat on its surface, the idea being to
provide a large rooting surface.
Then there is that peculiar sort of cutting called a
" piping," confined almost solely to Pinks of the laced
section. A u piping " results when the growing point of a
PROPAGATION BY CUTTINGS 75
shoot is pulled out of its socket. They are easily manipu-
lated. Taking the shoot in the left hand, the operator
with the other pulls out the " piping," which, it is most
important, should not be long, but short and soft. That
is largely essential to success. "Pipings" must on no
account be allowed to "flag," old-fashioned gardeners
making it a point to carry a vessel of water with them
and dropped the " pipings " therein as they were taken. A
choice position to insert these was near the base of a west
aspected garden-wall, where after being inserted and
watered they were left to themselves. " Pipings " strike
roots very successfully also in ordinary cold frames, shaded
and kept moist, or, where there are only a few, bell-glasses
or handlights may be employed as protectors. These are
efficiently shaded by dipping in water and sprinkling sand
on the inside. When done with, another dip removes
With regard to striking Carnations, it depends greatly on
the season of year propagation is effected. The methods
adopted in the case of Tree-Carnations are treated under
that section, but ordinary Carnations, during summer,
may be rooted in much the same manner as Pinks. In
autumn the cuttings should be inserted in light soil in
flower-pots, cutting-boxes, or in cold frames in shallow
beds, but in all cases success follows cool treatment, the
soil being kept moist and the frames close, to preserve the
cuttings from flagging.
Pinks of the plumarius section and Sweet Williams are
perpetuated by a kind of cutting that has already emitted
roots when propagation is effected in September or
October. Nothing is more simple than this method.
The plants to be propagated are lifted, and the shoots
pulled apart, each with its "air" roots forming a little
plant. These are " lined " into a prepared bed in some
suitable place in the open garden, where during the
winter the production of roots proceeds, and by spring
76 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
each plant is possessed of a nice ball of roots of its own,
and is in capital condition to transplant elsewhere to
PROPAGATION BY LAYERS
Carnations are very largely propagated by this method,
and also Pinks of the Anne Boleyn class, as well as some
of the Mule Pinks. The earliest mention of the practice
occurs in Parkinson's " Paradisus," in what is the earliest
treatise on Carnations extant, where, as " in-laying," the
method is detailed with much lucidity. The value of
layering consists in the rapidity and the certainty varieties
can be increased without weakening the resulting plants,
because the connection with the parent is not severed
until the scion has roots of its own abundantly sufficient
to provide for its wants. A layer may indeed be said to
be a cutting supported by the parent plant up to the
moment it is able to provide for itself. In making a
layer, the operator does not cut the shoot quite through,
but as near as may be about halfway, then turning the
face of his knife upwards half an inch or three-quarters of
an inch in length, more is inimical, splits the stalk in two.
The tongue, as it is called, thus formed is gently bent
outwards away from the stem, and being inserted to its
own depth in the soil and kept in place by a " peg " the
operation is completed. A few important points must,
however, be noted. Layers invariably produce roots
most quickly when the shoots are still soft, and while in
this condition all parts of the operation can be best
carried out. In firming the layer in the ground, some
authorities advise the peg being placed about an inch from
the tongue, but the proper position is to insert it exactly
at the point the tongue parts from the stem, pushing it
obliquely into the ground so as to keep the tongue from
being moved. Clumsy operators destroy many layers by
PROPAGATION BY LAYERS 77
breaking them off the stem when bending down the shoots.
This can be certainly obviated by pressing short shoots
back on the stem while the layer is being placed in posi-
tion, and in the case of long shoots by twisting them quite
round, when they may be safely placed in any position
without breaking. In the case of shoots so elevated above
the soil that they cannot be layered, a simple and efficient
method consists in bringing the whole plant level with
the ground, and restaking it so that the layers are not
raised, but left close to the soil. As to soil for layers, in
light fertile ground nothing whatever is required, though
in that of a heavy nature a little leaf soil and sand placed
where the roots will be formed is of value. Too com-
monly, material is placed about the stems of the plants
and the layers inserted underneath this in the ordinary
soil. Another point is that a short shoot is commonly to
be preferred to a lengthy one for layering. Once roots
have been emitted in sufficient quantity to steady the
plant when the peg is withdrawn, the connection between
the parent and the layer should be severed, making the
cut quite close to the layer, where roots, in due time, will
also be emitted. Metal layering pegs are now sold
cheaply by horticultural sundriesmen, but in the country,
where bracken abounds, nothing is better than the stems
of this fern cut into short lengths, bent in the middle,
and used in that way.
A simple form of layer is employed by market-growers
in the case of Clove Carnations. This consists in making
a notch in the stem, instead of a tongue, the cut portion
being pressed down and pinned into the soil, when roots
are duly emitted.
In Germany, root-grafting has been attempted as a
means of strengthening the constitution of weakly varieties,
the plant used to supply the root-stocks being Saponaria
officina/ts the common soapwort. Grafting and budding,
78 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
curiously enough, are very old practices, and are referred
to by Shakespeare in the Winter's Tale, while des Serres
gives a detailed account of the method, and the reason of
resorting to the practice. " Pour meslanger et changer
les CEillets, Ton les ente en escusson ; en fente aussi ;
en ceste fa9on, tresrarement : et en quelque maniere
que ce soit, est necessaire d'y apporter de la curiosite,
pour la foiblesse de la plante." And then he goes on to
details ; stating his belief that " Piquassats," flowers white
with red spots, were produced in this manner,
PESTS AND DISEASES
RABBITS and hares are very fond of Carnations. Efficient
fencing is the only remedy, but as hares leap a fairly high
fence, this characteristic of puss must not be forgotten.
Rats, when abundant, prove destructive during winter,
especially in the case of pot plants. A vole in one in-
stance gave me some trouble before it was secured, and
it was at last caught by means of a Malmaison leaf placed
in one of those open traps which, on the release of a
spring, execute the victim instantaneously.
Sparrows and finches, where they abound, do much
harm to Carnations by " nibbling " the foliage in early
summer. It is almost impossible to protect the plants
by means of netting, which is however a help. In
addition, repeated dustings of soot applied when the
foliage is wet, or syringing with extract of quassia, is
Pheasants are peculiarly destructive, and are fondest
of the Carnation and Pink from autumn to early summer,
when the only certain method of circumventing their
unwelcome attentions, is to net closely.
Cuckoo spit is sometimes troublesome. This is the
larva of an insect, Aphrophora spumaria y allied to green fly.
It is so common everywhere, that every boy or girl is
acquainted with the frothy-like envelope that hides and
protects it. It destroys the stems of Carnations and
8o THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
Pinks, and is itself destroyed by syringing with extract of
Earwigs in some seasons are terribly destructive. They
effect their way to the base of the petals, which they
cut through, and occasionally reduce flowers to the bare
calyx and seed-pod. As they affect a dry hiding-place,
bits of dry moss secreted in small flower-pots, or the
hollow stems of umbelliferous plants, placed where they
are observed, afford ready means of trapping them.
Eelworm. In Scotland, eelworm attack is dreaded as
much as Helminthisporium on Malmaisons is in England,
where its most deadly ravages are chiefly felt in the cases
of the Perpetual or Tree section. This destructive pest
is introduced to the economy of the Carnation by the
medium of the soil, and as the almost invisible worms
exist solely on the tissues of the plant, and are protected
by the epidermis of the leaves, once they have effected a
lodgment it is impossible to reach them. Badly affected
plants should in any case be destroyed, but those only
slightly affected may, by careful treatment, permitting
them to experience no check to growth, and propagating
only the healthy tips of the shoots, be restored to a normal
condition. In America, previous to using soil, it is super-
heated during thirty minutes by means of steam-heated
pipes, a process that destroys all living organisms, vegetable
as well as insect, without lowering its qualities as a rooting
and feeding medium. Eelworm is Tylenchus devastatrix.
Eucharis mite has been found lurking in the lower
parts of Carnation stems. I have had no experience of
this, the Rhizoglyphus echinopus, except in connection with
eucharis and amaryllis, when an emulsion of petroleum
applied very hot has been effective for a time.
Green fly is particularly troublesome in the case of pot
plants of all sections, though it is perhaps most destruc-
tive in the case of Malmaisons, rendering not only the
foliage of these unsightly and diseased, but in bad
PESTS AND DISEASES 81
attacks permitted through neglect, destroying the flowers
also. Winter-flowering Carnations are best kept free from
green fly during the winter and spring months by occa-
sionally fumigating with tobacco-paper, or by means of
a vaporizer. The last-named is also suitable in the case
of Malmaisons, though perhaps no more effective aphicide
exists than ordinary tobacco-powder, dusted into the
growing points of the shoots, preferably at short intervals,
in order to prevent green fly gaining a footing ; but
if applied less regularly, no time should be lost, on the
discovery of aphis, in using tobacco-powder. In foliage,
even slightly affected, damage is clearly apparent, but
in cases where aphis has been permitted to live and
propagate, if only during a few days, much harm accrues,
the particular affection resulting having been called
Stigmanose. This pest is generally not much of an
affliction to Border Carnations, on which, if it should
appear, syringing with quassia extract will be found an
efficient remedy. Tits are so fond of aphis that, in
hunting for insects, they are apt to break the stems of
plants, hence though the insect itself is not destructive, the
birds undoubtedly are.
Humble Bees. When these are numerous, the harm
they do is very great. In making a way to the base of
the bloom they twist and ravel the petals into all shapes,
and always split the calyx, leaving the bloom a mere
bunch of rags. They may be debarred from plants
grown under glass by closing all apertures with hexagon
Maggot is productive of much loss unless watchfully
repressed. It is the larva of a fly Hylemia nigrescem^
and attacks young plants, which the fly seems to select in
preference to older ones in which to deposit her eggs.
The attack cannot be prevented, because it is unsuspected
until the maggot has commenced operations under the
epidermis of a leaf, whence it finds its way into a shoot,
82 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
thence to the stem of the plant, where it lives at the
expense of its host. The maggot happily betrays its exist-
ence in the leaf by the mark it and all its kind leaves on
the surface, and if caught at this stage, not much harm
follows. Once in the stem, however, it is difficult to
locate, and in any case the mischief it has effected
is irremediable. Another fly (Phy/oma y sp.) lays her eggs
on Carnations, the larvae feeding on the foliage and
stems during winter, but this is a by no means common
Red spider is sometimes troublesome. Treat as
Slugs are mischievous in the case of Alpine species, the
flowers of which they are exceedingly fond of. A stand-
ing army of thrushes and blackbirds works wonders, and
as a local remedy, tobacco-powder dusted over the plants
may be tried.
Thrips is troublesome mostly on light and dry soils,
though in dry seasons it is apt to spread all over the
country. It also attacks pot plants, mostly in those
instances where the treatment is averse to the Carna-
tion. In bad attacks of this very lively little insect, the
flowers are so much damaged as to be worthless. Fumi-
gating, or vaporizing with Cory and Co.'s lethorion cones,
dusting the buds with tobacco-powder, and in the case
of out-door plants syringing with quassia extract or with
soap-suds to which a very little petroleum has been added,
are each effective. Thrips, when they appear, admit of
no parleying. It is known as Heliothrips htemorrhoidalis.
Wireworm is a terribly destructive foe. It is the well-
known larvae of three species of beetle, Agriotes ttneatus,
A. obscurus, and A. sputator, that feed on :the roots of
plants, those of Carnations proving a favourite morsel.
Repeated exposure of the soil by digging, and permitting
no vegetation to grow on the ground for a period, is
a measure that should be carefully carried out where
PESTS AND DISEASES 83
the soil is known to be infested. Sowing rape-dust on
the surface is said to be a good remedy, but the best
seems to be mustard-waste scattered among the plants,
wireworm being supposed to cherish an aversion to
mustard in any form, living or manufactured. Potting
soil in which wireworm exists should be spread out
thinly, and turned from time to time, exposed to frost
in winter and drought in summer. The measures
taken to destroy eelworm by extreme heat is equally
applicable in the case of these, but cannot, of course, be
effected in the case of beds in the open garden.
Anthracnose is the American name for a parasitic
disease of plants which was first noticed on Carnations
in England in 1902. It is described in The Gardener's
Chronicle, vol. xxxi., third series, p. 193. "The
leaves are at first spotted with small purple roundish
spots. These gradually enlarge and become confluent
and indeterminate, and at length brownish in the centre.
Meanwhile, the leaves become sickly and commence to
die off at the tips." It has been named Glcsosporium
Bacteriosis is a name applied in America to a supposed
disease which has since been found to be the result of
aphis bite, and now called Stigmanose.
Gout is a disease long known to cultivators, the
symptoms of which are a protuberant swelling at the base
of the stem, followed in most cases by the death of the
plant. It is now known to be an aggravated form of
Ring fungus (Helminthisporium echinulatum), com-
monly known in England as " Rust." It is very
destructive to Malmaisons, having been known in not
a few instances to destroy collections in a compara-
tively short time. It is not at all troublesome in the
North of England and in Scotland, and in cases where it
84 THE BOOK OF THE CARNATION
has been introduced on plants from the South, it seems
to naturally disappear, and, in any case, by removing the
affected parts of the foliage it is certain to be stamped out
without further trouble. The appearance of this pest is
so characteristic that there is no mistaking it for anything
else. Its appearance is heralded by a blister-like spot,
which is followed by a dark-brown snuff-like production,
which is the fungus in its perfected condition. At this
stage the spores spread over the foliage of other plants, and
gain a footing so rapidly that it is impossible to check it
with any degree of certainty, and in bad attacks it is
generally conceded that the best plan is to burn the
plants, and so get rid of all disease and start afresh with a
clean batch. Removal of the portions of foliage affected
and repeated washings with some anti-fungoid wash, with
Bordeaux mixture, or, preferably, with ammoniacal copper
carbonate solution sprayed, are means that may be taken
to repress and prevent the spread of this disease. Sufficient
of the last-named to make fifty gallons of spraying material
is composed as follows : To five ounces copper car-
bonate, add sufficient water to form a thick paste. Add
three pints ammonia to dissolve the copper, and preserve
the mixture in air-tight bottles. For spraying, add one
part to a hundred parts of water. The Gardener gives
Water, 9 gallons.
Strong (26 degrees) Aqua Ammonia, 15 fluid ozs.
Copper Carbonate, i J oz.
The copper carbonate is first made into a thin paste
by adding eight and three-quarter fluid ounces of water.
The ammonia water is then slowly added, and when
all the copper carbonate is dissolved a clear, deep blue
solution is obtained, which does not become clouded
when diluted to nine gallons.
Prevention is undoubtedly largely possible if the plants,
PESTS AND DISEASES 85
during the winter season, are grown cool, and perfectly
dry, and at no time subjected to close forcing treatment.
Rust is general mainly on yellow sections of Carnations,
rendering the foliage unsightly, and in all cases weakening
the plants affected. When noticed, the tips of the leaves
should be cut off along with just a little of the clean
portion, and the foliage sprayed from time to time,
choosing a dry day for the purpose. In America another
parasite, Darluca filma, has lately been discovered growing
on the rust plant Uromyces caryophyllinum and acting as
a destructive agent.
Spot is a fatal affection, not only to many Carnations,
but to Dianthi species. It is called Septoria (Uredo)
Dianthi, the ammoniated carbonate of. copper solution
already mentioned being a sure repressive remedy, though
a continuance of dull, damp weather renders abortive all
attempts to stop the disease. Spot is always troublesome
in low-lying, damp localities, while it rarely appears where
the air is dry, hard, and bracing, and the situation open
ON RAISING NEW CARNATIONS
BY MARTIN R. SMITH.
To buy seed of your nurseryman and to sow it is a very simple
process, and may afford a fairly pleasing result ; but to raise a
really good new variety from seed of your own hybridization is a
delight not easily forgotten, and in the joy of the new carnation
born into the world you forget all your past labours and dis-
I will begin, then, with the raising of the seed. The one
essential is a greenhouse, for I cannot advise any one to attempt
to raise seed from plants in the open border. The first point
is the choice of the class of carnations you wish to propagate.
Naturally you cannot gather seed from a house of mixed
carnations and expect good results. There are Flakes and
Bizarres, White and Yellow Ground Picotees, Fancies and
Selfs, and I would counsel the beginner to confine himself at
first to " Selfs." They are hardier as a rule, perhaps better
seeders, and will give a more generally satisfactory result, for
the points of excellence are fewer and of less intrinsic im-
portance. A second-class Self may look splendid in the border,
whereas a second-class Flake or Bizarre is not worth the trouble
In selecting the varieties to breed from, the main points to
consider are size, petal, and calyx. Size is of primary impor-
tance, for a small Self is not worth wasting labour upon, and
there are any number of fine large Selfs now in the market.
Not a less important point is " petal." The petal should be
large, firm, flat, and smooth on the edge (not fimbriated).
Avoid varieties with many small petals in the centre. It is
certainly better to breed from a flower with too few petals
than from one crowded in the centre.
The shape of the calyx is also of much importance. Select
as parents varieties with a long bud, as opposed to the short,
dumpy buds too often seen. These short buds always burst,
and there is no greater disfigurement to a Self than a burst
calyx. It is a fault also that is almost invariably transmitted
to descendants. The bud should be somewhat of the shape of
a Martini-Henry bullet i.e. with a length of about three times
As regards colour, you can have every latitude. A really
good flower may be very valuable to breed from, even if it be
somewhat poor or dull in colour. Some of the best Selfs I
ever raised were from " Germania," the well-known yellow
Self, crossed by a dull " brick-dust " coloured Self.
It will be found necessary to nail some light netting over
the windows and ventilators of the greenhouse, as a house full
of carnations in bloom will attract bees in hundreds, and they
will fertilize hap-hazard a large proportion of the flowers they
visit in their search for honey.
Do not disbud the plants you intend to use for propagating,
and do not feed them artificially, for you do not require big
flowers to breed from ; on the contrary, a flower that has been
pushed into size by disbudding and stimulating food will very
rarely seed at all.
It may be necessary to feed a little as the seed is ripening,
but even this should, if possible, be avoided.
Begin as soon as your plants show flower, for the early seed
is always the best ripened.
Fertilization is effected by taking upon a small camelVhair
brush a little of the pollen from the stamens of one flower and
brushing it very gently and lightly upon the pistils of another,
and the two main points to be considered are, first, whether
the pistils are sufficiently advanced to receive the pollen, and,
secondly, whether the pollen is in a condition to effect fertili-
The pistils are, as a rule, not ready for fertilization until the
flower has been fully out for a day or two. They will then
have attained their full growth, and will be found covered with
minute hairs, which retain and utilize the pollen. It is but
waste of time to attempt to fertilize pistils that are not thus
covered. The pistils remain sensitive to the pollen until the
flower is past its best or has even begun to fade.
The pollen is ready for use the instant the pollen cells
crowning the stamens open, and the sooner it is used the better.
It is, however, above all things essential that it should be
absolutely dry. It is of little or no use to attempt fertilization
in damp weather or when the pollen comes from the stamens
on to the brush " cloggy " or lumpy. It is at its best when it
comes away in a fine, impalpable powder. The hotter and
brighter the weather the more certain will be the fertilization
of the flower, and it stands to reason therefore that no shading
should be used, and that the middle of the day is the best time
The pollen very rapidly deteriorates, and even by the second
day will be often found to have turned yellow and to adhere
to the brush in lumps. It is then useless for purposes of
The maturity of the generative organs differs greatly in all
varieties. In some perhaps the majority the male organs
the stamens are ready first ; in others the pistils or female
organs. Again, in some few maturity is almost simultaneous,
and from such varieties the hybridizer is apt, unless very careful,
to collect and sow seed " self fertilized," with a very disap-
pointing result to follow.
Mrs. Reynolds Hole is an instance of this tendency. It has
a pendulous habit. The pistils ripen early, and the moment
the pollen stamens open the pollen falls on the pistils and the
mischief is done.
When the flower is crossed a small label should be attached
to it, giving the date and the name of the pollen used. If the
fertilization has been successful, it will be found on the second
morning earlier if the weather is hot that the flower has
shut up or collapsed, and you may then mark the label (I snip
off a corner of it) and consider the cross as "sure."
In some varieties the evidence of fertilization is given by the
pistils rotting away, the flower continuing fresh.
The seed will be fit to gather in six or seven weeks after
fertilization, and each pod as taken from the plant should be
placed in a small envelope and marked with the names of the
parents. These envelopes should be kept in an airy, dry place
until it is time, later in the autumn, when they are perfectly
dry, to open them.
When the petals of the impregnated flower are quite dead,
it is well to pull them out of the calyx, as they attract damp,
and may lead to the rotting of the seed-pod. In gathering
the seed a pod will occasionally appear rotten. Examine it
before throwing it away, as it may contain one or two seeds
as yet unaffected, and those will germinate.
The harvested seed may be taken from the pods during the
winter months, and stored again in little envelopes endorsed
with the names of the parents. It will keep thus indefinitely.
I have sown seed three years old which germinated perfectly.
I sow my seed towards the end of February in shallow
pans, and a very sandy soil. In about a month or five weeks
they are ready to prick off into shallow wooden boxes, with a
better soil, and here they may remain until they are planted
out, say, towards the end of May.
The bed to receive them should be double-trenched, and
contain in the bottom of it a liberal dressing of rich cow-dung,
care being taken that the roots of the young plants do not
come within four or five inches of it. As they grow and make
their roots, these reach down into the cow-dung, and take from
it the nutriment they require. The same dung, if put in
contact with the roots when the young plants are placed
in their flowering quarters, would kill the greater part of
The plants may then be left to take care of themselves
through the autumn and coming winter. It is well to keep
pinched back any premature growth. The following summer
many of the plants will be almost " bushes," and give a pro-
fusion of flowers.
The seed from large Selfs properly hybridized should give
50, 60, or 70 per cent, of double flowers, and among these
may be confidently expected some new varieties which will
amply repay the labour expended on them.
Bizarres, 13, 14, 16, 33.
clove, 15, 1 6, 77.
compost for, 27, 37, 46, 72.
disbudding, 22, 30, 39, 88.
history of, n.
*' Malmaison," 34-42.
names of, 14.
Painted Lady, 16.
plants to carpet, 23, 24.
in pots, 25-32.
selections, 24, 26, 27, 33, 42, 46.
self, 1 6.
Cuckoo spit, 79.
a. ruber, 2,
D ianthus continued.
barbatus, 2, 64.
b. latifolius, 7.
c. grandijlorus, 3.
CartJtusianorum y 4, 64.
caucasicus t 4*
chinensis, 5, 47, 58.
f. Heddewigij 47.
cruentus t 5.
</. glaucus, 5.
Freyneri t 6.
D ianthus continued,
n. albus t 7.
/>. annulatus, 8.
/>. Cyclops" 8.
^>. hybridusy 8.
5. collina, 9.
suavis, 9 .
5. c/iinensis, IO.
f. garnerianitSf 9.
j. nanus t 10.
FANCY CARNATIONS, 16, 27
Fertilization, 71, 88.
Flakes, 13, 14, 1 6, 33.
GlLl FLOUR E, II.
Green fly, 80.
Grenadin Carnation, 18.
Humble Bees, 81.
LONDON PRIDE, 65.
" Malmaison " Carnations, 34.
compost for, 37.
for winter flowering, 39.
history of, 35.
selection of, 42.
structure for, 41.
Marguerite Carnation, 18, 49.
Mule Pinks, 48, 58, 60, 63, 65.
ORANGE-TAWNY CARNATIONS, n.
PAINTED LADIES, 13, 16, 65.
Picotee, 14, 17, 19, 25-32.
selection, white-ground, 33.
Pink, Amoor, 5.
Black and White, 8, 52.
Border, Garden or Forcing, 53, 56.
of Austria, 9.
Laced, 8, 52.
history of, 54.
selection of, 56.
history, 58, 59.
list of sorts, 59-63.
Propagation by cuttings, 74.
by grafting, 77.
by layers, 76, 77.
by pipings, 74.
by seeds, 69, 90.
Red spider, 82.
Rust, 83, 84.
SEEDLINGS, 73, 90.
Small Honesties, 5, 51.
Sops-in-Wine, 4, 51.
Sweet Johns, 4, 64.
Child ing, 9.
Sweet Williams, 2, 64.
history of, 64.
cultivation of, 66.
WHOLE BLOWERS, 13.
Handbooks of Practical Gardening
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