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This book may be kept out 







3 74- 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by 


At the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New- York. 

LovEJOY & Son, 

Elkctkotypeks and Stereotypers. 

15 Vandewatcr street N. Y. 


Fifteen years have passed since the author published 
his " Book of Flowers." In 1856 a new edition was is- 
sued, to which 60 pages were added in an appendix. 

The Avork had a large and generous ])atronage, and 
many thousands of copies were circulated during the ten 
following years. 

Time makes great changes in all the pursuits of life, 
and in none more than it has in Floriculture during the 
last 15 years ; consequently, the book in question had be- 
come antiquated like tlie author, and needed revision, 
which I hope he does not, extensively. 

But when the work was taken in hand, it was deemed 
advisable to make a new book, rather than to attempt the 
revision of the old one, as it would be like putting new 
cloth to an old garment, to try to patch it up. That the 
laborous task of writing a new book was considered a ne- 
cessity which, at the advanced age of more than three 
score years and ten, was not so pleasant to contemplate. 
But, having been familiar with the culture of flowers from 
childhood, with a general knowledge of most plants known 
in this climate, the task was made easy, notwithstanding 
the weai'iness of the flesh. And now, after a year's writ- 
ing, revising and correcting, "Breck's New Book of 
Flowers " is presented to the flower-loving public, who, if 
they love flowers as well as the author, will, no doubt, ap- 
preciate his labors. He hopes the innocent, improving, 
!^ and healthy pleasures to be derived from the art and prac- 
- , tice of Floriculture, may be greatly increased by the in- 
struction and encourao-ement he has endeavored to cfive. 
Lo While much of the book is entirely new, and the ar- 
2 rangement greatly improved, some parts of the old work 



have been embodied in its pages, Avhere it was thought no 
improvement could be made. 

To the publishers the author is greatly indebted for 
many corrections in the botanical portion of the work, in 
making it conform to the present state of botanical science. 

While this work has been made as simple as possible, 
and not encumbered with technical terms, it was thougTit 
to be important to give the true scientific name to every 
plant as well as the common one. 

To all lovers of flowers we would recommend the study 
of Botany, especially to all who have time, and almost 
every one can find time if there is a will to do it. 

A description of hardy and evergreen trees, as in the 
old book, has been omitted, as we consider the work as a 
Book of Flowers complete without it. 

The number of pages exceeds nearly one hundred more 
than in the old book. 

There may be many interesting ornamental plants known 
to some of our readers, that have been omitted. 

It has been the object of the writer to confine himself 
to such plants as can be cultivated without much difficulty, 
in the open ground in this climate. 

The author hopes, that his " New Book of Flowers " 
will meet with as much favor as the old one has done, and 
be instrumental in increasing the pleasure of those, who 
take delight in contemj^lating the exquisite beauty which, 
a God of Love, has been pleased to bestow upon flowers. 

" Who can paint 

Like nature ? Can imagination boast, 
Amid its gay creation, imes lilie these ? 
Or can it mix them willi that matchless skill, 
And lose them in eacli other, as appears 
In every bud that blows ! " 
" In the sweet-scented picture heavenly artis t I 
With which, thou paintesl nature's wide-spread hall, 
What a delightful lesson thou impartest 
Of love to all?" 

Boston, March 28, 1866. 


The Utility of Flowers . '. 13 

The Lily of the Field 22 

The Vitality of Seeds, and Remarks on Planting 25 

Selection of Flowering-Plants 33 

Plants for Bedding. 36 

Double Flowers 37 

Color of Plants and Flowers 40 

Construction of Bouquets 47 

Protection of Plants 50 

Support and Training: of Plants 52 

Laying out the Flower-garden 53 

On Lawns 62 

Rock- work. 63 

Aquarium, Plants for, etc 69 

Cultivation of Parlor Plants 72 

Potting of Plants 79 

Insects injurious to Plants 82 

Flowering of Bulbous Roots in Pots and Glasses 93 

On the Culture of Perennials, Biennials, and Annuals 96 

" " Hardy Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs 103 

Descriptive List of Perennial, Annual, and Biennial-flowers 108 

" " Hardy flowering Shrubs, Suitable for the Shrubbery 395 


Abronia 110 

Achillea. Ill 

Aconitum Ill 

Acroclinium 112 

Actaea.. 161 

Adam's Needle 392 

Adders' Tongue, Yellow 209 

Adlumia 113 

Adonis 113 

African Hibiscus ,.241 

African Rose 309 

Afternoon Ladies 291 

Ageratum 115 

Air 81 

Alder, Black 416 

Alder-leaved Clethra 405 

Alleghany Vine 113 

Almond 396 

Alonsoa 115 

A loxjsia 421 

Althaea 116 

Althoea 415 

Alyssum '. 119 

Amaranth 119 

Amarantus 119 

Amaryllis 121 

Amelanchier 395 

American Centaury 346 

" Cowslip 205 

" Holly 416 

" Laurel 418 

" Woodbine 396 

Amethyst, Blue 139 

Ametliystea 121 

Ammoblum 123 

A morpha 395 

Ampelopsis 396 

Amsonia 123 



Amvgdalus 396 

AriMgallis 123 

Anemone 124 

Anemone 361 

Anchusa 124 

Androscemum 245 

Animated Oat 136 

Annuals 99 

Anthemis 128 

Antirrhinum 128 

Apios 129 

Aquarinm 69 

Aquilegia . 130 

Arctotis- 132 

Argemone 133 

Aristolocliia 398 

Aimeria 134 

Asclepsias 134 

Aster 135 

'' China 141 

Astraiitia 136 

Auricul,ji 334 

Autumnal Crocus 176 

Avena 136 

Azalea 398 

Balloon Vine 153 

Balm, MoMavian 206 

" of Gilead .... 207 

Balsam , 247 

Balsam Apple 291 

Pear 292 

Baptisia ,...136 

Barbai y Box-Thorn 424 

Barherrv 401 

Bartonia 283 

Basil 299 

Bean-Hyacinth 205 

Beauty of the Night 291 

Beil.ling Plants 36 

Bedsiraw 218 , 

Bell flower 146 I 

Bell-wort 378 

Belie de Nuit 291 

Bellis 137 

Benzoin 400 

Berberis 401 

Berberry 401 

Bergamot 292 

Biennials 98 

Bigrumia 474 

Bindweed 145-171 

Birtii-wort 387 

Bitter-Sweet, Clinabing 404 

Bitter Vetch 302 

Black Alder 416 

" Cohosh 161 

" Snake-root 161 

Bladder Senna 406 

Biec'liiig Heart 201 

Blf)od-root 348 

Blue Amethyst 139 

" Bottle 155 

" Flap 253 

Bonpset 210 

Houquuts 47 

Bouvardia 138 

Box 402 

Box Edging 59 

Brachycoine 138 

Bracted Poppy 310 

Bramble 466 



Brompton Stock 280 

Broom 468 

Browallia 139 

Buckthorn 429 

Buffalo Currant 436 

" Tree 467 

Bugbane 161 

Bugloss 124 

Bulbous Perennials 97 

Bulbous Roots in Pots 93 

Glasses 93 

Burning Bush 413 

Bush Honeysuckle 411 

Butter-Cup 337 

Butterfly -weed 135 

Buxus 402 

CacaLia 355 

Calampelis 207 

Caiandrinia 139 

Calceolaria 140 

Calendula . 140 

California Poppy 209 

Calliopsis 173 

Callirrhoe 140 

Callistephus 141 

Caltha 144 

Calycanthus 403 

Calystegia 145 

Campanula 146 

Canary Bird Flower 366 

Candytuft 245 

Canna 151 

Canterbury Bells 147 

Carolina Allspice 403 

Cantua 222 

Caper Spurge 211 

Cardamine 152 

Cardinal Flower 267 

Cardiospermuui 153 

Carnation 1^)3 

Cassia .153 

Castor-Oil Plant 345 

Catananche 153 

Catch fly 355 

Caterpillar 283 

Ceanothus. 404 

Celastrus 404 

Celosia 154 

Centaurea 155 

Centau ry, American 346 

Centranthus 156 

Cerasus 428 

Ceraslium tomentosum 69 

Cercis . 405 

Chalcedonian Iris .251 

Lily... 260 

Chamomile 128 

Cheiranthus 156 

Chclono 157 

Ckelone 315 



Chequered Lily 213 

Cherry 428 

China Aster UI 

Chinese Clirysanthemum 157 

Primrose 334 

Wistaria 478 

Chionanthns 405 

Christmas Rose ■■ 236 

Chrysanihemii in 357 

" Chinese 1'7 

Chryseis 209 

Cimioifuga 161 

Ciiiquefoil 331 

Clarkia 161 

Clematis 163 

Cleome 165 

Clethra 405 

Climbing Bitter-sweet 404 

Climbing Fumitory 113 

Clintonia 206 

Ciove Giily-flower 195 

Cobaea 166 

Cocks-comb 154 

Cohosh, Black 161 

Coleus 168 

Collinsia 168 

CoUomia 169 

Colutea 406 

Columbine 130 

Com frey 359 

Coinmelyna 169 

Composts 74 

Cone-flower. 207 

Conoclinum 1 "0 

Convallaria 170 

Convolvulus 171 

Convolvulus 146 

Coral Berry 472 

Cor chorus 419 

Coreopsis.. . 173 

Cornel 406 

Corn Flag 224 

" Poppv 309 

" Sedge 224 

Cornus 406 

Coronilla 406 

Corydalis 174 

rorydnlis 113-202 

Cowslip 332 

" American 205 

Cranberry Tree 478 

Cranesbill 221 

Crataegus 408 

Crepis.. 175 

Crimson Balm 292 

Crocus. 175 

Crow-foot 337 

Crown, Imperial 212 

Cuckoo Flower 152 

Cuphea 176 

Curled Mallow 277 

Currant 435 

Cydonia 409 

Cypress Vine 335 

Cvpripedium 177 

Cytisus ....410 

Dacotah Potato 129 

Daffodil 295 

Dahlia 178 

Daisv , 137 

" Swan 138 

Dalibarda repens 67 

Dame's Violet 239 

Daphne 410 

Datnra 187 

Day-Lily 215-237 

Delphinium 1S8 

Descriptive List of Flowers 108 

Dentzia 411 

Devil-in-the-Bush 298 

Diamond Jicoides 285 

Diamond-Plant 285 

Diantlms 193 

Dicentra - 201 

Discipline des Religieuses 120 

Diclytra 201 

Dictamnus 202 

Didiscus 203 

Dielytra 201 

Dier villa 411 

Digitalis 203 

Dirca 413 

Dodecatheoii 205 

Dog's-tooth Violet 209 

Dogwoo'l 406 

" Poison 435 

Dolichos 205 

Downingia. 206 

Dracoceplialum 206 

Uracocepkalum, 324 

Dragon's Head 206 

Dri>pw()rt ■ 358 

Dutchman's Breeches 202 

Pipe 397 

Dwatf Almond 396 

" Convolvulus 171 

Eceremocarpus 207 

Eciiinacea 207 

Edgings.. 59 

Elder 467 

Elder-scented Iris.. 252 

Elegant Madia. 276 

English Cowslip 332 

Holly 416 

" Iris 252 

Ivy 414 

Epiga^a repens 66 

Epilobium 20S 

Erysimum 208 

Erythronium 209 

Eschscholtzia 209 

Enonymus 413 

Eupatorium 210 

Eupatoriam 1 70 

Eupliorbia 211 

Entoca 318 

Evening Beauty 291 

" Primrose 300 

Everlasting Flower 234 

Pea -256 

False Dragon's-head 324 

" Indigo 136-395 



False Orchis 324 

Fennel-flower 398 

Fenzli;i '2'22 

Fever Bush 400 

Fever- few 160 

Fi^o del Inferno 133 

Flax 266 

Florentine Iris 253 

Fiovver-de-Luce 251 

Flowers, A rrran£?ing in Vases 47 

Color of 40 

*' Descriptive List of 108 

'• Doable 37 

Utility of 13 

Flower-garden, To lay out 55 

" Situation of 54 

Soil for 54 

Flowering Almond 396 

" Dogwood 407 

Flowering Plants, Arrangement of. 32 

" Selection of 32 

" Raspberry 466 

" Spurge 211 

Forget-me-not 294 

Forefatlier's Cup 350 

Four o'clock 290 

Foxglove 203 

Fragaria tndica 68 

Fraxinella 20-i 

Fringed Gentian 220 

Fringe Tree 405 

Fritillaria 212 

Persian 213 

Fuclisia 214 

Fumitory, Climbing = 113 

Funkia 215 

Gaillardia 216 

Galanthus 216 

Galium 218 

Garden Anemone 125 

Balsam 247 

" Chamomile 128 

Hyacinth 241 

•' Poppy 308 

Rncket 239 

Tulip 371 

Gaultlieria 67 

Gaura 218 

Gazania 219 

Gentian 220 

Gentiana 220 

Georgina 181 

Geranium 221-310 

German Iris 253 

Giant Solomon's Seal 329 

Gilia 222 

Gilliflower 280 

Gladiolus 224 

Glaucium 230 

Globe Amaranth 232 

" Glol)e Crow-foot 370 

"■ Flower 370 

" Ranunculus 370 

Glycine 478 

Goal's Beard 359 

Godetia 231 

Golden Chain 410 

Golden Eternal Flower 234 

Golden Rod 356 

Golden Senecio 354 

Golden-striped Lily 264 

Gomplirena 232 

Gooseberry 435 

Grand flowering Malope 276 

Grape Hyacinth 292 

Grass, Quaking 138 

Great Laurel 430 

G'"eat Snowdrop , 217 

Great Throatw ort 150 

Greek Valerian 326 

Ground-nut 129 

Groundsel 354 

Haage's Lychnis 274 

Halberd-leaved Rose-Mallow 240 

Halesia 414 

Hardback 469 

Hare-Bell 146 

Hawthorn 409 

Hearts-ease 387 

Heart-seed 153 

Heath Pea 302 

Iledera 414 

Hedgehog ... 263 

Helianthus 233 

Helichrysum 234 

Heliotrope 235 

Heliotropium 235 

Helipterum 236 

Hellebore 236 

Helleborus 236 

Hemerocallis 237 

Hemerocallis 215 

Hepatica 67-237 

Herb d'amour 343 

Hesperis 239 

Hibiscus 240-415 

High Cranberry 478 

Hobble Bush 477 

Hollv 416 

Hollyhock 116 

Holly-leaved Barberry 402 

Honesty 271 

Honeysuckle 422 

False 433 

Hoop-petticoat Narcissus 296 

Horned Poppv 230 

Horn-stalked Datura 187 

Horse Mint 292 

Houstonia 66 

Hyacinth 241 

Hyacinth-Bean 205 

Hyacinth, Grape 292 

H vacinthus 241 

Hyacinth, Star 353 

Hypericum 245-415 

Iberis 245 

Ice-Plant 2S5 

Ilex 416 

Immortal Flower 234 

Impatiens 247 

Indian Cress 366 

" Currant 472 



Indian Shot 151 

Tobacco 270 

Indigo, False 136 

Shrub.. 417 

Indigo Morning-Glory 250 

Indigofera 417 

Ink Berry 416 

Insects on Garden Plants 82 

" House Plants 76 

Intermediate Stock 2S0 

Ipomsea -249 

Ipomoea. . . , 335 

Ipomopsis :, ..222 

Iris 251 

Italian Bugloss 124 

Ivy 414 

" Poison 435 

Ivy-leaved Morning-Glory 250 

Jacobea 354 

Jacobean Lily 121 

Jacob's Ladder. 326 

Jamestown Weed 187 

Jasmine 417 

Jasminum 417 

Japan Globe-flower 419 

" Lily 261 

" Quince.. 409 

Jimson Weed 187 

Joe Pye Weed 210 

Jonquil 295 

Joseph's Goat - 119 

Judas Tree 405 

June-berry 395 

Kalmia 418 

Kerria 419 

Kidney Bean 319 

Laburnum 410 

Lady's Ear-Drop 214 

Lady's Slipper 140-177 

Lady's Smock 152 

Lamium 254 

Lantana 254 

Large Bell-flower 325 

Lark's-claws 188 

Lark's-heel 1S8 

Larkspur 188 

Lasthenia 255 

Lathyrus 256 

Laurel 418 

Laurus 400 

Lavandula 479 

Lavatera 257 

Lavender 419 

Lawns ^ 62 

Layers 99 

Laying out Flower-garden 54 

Leatlier Wood 413 

Le Glaieul 224 

LeptodactyLon 222 

Leptosiphon 222 

Leucojum 217 

Liglit 81 

Ligustrum 420 

Lilac 472 

Lily 257 

'* Chequered 213 

" Persian 213 

" of the Field , 22 

" of the Valley 170 

Liiium 257 

Limnanthes 265 

Linaria 129-265 

Linum 266 

Lippia 421 

L'lris de Constantinople 251 

•' de Suse 251 

Liver-wort .. 237 

Loasa 266 

Lobelia 267 

Locust Tree 436 

London Pride 351 

Lonicera 422 

Loose Strife 275 

Love-grove = 296 

Love-in-a-mist 298 

Love in a Puff 153 

Love Lies Bleeding 120 

Lunaria 27 1 

Lungwort 284 

Lupin 271 

Lupinus 271 

Lychnis 273 

Lycium 424 

Lysiraachia 275 

Lvthrum 275 

Madia 376 

Magnolia 424 

Mahonia 402 

Mallows 277 

Malope 276 

Malv 277 

Many-flowered Sunflower 234 

Marigold 359 

'• Marsh 144 

Pot ....140 

Marsh Marigold 144 

Martynia 278 

Marvel of Peru 290 

Maryland Cassia 153 

Mathiola 280 

Matrimony Vine 424 

Maurandia 282 

Meadow Lily 263 

Meadow-Rue 361 

Meadow-sweet 357 

Medicago 283 

Medick 283 

Medusa's Trumpet 296 

Melolontha subspinosa 88 

Mentzelia 283 

Mertensia 284 

Mesembryanthemum 2^5 

Mexican Cobsea 166 

Sage 347 

Tiger-flower 303 

Mezereum 410 

Mignonette 341 

Milkweed „ 134 

Mimosa 265 

Mimulus 288 

ilfirabilis , 290 

Missouri Currant 436 


Mist-flower 170 

Mitchella repens 66 

Mock Orange 427 

Moldavian Balm 206 

Momorciica 291 

Moiiarda 292 

Moneywort 275 

Monkey-flower 288 

Monkshood Ill 

Morning Glory 249 

Moss Pink 320 

Mountain Laurel 418 

Mourning Bride 352 

Mullein 379 

Mullein Pink 275 

Miiscari 292 

Musk Plant 289 

Myosotis 294 

Narcissus 295 

Nasturtium 366 

Nemophila 296 

New Jersey Tea 404 

Nicotiana ., 297 

Nierembergia 298 

Nigella 298 

Nine-bark 469 

Molana 299 

Nun's Whipping Rope 120 

Nuphar 71 

Nuttall's Weed 174 

Nymphaea 70 

Oat 136 

Ocynnim 299 

CEnothera , 300 

Opium Poppy SOS 

Orange Lily 259 

Orchis; 301-324 

Oriental Poppy 309 

Orobus 302 

Oswego Tea 292 

Paeonia 303 

Pale Corvdalis 174 

" Daffodil 295 

Palestine Mustard 208 

Palma Christ! 345 

Pansy 387 

Papaver 308 

Parlor, Plants for 72-77 

Pasque Flower 124 

Pea, E verlasting 256 

" Heath 302 

" Sweet 256 

" Wood 302 

Peach 890 

Pelargonium 310 

Pentstemon 313 

Peony . . 303 

Perennials, Bulbous , 97 

" Herbaceous 98 

Perilla 316 

Periwinkle 384 

Persian Fritillary 213 

Lilac 473 

Lily 213 

Petilium 213 

Petit Muget 218 

Petunia 316 

Phacelia 318 

Phaseolus 319 

Pheasant's Eye 113 

Philadelphus. 427 

Plilox 320 

Physostegia 324 

Pickerel-weed 71 

Picotee Poppy 308 

Pied d'Alouette 188 

Pimpernel 123 

Pink 193 

Pink Mullein 275 

Plants, Bedding 36 

" Color of 40 

" Protection of 50 

" Supports for: 52 

" Training of 52 

" For the Aquarium 69 

" For Ornamental Ponds 69 

" Cultivation in Parlors 72 

" Re-potting 79 

Platanthera ,. 324 

Platycodon 325 

Plum 428 

Poet's Narcissus 296 

Poison, Dogwood 435 

Ivy 435 

" Sumach 435 

Polemonium 326 

Polianihes 326 

Polyanthus 332 

Polyanthus Narcissus 296 

Polygonatum 329 

Pompone Lily 260 

Pond Lily 70 

Pontederia. 71 

Poor Man's Weather-glass 123 

Poppy 308 

" California 209 

" Prickly.. 133 

Porlulaca 329 

Potentilla. 331 

Pot Marigold 140 

Potting 79 

Prickly Poppy 133 

Prim 420 

Primrose 332 

Primrose Peerless 295 

Primula 332 

Prince's Feather 120 

Prinos 416 

Privet 420 

Protection of Plants 50 

Prunus 428 

Pulmoiiaria 284 

Purple Cone-flower 207 

Purple Everlasting 391 

Purple- eyed Crepis 175 

Purple-leaved Perilla 316 

Purslane 329 

Pyrethrum 160 

Quaking Grass 138 

Quamoclit 335 

Queen of the Meadows 357-46» 

Ragged Robin . 274 



Rag- wort 354 

Ram's Head 178 

Ranunculus 337 

Raspbeirv, Flowering 466 

Red Balm 292 

Red Bud 405 

Red Lily 263 

Re-pliinting 79 

Reseda , 341 

Reseue d'Egypte 343 

Rhainnus 429 

Rhodanthe 343 

Rhododendron 430 

Rhodora 433 

Rhus 433 

Ribes 435 

Ricinus 345 

Robinia 436 

Rock Work 63 

" " Plants for 66 

Rocket, Garden 239 

Roots, Division of 99 

Rosa 436 

Rose 436 

Rose A-cacia 437 

Rose-bay 430 

Rose Bug 88 

Rose Chafer 88 

Rose Campion 275 

Rose-Mallow 240 

Rose of Sharon 415 

Rose Slug 83 

Rubus 466 

Rudbeckia 345 

Rudbeckia 207 

Rue- Anemone 361 

Sabbalia 346 

Sage 347 

Sagittaria 71 

Salpiglossis 346 

Salvia 347 

Sambucus 467 

Sanguinaria 348 

Sarracenia 350 

Saxifraga 68-3;-)! 

Saxifrage 351 

Scabiosa 352 

Scarlet Geranium 310 

" Lychnis 273 

" Morning Glory 337 

" Runner 319 

" Tassel Flower 355 

Schizantiius 352 

Schizopetalon 353 

Scilla 353 

Scorpion Senna 406 

Sea Celandine 230 

Sedum 68-354 

Seeds, Depth to Sow 29 

" Vitality of. 25 

Selandiia rosfe 83 

Senecio 354 

Senna, Wild 153 

Sensitive Plant 285 

Shad-Bush 395 

Sheep Laurel 418 

Shepherdia 467 

Shooting Star 205 

Shot Plant 151 

Showy Lady's Slipper 178 

Shrubby Althaea 415 

Shrubs, Culture of 103 

Season for Planting 104 

" Soil for 106 

Side-saddle-flower 350 

Silene 355 

Silver-bell Tree 414 

Sky-blue Commelyna 169 

" Didiscws 203 

" Iris. . i 253 

Smoke Tree 434 

Smooth Lungwort 284 

Snails 283 

Snake-root, Black 161 

Snap-Dragon 128 

Sneeze wort Ill 

Snow Ball 476 

Snowberry 472 

Snowdrop 216-414 

Soap- won Gentian 220 

Solidasio 356 

Solomon's Seal 170-329 

Sophora 136 

Spangled-beau 285 

Spanish Iris 252 

Spartium 468 

Specularia 356 

Speedwell 384 

Sphoenogyne 357 

Spider-wort, 364 

Spindle Tree 413 

Spiraea 357-469 

Spoon Wood 418 

Spring Crocus 175 

Spurge 211 

St. John's-wort 245-415 

St. Peter's Wreath 4C9 

Stag-iiorn Sumach 433 

Staff Tree 404 

Star-flower 135 

Star Hyacinth 353 

Star Petunia 297 

Slar-Thisile 155 

Starry Morning Glory 250 

Sleeple-bush 469 

Stock 280 

Stone Crop 354 

Strawberry Tree. 413 

Suckers 99 

Sugar Pear 395 

Sumach 433 

Sun-flower 2:53 

Superb Lily 263 

Supports for Plants 52 

Swan Daisy 138 

Sweet Basil 299 

Sweet Pea 256 

Sweet Rocket 239 

Sweet Scabious 352 

Sweet Sultan 155 

Sweet William 198 

Sword Lily 224 



Symphoiicarpus 472 

S'ympliyturn . ;i59 

►Syrian Mallow '277 

Syiinga 427-472 

Squill 3r)3 

Squirrel-Corn 202 

Swam,') Honeysuckle 308 

Swamp Pink 397 

Sweet Pepi)er-busli 40.') 

Sweet-scented Slirub 403 

Sweet Verbena 421 

Tagetes 3')9 

Tamarix 473 

Tamarisk 473 

Tartarian Honeysuckle 422 

Tassel Flower ... 355 

Tecoma 474 

Ten Week's Stock 2H0 

Thalictrum '601 

Thif-tle, Star 155 

Thorn Apple 187 

Thoroughwort 210 

Thready Yucca 392 

Thrift 134 

Throatwort, Great ITiO 

Thunbergia 3f)2 

Tinrella 08-302 

Tiger-flower :5G3 

Tiger Lily 2G0 

Tigridia 303 

Toad Flax 205 

Tobacco. 297 

" Indian 270 

Tradescanlia 304 

Training of Plants 52 

Treacle Mustard 20H 

Tree, Box 403 

" Cranberry 478 

" Hibiscus.. . 415 

•' Mignonette 342 

" Peony 304 

Trillium 304 

Tritoma 305 

Trollius 370 

Tro[)ajolu m 300 

Trumpet-flower 474 

Trumpet Honeysuckle 422 320 

Tulipa 371 

T'ulip 371 

Turk's Cap Lily 259 

Turtle-head 157 

Tutsan 245 

Two-leaved Lady's Slipper 177 

Unicorn Plant 278 

Uvularia 37H 

Valerian 379 

Valeriana 379 

Variegated Spurge 2' 2 

Venetian Sumach 434 

Venus' Looking-glass 350 

Verbas(;um 379 

Verbena 3S0 

Vrrhena 421 

Veronica ....384 

Vervain 380 

Viburnum 470 

Vinca 384 

Viola 07-380 

Violet 380 

Virginian Dragon-head 324 

Virginian Convolvulus 249 

Virginian (Creeper 390 

Virgin's Bower 103 

Waklenbergia 325 

Walks 57 

Wall Flower 156 

Water 80 

Water Lily 70 

Wax work. 404 

Wayfaring Tree 477 

West.jrn Wall-flower 208 

Wliale Oil Soa;) 80 

White Lily 258 

Whitlavia 391 

Wliip-poor-will's Sjioe 177 

Wicopy 413 

Wiegela 411 

Wild Senna 153 

Willow-herb 208-275 

Wind Flower 1 24 

Wistaria 478 

Wolfsbane 112 

Wood Anemone 125 

Woodbine 422 

Wood Fringe 113 

Wood Pea 302 

World's Wonder 291 

Xerantliemum . . 391 

Yarrow ill 

Yellow Adder's Tongue... 209 

Yellow Horned- Poppy 2.30 

Yellow Lady's Slipper 177 

Yucca 392,hneria 392 

Zinnia 393 




" Not useles? arc ye flowers ; though tiiade for i)lc:i.siMC, 
Bloomirif.j o'er fields, and wave by day and ni^lit 
From every source your saiiotiori bids mo treasure 

Harmless delight."— //wrarc Smilh. 

Flowers :iro the expression of (Jod's love 1,o iiiun. Ono 
of the highest uses, therefore;, which e;ui be wv.ula in cori- 
templatirj<^ these beautiful crciations, in ;iil their variety 
and splendor, is, that our thoiii^hts and aH'cctions may be 
drawn upwards to ITirri who has so l)Onntifiiliy sprc^ad over 
the faee of tlie wliole eartli, sueh a vast })rofiisiofi of th(!se 
beautiful objects, as tokens of his love to us. The; more 
we examine flowers, especially when tin; ey(! is assisttid l>y 
the microscope, tin; more we must adoi-e the matchless 
skill of the (xreat Su[)reme. Wc; must Ix; un<^rateful in- 
deed, not to acknowl(!<li^e his uns[)(;akable f^oodnciss in thus 
providing so libtM-ally for the; haj)piness and pl(;asin-(! of J lis 
children here ]>elow. 

The Saviour of men, while on earth, often retired to the 
gardens nbont Jeriis;dem to sfXTid a (juiet honi- with His 
disciples, or alone-, and no <lonl>t look plcusiiiv! in (-ontcm- 
]>lating flowers. W(; mH know how He spake of tin; lily: 
*' H(;hol<l the lilies of IIm- fieM, how they ^j,r<}\v \ llioy toil 

14 beeck's new book of flowers. 

not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you that 
Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." 
How surely would Solomon himself have agreed with this 
beautiful speech ! that his wise heart loved the flowers, the 
lily especially, is evident from the numerous passages in 
his song. The object of his love in claiming a supreme 
dignity of beauty, exclaims : " I am the rose of Sharon, 
and the lily of the valley." 

The Emperor Dioclesian preferred his garden to a throne : 

"Methinks I see great Dioclesian walk 
la the Salonian garden's noble shade 
Which by his own iinperial hands was made ; 
I see him smile, methinks, as he does talk 
With the ambassadors, who came in vain 
T'entice him to a throne again. 
' If I, my friends,' said he, ' should to you show 
All the delights which in these gardens grow, 
'Tis likelier far that you with me should stay, 
Than 'tis that you should carry me away; 
And trust me not, my friends, if, every day, 
I walk not here with more delight, 
Than ever, after the most happy fight. 
In trinmph to the capital I rode. 

To thank the gods, and to be thought myself almost a god.' " 

Cowley^s Garden. 

There is a class of men who whould pare down every 
thing to the mere grade of utility who think it the height 
of wisdom to ask, when one manifests an enthusaism in the 
culture of flowers, " of what use are they ? " With such 
we have no sympathy. We will not say with the late 
Henry Colman, in case such an interrogatory being put to 
us that " our first impulse is to look under his Jiat^ and see 
the length of his ears^^ but we are always inclined in such 
cases to thank God that our tastes do not correspond with 
their's. "Better," (say these ultra utilitarians,) "devote 
our time to the culture of things useful and needed to 
sustain life, than to employ it on things, which, like flow- 
ers, are intended only to look at and please the eye." 
'But why,' would we ask, *why should not the eye be 


pleased ?' What pleasures more pure, more warming to 
the heart, more improving to the mind, more chastening to 
the affections, than those which come through the eye! 
Where are more luminously displayed the perfections of 
the Creator, than in the star spangled heavens above, and 
the floAver spangled earth beneath? 

" Your voiceless lips, oh flowers, are living preachers, 
Each cup a pulpit, and each leaf a book. 
Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers 

From the loneliest nook."— /Horace Smith. 

Nonsense, — sheer nonsense to tell us it is useless to 
cultivate flowers. They add to the charms of our homes, 
rendering them more attractive and beautiful, and they 
multiply and strengthen the domestic ties which bind us to 
them. We would not advocate the cultivation of flowers 
to the neglect of more necessary objects. Attending to 
the one, does not involve neglect of the other. Every 
man engaged in the culture of the earth, can find time to 
embelhsh his premises who has the will to do it, and we pity 
the family of the man who has not. " Rob the earth of 
its flowers, the wondrous mechanism of the Almighty, 
and we should lose the choicest mementos left us that 
it was once a paradise." 

" Ye bright Mosaics I that with storied beauty 
The floor of nature's temple tesselate, 
What numerous emblems of instructive duty 

Your forms create.— //orace Smith. 

" We have no sympathy with those, who would dese- 
crate and pare down the loveliness of earth to the grade 
of mere utility — who can discover no beauty in the open- 
ing bud and blushing flower, and whose exertions are 
limited on all occasions by a parsimonious idolatry and 
worse than idiotic privation of sensibility to the madden- 
ing love of Gold." The love of flowers is a sentiment 
common alike to the great and little ; to the old and young ; 

16 breck's new book of flowers. 

to the learned and the ignorant ; to the iUustrious and the 
obscure, while the simplest child may take delight in them. 
They may also prove a recreation to the most profound 
philosopher. Lord Bacon himself did not disdain to bend 
his mighty intellect to the subject of their culture. 

The orreat men of our own a^e as well as those of the 
past, have given in their verdict in favor of the great util- 
ity of the practice of horticulture in refining and elevat- 
ing the mind. I cannot refrain from alluding to some of 
the remarks made by Daniel Webster, Caleb Gushing, and 
other distinguished guests at the remarkable and interest- 
ing festival, held by the Massachusetts Horticultural So- 
ciety at Fanueil Hall, in September 1845. At this grand 
festival six hundred ladies and gentlemen sat down to a 
sumptuous feast. The tables, fourteen in number, were 
arranged lengthway of the hall, while at the end was a 
raised platform, where were seated the president of the 
society, Marshall P. Wilder, with the numerous invited 
illustrious guests. The tables were loaded with every del- 
icacy ; but their crowning glory was, the great profusion 
of delicious fruits and a magnificent display of gorgeous 
flowers, and the absence of all intoxicating liquors. The 
scene was exciting and brilliant, enlivened by a band of 
music, interspersed by appropriate songs, while the elo- 
quent remarks from the distinguished guests, with the nu- 
merous sentiments in praise of horticulture, produced a 
scene never be forgotten. 

The Hon. Daniel Webster made the following remarks : 
"I congratulate you, Mr. President, that our flowers 
are not 

" ' Born to blush unseen 
And waste their sweetness on the desert air." ' 

" The botany we cultivate, the productions of the busi- 
ness of horticulture, the plants of the garden, are cul- 
tivated by hands as delicate as their own tendrils, viewed 


by countenances as spotless and pure as their own petals, 
and watched by eyes as brilliant and full of lustre, as their 
own beautiful exhibitions of splendor. 

" Horticulture is one pursuit of natural science in which 
all sexes and degrees of education and refinement unite. 
Nothing is too pohshed to see the beauty of flowers. 
Nothing too rough to be capable of enjoying them. It 
attracts, delights all. It seems to be a common field, 
where every degree of taste and refinement may unite, 
and find opportunities for their gratification." 

The Hon. Josiah Quincy, senior, remarked, " that in the 
Horticultural Hall, he had witnessed the wonders wrought 
by the florist's hand ; he had seen there what man could 
do, by labor and taste, to enlarge, beautify, and multiply 
the bounties of nature ; he had seen how art and wisely 
employed capital were permitted by heaven, to improve 
its own gifts, and felt how impossible it was by language, 
to express the beauty of fruits and flowers, which nature 
and art had combined to improve. Nor could he refrain 
from reflecting that all was the work of well directed 

The Hon. Caleb Cashing, who had just returned from 
his mission to China, made the following remaiks in rela- 
tion to woman and flowers : '' I am, Mr. President, most 
thankful for the opportunity to look on a spectacle like 
this — on the delicate and beautiful fruits and flowers before 
us. All our associations of beauty and taste are blended 
with flowers. They are our earliest tokens of affection 
and regard. They adorn the bridal brow at the wedding ; 
they are woven in garlands around the head of the con- 
querer ; they are strewn on the coflins of the dead. And 
here is another of their most grateful and beautiful uses — 
ornamenting the table at a festival, and enlivening the 
scene and enchanting the eye. In that ' central flowery 
land,' this is the case at all festivals; flowers there adorn 

18 breck's new book of flowers. 

the table, and meet the eye in every direction, on all festive 
occasions ; but they are not there accompanied by what 
we here enjoy. Here alone — here and in Christian lands — 
■WOMAN enchants and beautifies with her presence, the 
festive scene. Woman — our equal — shall I not say our 
moral superior. It is only here, that such a scene can 
gladden the human eye. I regard this exhibition as a 
striking proof of the point which education and intel- 
lectual refinement have reached in our country; that we 
have got beyond mere utihty, and ceasing to inquire how 
far it is incompatible with beauty, have found that the 
beautiful is of itself useful. We have learned to admire 
art, to appreciate sculpture and painting, and to look upon 
fruits and flowers, as models of delicacy and l)eauty." 
The Hon. Robert C. Winthrop remarked, that, *'he had 
never cultivated flowers, not even the flowers of rhetoric ; 
as to the sentimentahties of the subject, Mrs. Caudle had 
quite exhausted them in a single sentence of one of her 
last lectures, when she told her husband how ' she was 
born for a garden ! There is something about it that 
makes one fet^ so innocent ! My heart always opens and 
shuts at roses.' Shakespeare had pronounced it to be 
' wasteful and ridiculous excess, to paint the lily, or throw 
a perfume upon the violet.' And so it would be. The 
violets had been called, ' sweet as the lids of Juno's eyes 
or Cytheroea's breath ;' and of the lilies it had been divinely 
said, that ' Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like 
one of these.' Both had already a grace beyond the reach 
of art. But to multiply varieties of fruit and flowers ; to 
increase their abundance, and scatter them with a richer 
profusion along the way-sides of life ; to improve their 
quality, coloring and fragrance, wherever it was pos- 
sible to do so ; this, the great poet of nature, would 
have been the last person to call wasteful. Its utility 
would only be questioned by those who counted it useless 


to extend tlie range of innocent recreation and virtuous 
enjoyment ; useless to brighten and strengthen the chain 
of sympathy which binds man to man ; or useless to excite 
a fresher or more frequent glow of grateful admiration in 
the human breast, towards the giver of all good." 

" Flowers," says a writer, " flowers of all created things^ 
the most innocently simple, the most superbly complex, 
playthings for childhood, ornaments of the grave, and com- 
panions of the cold corpse ! Flow^ers, beloved by the 
idiot, and studied by the thinking man of science ! Flow- 
ers, that unceasingly expand to heaven their grateful, and 
to man their cheerful looks ; soothers of human sorrow ; 
fit emblems of the victor's triumph and the young bride's 
blushes! Welcome to the crowded ball, and grateful upon 
the solitary grave ! Flowers are in the volume of nature, 
what the expression ' God is love' is in the volume of reva- 
lation ! What a desolate place would be a world without 
a flower ; it would be a face without a smile — a feast with- 
out a welcome. Are not flowers the stars of earth, and 
are not our stars, the flowers of heaven ? One cannot 
look closely at the structure of a flower without loving it ; 
they are the emblems and manifestations of God's love to 
the creation, and they are means and ministrations of 
man's love to his fellow creatures, for they first awaken in 
his mind a sense of the beautiful and good. The very in- 
utility of flowers, is their excellence and great beauty, for 
they lead us to thoughts of generosity and moral beauty, 
detached from, and superior to all selfishness, so that they 
are sweet lessons in nature's book of instruction, teaching 
man that he liveth not by bread alone, but that he hath an- 
other than animal life." 

Who, that w^as blessed with parents that indulged them- 
selves, and children with a flower garden, can forget the 
happy, innocent hours spent in its cultivation ! O ! who 
can forget those days, when to announce the apjiearance 

20 breck's new book of flowers. 

of a bud, or the coloring of a tulip, or the opening of a 
rose, or the perfection of a full-blown peony, was glory 
enough for one morning. With tender emotions do I re- 
member the old white rose-bush, trained up to the top of 
the house by the hand of a dear mother, the abundant and 
fragrant flowers of which gave delight to all the household, 
as well as to the neighbors, who received them as ex- 
pressions of neighborly friendship and good-will. How 
many pleasant reminiscenses, crowd upon the memory of one 
who at the age of three-score and ten, as he looks back 
on the scenes of his childhood and youth, when from his 
sainted mother he received lessons of morality and piety, 
while engaged in the culture of a limited flower garden. 
Did she forget to love flowers? Were they no source of. 
pleasure to her when old age crept upon her ? No, no ! 
At the age of ninety, her table never lacked a bouquet, a 
pot of fuchsia, or a rose or some other flower, which re- 
ceived her tender care. How many otherwise tedious 
hours were spent in the contemplation of her little flower 
garden ; and with what cheerfulness did she pass away, 
from the flowers of earth, to the paradise of heaven, leaving 
a delightful example, of a happy, cheerful, contented old age, 
as a rich legacy to her numerous descendants and friends. 
But the gratification derived from the garden, is not 
confined to the young or the old. Who that has been 
confined to the business of the day, toiling and laboring 
in the " sweat of his face," does not feel invigorated and 
refreshed, as he takes his walk in the cool of the evening, 
with the happy family group about him, and notes the 
progress of his fruits and flowers ? Or, who that breathes 
the delicious fragrance of the morning flowers glittering 
with dew, but can look up with greater confidence and 
love to Him, who has strewed with such liberal profusion 
ni every direction, the evidence of his goodness and love 
to the children of men! 


Man was not made to rust out in idleness. A degree of 
exercise is as necessary for the preservation of health, both 
of body and mind, as his daily food. And what exercise 
is more fitting, or more appropriate for one who is in the 
decline of life, that that of superintending a well ordered 
garden ? What more enlivens the sinking mind ? What 
more invigorates the feeble frame? What is more con- 
ducive to a long life ? What can be more grateful to the 
mechanic or merchant or professional man, than to recreate 
for a short time in a well selected garden of flowers, neatly 
arranged and well cultivated? 

In reply to the question often asked, " what is the use 
of flowers ?" William Cobbett asks another, " what is the 
use of anything ?" There are many things in this wide 
world pleasing to the eye of man ; many of them expen- 
sive and not in the power of all to obtain ; but flowers 
may, without much or no expense, be obtained and pos- 
sessed by the most humble individual. Their cultivation 
may be made one unfailiug source of happiness to the 
family. Let j^arents gather around them every source of 
innocent amusement and recreation for their children. 
They should endeavor to make their home attractive and 
lovely, both within doors and without. 

22 breck's new book of floweks. 


The contemplation of the beauty of flowers, with their 
varied tints of exquisite colors, beautiful forms and de- 
lightful odors, is a source of never ending pleasure to all 
who have any taste for the beautiful, even when examined 
by the naked eye ; but when placed under a powerful mi- 
croscope, we are introduced to the hidden wonders of 
God's handiworks, where we see the exquisite finish of 
the most minute parts of the flower, with the adorning of 
colors that seem to be more splendid than anything 
earthly ; here is no imperfection, and no blemish, but in 
every part of the most humble flower, we see nothing but 
the perfection of beauty. I was so well pleased with an 
article I found in the New- York Observer on this subject, 
entitled the "Lily of the Field," that I give the article 
entire, as follows, (believing that it will be read with 
pleasure and profit) : 

"In the reign of Solomon, the kingdom of Judah 
reached the acme of its si^lendor. He was the wisest, 
the richest, and the most powerful of kings. 

" So widely extended Avas the fame of his character and 
magnificence, that distant nations came to add their por- 
tion to the sum of his glory. The grandest manifestations 
of his prosperity, and power, were, when the king ap- 
peared, arrayed in robes of finest texture, sitting upon the 
throne of ivory overlaid with pure gold. It was no mere 
display of barbaric magnificence, dazzling to the eye of 
sense, with the glitter of gold, and the glare of brilliant 
colors. It was the suitable expression of that blessing 
which crowned the kingdom and its king. All that earth 


could furnish and art apply, was centered upon liini, who 
set forth in his own person the glory of the state. When 
our Saviour desired to impress his disciples with the 
superiority of the least of the Avorks of God to the great- 
est of the works of man, He compared the humble beauty 
of the flowers at their feet, with the utmost that could 
be accomplished by human taste and skill. 

" ' Consider,' said he, ' the lilies of the field, they toil 
not, neither do they spin ; and yet I say unto you that 
even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one 
of these.' We need not make a garland of these lilies, 
nor seek a meadow covered with their varied brightness, 
in order to find what surpasses the brilliant costume of the 
richest king. A single one of these frail flowers, is clothed 
with finer texture, adorned with richer hues, and expresses 
more of that perfection in form and color, which delight 
the eye and heart. As he stood before the altar, the 
royal robes of Solomon hung in graceful folds and shone 
with the purple blush of Tyre, but no angel's wings swept 
in more graceful curves, than that in which this lily of the 
field upturns its blushing face to the light and dews of 

" In these lilies of the field, there is brightness, not of 
materials prepared and arranged by human hands, but 
the living brightness that flows directly from the hand 
of God. There is life in these flowers : every tint glows 
with the warmth of the unseen love which gives it be- 
ing. It is not like the beaming stars, nor the glory of 
western cloudiness, for it shines with the mysterious 
power of the living principle, it has a breathing and 
growth toward the source of all true loveliness in this 
world, and that which is to come. 

" Let us learn another lesson from the lily of the field. 
How small a portion of its exquisite beauty is within the 
reach of our vision. Look with a true heart and loving 

24 beeck's new book of flowers. 

spirit, study its wondrous mechanism, its faultless form, 
seek for the secret of its ' tender grace,' and when you 
have read all that eye can see, and have felt all that heart 
can receive, remember that you know hut in part, that 
you see the beauty of this flower only through a glass 
darkly. It has a wealth of beauty that to you is entirely 
imperceptible. Scientific aids, increasing wonderfully 
your natural powers of observation, only reveal the fact, 
that there is an infinity of beauty concealed within the 
compass of these leafy walls. 

" Now, if the God of love, the Father of glory, has con- 
cealed such beauty, where He reveals Himself in the light 
of a single flower, how much has He treasured up beyond 
the reach of mortal vision within those foundations of 
precious stones ; how much has He concealed in the buds 
of precious promise, in the flowers of living hope that 
rise with heavenly fragrance, beside still waters, in those 
green pastures where He makes His flock to rest at noon. 

"Is there a joy unspeakable in the humblest flower 
that springs up beneath the touch of His finger ? What 
must be the fidlness of joy when He reveals the fashion 
of His own glorious body, according to His mighty 
power. Let us learn from one of these lilies of the field, 
that we but know in part, but when that is perfect is 
come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 
Then shall we know, even as we are known." 

It is not kno^\^l what particular flower was alluded to, 
as the " lily of the field ;" we should like very well to 
ascertain. It is not, however, necessary, to know the 
particular one : the remark is applicable to any flower. 



" And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding 
seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed 
is in itself, after his kind ; and God saw that it was good." 

A seed, when duly considered, shews forth the infinite 
wisdom, power and goodness of the Almighty. As it was 
in the beginning, so it continues to be, true to its original 
creation, never diverging or degenerating from its true 
character. New varieties are produced from seed, and 
great improvements attained by the skill of the cultivator ; 
but the properties of the plant remain, and have so re- 
mained for six thousand generations of annual plants. 
Wheat never has, nor ever will turn to chess, as some 
most ignorantly and persistently affirm to be the case. 
Nor do potatoes ever grow upon the roots of the Gilly- 
flower plant. While conducting the New England Farmer 
many years since, a gentleman from Maine sent me a 
sample of potatoes, which he assured me were generated 
and produced, (not from seed) but originated and grew 
upon the roots of that plant. He called it " the Gilly- 
flower Potato." It was in vain that I attempted to show 
him the impossibility of the thing, he was certain this was 
the origin of the potato ; and what appeared strange to me, 
was, that he found those who sustained him in the theory 
that new species of plants might be produced by chance, 
and that a potato might originate on the roots of the 

It is interesting to notice the great diversity in various 
species of seeds, in their shape, size and mode of scatter- 
ing or spreading themselves abroad. The most minute 

26 breck's xetv book of flowers. 

seed contains a perfect genn within itself, not to be seen 
perhaps without the aid of a microscope, but there it is, 
"the seed (or bud) in itself" as perfect as that of the 
bean, which is seen by the naked eve : Many seeds have a 
most beautiful appearance when viewed by the microscope ; 
for example, the quite small seed of Portulaca, when thus 
examined, resembles some splendid sea shell, with all the 
brilhancy of color, which graces some of these wonders of 
the sea. 

By the sudden bursting of the capsule of some plants, 
the seeds are scattered some distance around : such for in- 
stance as Phlox, Lupin, and many others. The seed of 
Asclepias, Thistle, and others, have a silky appendage, by 
which they are wafted by the Avind to distant parts of the 
country. The seeds of the Maple and other plants and 
trees are so constructed that they float upon the water and 
thus find a lodgement upon the banks of a stream many 
mUes from their stalling place ; others will not genninate 
mitil they have passed through the stomach of a bird, and 
such are deposited wherever the bird flies. Seeds buried 
in the earth may remain many years, or ages, without ger- 
minating, but when brought up by the plow to the surface 
of the ground and exposed to the air, genninate and bring 
forth a plentiful crop of weeds. The earth seems to be 
fiill of seed. Earth taken from the bottom of deep wells 
or mines, when exposed to the sun and air, often produces 
vegetation. Some seeds when excluded from the air and 
moisture, retain their vitality for almost an indefinite pe- 
riod of time. 

It is often asked, how long will this or that variety of 
seed retain its A-itality. In answer to this inquiry, we re- 
ply, that it depends very much as to the manner in which 
seed was cured, and how it has been kept. We have tables 
stating the length of time the different garden seeds may 
be considered good. 


These tables approximate to correctness. For instance, 
the Cucumber, Squash, Melons, etc., are laid down as 
good for ten years, I have, however, kno-^Ti very bright- 
looking Marrow Squash seed be worthless the first year. 
This was occasioned, no doubt, by drying the seeds by the 
fire or in an oven. Onion seed is sometimes spoiled in 
consequence of its having been packed away before it was 
thoroughly dry, Avhich caused a slight fermentation so as 
to destroy the germ. Onion seed is worthless after the 
second year, but if the seed has been sunk in water to 
clean it, as is sometimes practiced, the seed is good only 
one year. I have known Onion seed that was perfectly 
diy and corked up tight in a bottle, to vegetate freely 
when eight years old ; but if the seed should be bottled up 
in a damp state, its vitality would be lost within one year. 
Xot unfrequently imported seeds, which have a long pas- 
sage over the water, acquire dampness so as to swell the 
seed and start the germ ; such seeds, if planted immedi- 
ately, will all vegetate, but when dried again, very few 
will start. I have known Peas, Radish, and other seeds 
to be spoiled in this way. 

How much longer than the ten years, laid down in the 
book, Cucumber seed t^tII retain its vitahty, I have not 
yet learned. About eighteen years since we imported 
from London a small lot of Sinott's Early Frame Cucumber*, 
which was said to be very fine for forcing. The seed was 
very expensive, £4 sterling for one quarter of a poimd ; 
we sold only small packages of it, and ha^-ing most of it 
left over, concluded to plant it for seed. It proved very 
productive, and the seed was sold in small parcels for ten 
years. Thinking it would not be safe to sell from it any 
longer, it was tied up in a bag and put in a tight bin in the 
garret, where it remained seven years, when it was discov- 
ered one day, and curiosity tempted me to test it. I 
counted out 14 seeds, 10 of which vegetated. As gardeners 

28 breck's new book of flo*weks. 

prefer old seed if it will vegetate, it was put up for sale 
again. The next year, a gardener inquired for old Cu- 
cumber seed. He was informed we had some eighteen 
years old, and if he would test it and report the result, he 
should be welcome to the seed. He afterwards informed 
us that he counted out twelve seeds and planted them, and 
every one vegetated. So I think this seed will be good 
until it is twenty-one. I once made a trial of Old White 
Turnij) Radish seed, which is set down in the table as re- 
taining its vitality four years. We raised a large quantity 
of this one season, sufficient for our sales for four years. 
At the expiration of this time there were a few pounds left, 
which were tied up in a bag, marked old seed, with the 
year, and shut ujd in a tight bin in a loft. After it had re- 
mained ten years in confinement, it was taken out to throw 
away, but I had the curiosity to test its vitality. The re- 
sult was, every seed vegetated. I might go on and give the 
result of various experiments made with seeds to test 
their vitality, but I have given enough to show that no 
certain rule can be laid down on this subject, as so much 
depends upon the manner in which the seed was saved, 
cured, or kept. Flower seeds, like vegetable seeds, vary 
in the length of time they may be relied upon as good. 
Balsam seed is good from 6 to 8 years. Larkspur, Pink, 
and many other seeds will not vegetate freely after the 
second year ; the same is the case with the Aster. Hol- 
lyhock seed is good five years ; Gilly-flower seed about the 
same length of time, and it is said the older it is the bet- 
ter, if it will vegetate, as it will produce more double- 
flowers. I should occupy too much space were T to give 
the result of all the experiments I have made with flower- 
seeds. I have found by long experience that the only safe 
course to pursue in relation to seeds is to test all, new 
and old, before oflering them for sale, by counting out a 
certain number of seeds, and planting them in pots and 


placing them under the glass of the green-house or grap- 
ery, and then count the number of plants which appear. 

But with all this care, complaints are often made that 
the seed was not good, — seed that I knew was good, be- 
cause it had been proved so, under my own inspection, by 
an infallible test. 

There are various causes of the failure of good seed. 
One of these is, the injudicious manner in Avhich an at- 
tempt is made to start it in a hot-bed. In consequence 
of the seeds having been sown upon the beds in a rank 
heat, they are prematurely forced up and easily destroyed, 
by being pent up without air as soon as the plants begin 
to appear above ground. 

I once planted half an acre of Carrots, rather late in the 
season. I examined the field one morning, and observed 
the carrots were breaking through the ground finely. The 
day had been a very warm one, with a scorching sun, and 
th€ ground rather dry; at night I examined the field 
again, and to my surprise could not, at first sight, see any 
vestige of the young plants I had noticed in the morning, 
but upon a close inspection, found them all w^ithered and 
brown, burnt by the sun. In this way the plants are often 
destroyed before any notice has been taken of them. 
Young flower-plants are often destroyed in the same way 
as were the carrots. Many young plants are destroyed by 
a minute black fly, or some other small insect, just as they 
emerge from the ground. 

Small seeds are often planted so deep that they cannot 
push through the soil, while some large seeds are not 
planted deep enough. A friend has suggested the import- 
ance of giving some directions in this work, relative to the 
subject of planting seeds as to their depth, time of plant- 
ing, and the time required for the plants to appear above 
ground. In answer to these inquiries, it may be stated, 
that in regard to the depth of planting, something de- 


pends upon the soil. In light soils, the seeds should be 
planted deeper than in heavy ones; but the following di- 
rections may be a guide in soils of a medium texture, viz. : 
Sweet Peas, Lupins, Morning Glories, Fonr-o' clock, and 
other large seeds, should be 23lanted about one inch deep. 
Balsams, Asters, Centaureas, etc., about one-half an inch. 
Cockscombs, Amaranth, and many other seeds of like 
size, one-quarter of an inch. Many of the very small seeds 
should be sown on the surface with a little fine earth sifted 
over them, just so as to cover the seeds, and then gently 
pressed with a piece of board. Great care must be taken 
with these minute seeds, to keep the surface of the ground 
moist if the weather is dry, and watch carefully for the 
first appearance of the plants, when they should be shaded 
in the middle of the day by spruce boughs, or a gauze 
covering, such as is used to keep off the insects from cu- 
cumber vines. They should be thus cared for until the 
plants have acquired strength to resist the scorching rays 
of the sun. 

Cypress Vine, Indian -shot, and many other hard-shelled 
seeds, require a long time to vegetate in the open ground, 
unless first prepared by pouring scalding water over them, 
in which they should remain until the water is cold. 
When planted, thus prepared, the last of May, these seeds 
will appear above ground in about one week, if the 
weather is warm. 

The Three-thorned Acacia seed will sometimes remain 
in the ground a year before it vegetates, and I have known 
Asparagus seed sown late in May, remain in the ground 
until August, before the plants appeared ; but if treated 
tlie same as recommended for the Cypress Vine, they will 
vegetate in a week or ten days. 

Globe-Amaranth seeds, i^Gomplirena glohosa) and some 
other seeds enclosed in a cottony substance over a shell, 
will not readily vegetate unless this outer covering is taken 


off, which may be done with a sharp jDointed pen-knife ; 
but this is a tedious process when many seeds are to be 
planted. I find no difficulty without removing this coating 
or without scalding the seeds mentioned, if pots of the 
seeds are plunged in a hot-bed, where there is a powerful 
heat ; they will start in a week or less, according to the de- 
gree of heat, but great caution must be observed as soon 
as the plants appear, to see that they have plenty of air, 
or they will surely be destroyed. 

It is impossible to give directions for planting seeds, 
that Avill be aj^pli cable to all soils, situations, or seasons ; 
but judgment, discretion and care must be exercised un- 
der all circumstances to ensure success. Plants, long prop- 
agated by cuttings, lose their power to produce seeds. 
This is the case with many fine perennial plants, with 
double or single flowers, that have been propagated by 
divisions of the roots, as well as by cuttings. 

It is a great disappointment and vexation, to find, after 
you have made am^^le ^^reparations, and j^lanted your seed, 
that it was worthless, your labor all lost, and probably too 
late in the season to make trial of other seed. Perhaps 
the following hints may remind one of the imj^ortance of 
beginning right. 

" To raise your flowers, various arts combine, 
Study these well, and fancy's flight decline ; 
If you would have a vivid, vigorous breed, 
Of every kind, examine well the seed ; 
Learn to what elements your plan's belong, 
What is their constitution, weak or strong ; 
Be their physician, careful of their lives. 
And see that every species daily thrives ; 
These love much air these on much earth rely, 
These, without constant warmth, decay and die; 
Supply the wants of each, and they will pay 
For all your care through each succeeding day." 




" How exquisitely sweet 
This rii:h display of flowers, 
This airy wild of fragrance, 
So lorely to the eye, 
And to the sense so sweet." — AndreinVs Adam. 

"And round about he taught sweet flowers to grow " — Spencer. 

"The leading faults in all the flower gardens I have 
seen, are, the want of a proper selection of kinds, and a 
very bad mode of arranging them. It makes very little 
difference how elegant or striking a plan you may have 
for a flower garden, if that design is badly planted, so as 
to conceal its merits, or is filled in w^th a collection of un- 
suitable kinds that have a coarse, or ragged habit of 
growth, or remaining in bloom too short a time. 

* This article was written at my request by Mr. Robert Murray, Landscape 
Gardener, of Wallham, Mass. I have always admired the exquisite taste 
he has exhibited in the arrangement of the flowering plants and shrubbery, in 
the garden under his management on the " Gore Farm," as it is called, in Wal- 
tham, of which he had the sole charge for many years, while it was in the pos- 
session of the late Hon. Theodore Lyman, and afterwards S. C. Gieen, Esq. 

For a number of years past, Mr. Murray has devoted himself to the study 
and practice of landscape gardening, in which profession he has been eminently 
successful. Wliere ornamental grounds are to be laid out, I know of no other 
person who is better qualified than Mr. Murray to execute the work to the satis- 
faction of his employer, however refined he may be in his taste on this matter. 
I have oftentimes been pained to see places beautifully situated by nature, and 
susceptible of great improvfrnerit by artistic skill, almost ruined by the un- 
fortunate mistake of employing a person without .*kill or taste in laying it out. 
Better that the place should have remained in a state of nature, tiian to have 
employed an ignoramus, in such an important work. A work of this sort is a 
work for an age, and if badly planned and executed, cannot be corrected, with- 
out much expense and loss of time. Beware then of being " penny wise and 
pound foolish." 


A. flower garden that deserves the name, should re- 
semble a rich picture, where the artist has all his colors 
nicely contrasted and blended together ; rejecting almost 
every kind that does not afford a continual display of 
beautiful colors, and sweet odors, and have a neat and 
agreeable habit of growth. I know that it is difiicult to 
restrain a passionate lover of flowers from having a great 
variety of species, but the most beautiful flower gardens 
that I have seen, and had the management of, were those 
where but very few kinds were introduced, and those kinds 
possessing the qualities I have already mentioned. And it 
will, likewise, add very much to the effect of the selection, 
to give up the old method of mixing and intermingling 
the species and varieties in all the beds, and adopt the 
modern style of grouping and massing the colors in sepa- 
rate figures, selecting the most delicate and beautiful 
shades of pink and white, light blues, and straw-colored 
yellows, with the soft tones of crimson and vermillion. 
These beautiful colors, Avhen boldly brought into contrast, 
so as to form a pleasing attraction to the eye, make a more 
immediate and forcible impression than a confused mixture, 
not distinct enough anywhere to give a decided effect to 
the whole. The system of massing plants has another 
great advantage, of preventing you from seeing any bare 
surface of soil, or parts of figures not covered with foliage 
and flowers, the parched appearance of such bare surface, 
when seen, tends to impair the air of freslmess and beauty 
of the flowers, and when beds are i>lanted with a large 
mixture of difterent varieties, such as straggling and spread- 
ing, tall and short, it is almost im|>ossible to prevent large 
portions of the soil from being seen. 

I would recommend, not to have the flower beds scat- 
tered promiscuously over a lawn, without any connection 
with each other, but a simple group of regular beds or 
figures of various sizes, such as circles, or ovals neatly cut 

34 breck's new book of flowers. 

out, and occupying about the centre of tlie lawn; when these 
are well kept, the freshness and verdure of the green 
turf, giv^es a fine contrast to the flower beds, and adds 
very much to the brilliant colors of the flowers themselves. 
In some of the beds, I would aim at producing spl'endid 
masses of one color, and in others, such as the largest beds, 
a mixed and choice collection of animals, which would give 
a variegated mass of colors throughout the season : in 
other beds by themselves, I would fill up with exotic 
flowers, or flowering shrubs, such as are brought forward 
under glass for bedding out, such as Heliotropes, Lan- 
tanas, Bouvardias, Geraniums, Fuchsias, Ageratums, Ver- 
benas, etc. 

The following collection and arrangement for a large 
oval bed will be found to give a brilliant display of colors 
from July to November. In the first row, Mignonette to 
be sown all round the border, eighteen inches from the 
edging ; after the seed is tlu'ough the ground, plant all the 
various colors of Portulaca alternately, one foot apart in 
the same row. The second row, three feet from the edg- 
ing, plant all the fine mixed colors of Phlox Drummondii, 
eight inches from each other. The third row, four feet 
from the edging, sow with white Candytuft, planting all the 
fine varieties of China Pink three inches apart in the same 
row. The fourth row, five feet from the edging, j^lant 
with Purple Globe Amaranth eight inches apart, with a 
German Ten Week Stock between the Amaranths. The 
fifth row, six feet from the edging, plant alternately, 
all the various colors of fine double German Asters, six 
inches apart in the row. The space remainhig in the 
centre, fill with all the diflerent colors of the Petunia, 
]^lanting one foot apart amongst the Petunias, bulbs of 
all the fine colors of the Hybrid Gladiolus, which, when in 
bloom with their long densely flowered racemes of blos- 
soms, varying from white to salmon and carmine, scarlet 


and crimson, standing up among the creeping Petunias, 
will make a fine display. 

The annuals that I have been in the habit of sowing 
in separate beds, are as follows : The splendid collection 
of German Asters, German Ten Week Stocks, Double 
Chinese Pink, all the varieties of Phlox Drummondii, Pe- 
tunias, Coreopsis Drummondii, which makes a fine yellow 
bed, Purple Globe Amaranths, and Mignonette. I do 
not wish any one to imagine that I decry and discard all 
the other annuals and tender bedding-out plants, not men- 
tioned here, they are all very pretty, and some of them 
curious, but they should, in my opinion, only be planted 
in borders along side of gravel walks, or amongst flower- 
ing fehrubs. 

The variety and beauty of many tall growing plants 
should secure them a place in every garden of large size, 
that has long lines of borders along side of gravel walks, 
especially when the borders have a back ground of green 
trees and shrubs ; they are then set off with a beautiful 
and charming effect. The following is a select list of a 
few of the most showy perennials, biennials, and annuals: 
The tall growing ones for the back ground, viz.. Dahlias, 
Hollyhocks, all the tall growing Phloxes, Digitalis alba 
and purpurea. Spiraeas, Delj^hinium elatum, etc., Campa- 
nulas and Salvias ; in addition to these there should be 
light frames for a few choice climbers, such as the Mau- 
randias, purple, white, and pink varieties, Sweet Peas, 
Cypress Vine, Tropoeolum of sorts; mixed Morning 
Glories; Thunbergias, mixed. Then should come the 
plants of middle height to be gradually sloped off with 
masses of Petunias, Gladiolus, French and African Mari- 
golds, Asters, Balsams, Globe Amaranths, Canterbury 
Bells, blue and white. Coreopsis in variety. Delphinium 
Sinensis, formosura, etc., all the varieties of Helichrysums 
or Eternal Flower, African Hibiscus, Mirabilis in variety, 

36 bkeck's new book of flowers. 

Dwarf-rocket Lackspur in variety ; all the beautiful Ne- 
mophilas, etc. With good taste in their arrangement so 
that all the colors are well blended, these flowers will make 
a very brillant show through all the summer." 


There is no more pleasing or tasteful arrangement of 
certain flowers than disposing of them in masses upon the 
margin of a lawn, or in a grass plot in figures cut out in 
the grass. These figures should not look stiif and set, as 
they will, if laid out in squares, parallelograms, or triangles, 
but there should be ease and grace in their appearance. 
Figures with gentle curves should be adopted, fern-leaved 
shaped scrolls, or any other fanciful form which may be 
adopted by a person of taste, and no one should be em- 
ployed for laying out these beds, who has not an eye to 
the beautiful. 

No disposition of plants can be made which will be so 
satisfactory and pleasing as flowers massed in this way, 
provided the grass be kept smooth and close. — The figures 
are first marked out with stakes; the sods carefuly taken 
out, and the edges of the beds pared true with a sharp 
spade or turf-parer. The space should be filled up with 
rich garden mould, and compost, sufl[icient, after it has been 
dug and settled, to raise the beds in the centre — so as to 
have them crowning. They are then ready for the recep- 
tion of the plants. As a general rule, one variety or one color 
should be in each bed ; but where there is a limited extent 
of ground, two or three colors may be disposed in one 
figure, for example red, rose, and white will harmonize, or 
purple dark blue, light blue and white ; blue and scarlet, 
bright red and yellow ; orange, yellow, sulphur and white, 
and many other combinations and shades harmonize. But 
blue and yellow should not stand side by side, nor dull 
red and yellow. It will be found a very interesting study 


to learn the art of arranging the flowers for the lawn or 
garden ; and such as have a correct taste for the colors, 
will probably be the most expert. • 

The most suitable plants for bedding are the following : 
Portidacas ; white, lemon, orange, scarlet, and crimson. 
Verbenas ; scarlet, rose, white, purple, and blue. Helio- 
tropes ; lilac, and blue. Petunias / pure white, crimson, and 
variegated. Eschselioltzia ; orange. Prummond^s Coreop- 
sis ; yellow, (reram^/ms / scarlet. Pyrethrmn^ m Y>Q)\\\Aq 
Fever-few ; white. 3fexican Ageratum ; pale blue. 
Pwarf Coreopsis ; dark brown, brown with yellow edge, 
yellow. PrummoncVs Phlox / crimson, scarlet, rose, and 
white. Stock Gilly -flowers ; Pwarf Phloxes^ and many 
other plants of taller habits appear to great advantage 
when planted in masses in the shrubbery border or lawn, 
where the latter is extensive. 


Many botanists do not approve of double flowers or 
hybrids : they see no beauty in them, it brings into con- 
fusion the regularity of their classification, and therefore 
regard them as monsters, as indeed they really are. By 
high cultivation, the stamens of the flower are converted 
into petals, to the great delight, in most cases, of the florist. 
In what estimation, in the eye of the florist, would a single 
rose be held, in comparison with a full double perfect 
variety, or a single Aster beside an improved Pseony- 
flowered one. The fragrance would be the same in the 
rose, double or single ; but it would be like going back to 

38 beeck's new book of flowers. 

barbarism to prefer the single flower ; thus ignoring the 
culture and skill of the florist for past generations. Adam 
and Eve were put in possession of a truly botanic garden : 
God gave wild flowers as he made them, and left it with 
them and their successors in horticultural jDursuits, to find 
their pleasure in making improvements. 

But all flowers are not improved, even in the eye of an 
amateur, by the multiplication of the petals. 

The eflbrts of man to improve certain flowers are futile. 
Being perfect in themselves, any attempt to improve their 
beauty is almost impious, and results in failure. Take for 
example the white garden lily, a flower so perfect, pure, 
and comely, with its parts so distinct and lovely. What 
an abortion and failure is the double flower: the upper 
leaves of the flower stem are transformed to petals, and 
we have the flower contorted into a lengthened assemblage 
of green leaves, passing into white, without form or grace, 
a ridiculous transformation of beauty into ugliness : it is 
a monstrosity indeed, and can only be retained in a collec- 
tion for its oddity. 

The Petunia is not improved in its double varieties. A 
few years since, they were all the rage ; but are now 
generally discarded, as the fine improved single varieties 
are considered far superior. 

The double Campanula media has no merit ; it may be 
likened to a nest of tubs or boxes. The large bell is filled 
with smaller bells in the same way. 

The double Nasturtium or Tropoeolum is another ex- 
ample of a failure to improve ; the centre of the flower is 
filled up Avith numerous contorted petals, and one not ac- 
quainted Avith it would not suppose it to be a Nasturtium. 

The Zinnia, one of the most unlikely flowers to be im- 
proved, has witliin a few years become quite a favorite in 
its double varieties. Instead of tlie rough and stifi" form 
of the flower, with the ugly high disk in the centre, it has. 


in its double state, been converted into a flower, that is 
graceful, and regular in its shape ; the whole disk is now 
filled out full with closely imbricated ]3etals, and is of the 
form and nearly the size of a moderate sized Dahlia. 

The double Hesperis 'matronalis or Sweet-rocket is one 
of the most ornamental flowers of the garden. The prin- 
cipal double varieties are the white and purple ; the former 
quite hardy, the latter more delicate and hard to keep 
through the winter. 

The double Stock Gilly-flower.or Mattliiola is far superior 
to the single, and constitutes, in its endless varieties, one 
of the most desirable ornaments of the flower garden. 
As all the strength of the flower is concentrated in its 
numerous petals, it produces no seed. It is necessary to 
plant one or more single plants, by the side of the double 
ones, that they may impregnate the single ones, which 
produce the seed from M'hich double flowers are obtained, 
and from this seed, if from a good variety of plants, one 
half may be expected to be double. 

The Double Balsam is well known to all, to be one of 
the most showy of the floral tribe. The flowers resemble 
Roses or small Camellias. 

Double Portulaca haA^e been introduced within a few 
years and are great novelties. Thebrilliancy of the colors, 
and perfection of shape, are very charming. When cut, 
they are often judged to be scarlet, orange, or white roses, 
by persons who have not been acquainted with them. 
One great drawback to their extensive culture, is the 
])aucity of seed they produce, as hardly a capsule of seed 
is to be found on a plant. I suppose that by hybridizing, 
more seed might be produced ; but one thing is sure, they 
can never become troublesome like the single varieties 
which fill the ground with seed. 

We all know that the Dahlia, Aster, and numerous 
others, are wonderfiilly improved in their double varieties. 

40 breck's new book of FLO wees. 

The genus Dianthus in all its species, except Sweet 
William, and a few others, are greatly improved in their 
double state. The Carnation and Pink are examples of 
the perfection to which flowers may be made to attain. 

The Datura and other funnel-shaped as well as salver- 
shaped flowers, when double, lose their beautiful simplicity, 
and are monsters without beauty or perfection of shape ; 
the same may be said of the Tulip, although some of the 
varieties are passable. The double Fuchsias, Azaleas and 
many other double flowers are no improvement. 

A multitude of other flowers might be named, which 
have been improved in the double varieties, as the 
Pseonia, Camellia, Lychnis, Tuberose, Larkspurs, etc. 


We are often asked why there should be such a diversity 
of color in plants of the same species, produced from seed 
of one flower when grown in the same soil, or what is the 
process by which it is produced, or the cause of any color 
in plants. A question more easily asked than answered. 
I once put this question to a celebrated chemist, supposing 
he might throw some light upon it. The answer was, 
" that there were many theories upon the subject, but noth- 
ing satisfactory had been discovered, and probably never 
would be." It is the secret working of the God of Na- 
ture, and unexplainable. In turning over the files of the 
Horticultural Journal, published in 1835-6-7-8, I find the 
following article upon the subject, from which, as it may 


be of interest to the Lovers of Flowers, I insert the follow- 
ing extracts : 

" The curious and striking varieties of color in flowers, 
their metamorphoses, the delicate pencilling of the veins in 
many, and the beautiful hues of striped petals, which have 
from time immemorial attracted the attention even of the 
listless observer of nature, have of course not been left un- 
examined by the philosopher of every age ; and although 
there is sufficient reason to believe that the usual methods 
of rigorous examination into cause and effect have been 
applied with all the ingenuity that a love of nature, or an 
ambition of distinction could suggest, these labors have 
not yet led to any very satisfactory theory on the subject 
of the cause of color, and its variation of flowers." 

" Those who are not conversant with raising varieties of 
Tulips from seed should be informed that what is techni- 
cally called breaking of a seeding tulip, is the sudden 
change which takes place one year in the color of the 
flower ; for instance, from a dull purple it will change to a 
fine clear white with brilliant red stripes, or from another 
dull color to a bright yellow with dark stripes, and this 
bulb, with its progeny of bulbs, if properly managed, will 
always remain of the same colors. This process often 
takes six or twelve years, and cannot apparently be fore- 
seen or accelerated, some never break or change at all. 
The person who raised or broke the famous tulip Poly- 
phemus, told the writer that it was nine years before this 
effect was produced." 

, " There are also many other curious proceedings of na- 
ture on tliis subject, which must have been generally re- 
marked ; the flower of Gohma scandens is green the first 
day and violet the next — the Hibiscus mutahilis is white 
in the morning, pink at noon, and red at night." 

"M. DeCandolle, whose opinion on all subjects relating 
to the laws of vegetable structure is entitled to the great- 

42 breck's new book of flowers. 

est attention, has divided the colors of flowers into two 
series, the Xanthic, and the Cyanic as follows : 

orange red. 

Xanthic or oxidized series { 'n* * 

orange yellow. 


yellow green. 

Color of leaves. Green. 

( greenish blue. 
I blue. 

Cyanic or deoxidized series < ^^^ ^ ^^^'. , 

I violet red. 
t red- 

founded on a memoir of Messrs. Schubler and Funk, inih- 
lished at Tubingen, in Germany, in 1825, where it is stated 
that all flo\\^ers may be divided into two classes, one hav- 
ing the yellow color for its type ; these are incapable of 
passing into blue, but into every shade of red and white ; 
the other having the blue color for its type, wliich can also 
pass into every shade of red and white, but never into 
yellow; thus, for instance, the Potentilla, a little yellow 
flower like the butter-cup, which abounds everywhere, 
trailing along the ground, has been found of difierent 
shades of red, but never blue ; the China Aster which has 
every tinge of red, blue, is never yellow ; the Dahlia is 
never blue, but often yellow and red." 

" It will have been remarked that white is omitted from 
these two series. It may be doubted, indeed, whether it 
really exists in a state of purity in flowers, and it seems to 
be rather some other color reduced to an exceedingly light 
tint. Redoute, the French flower-painter, is said to have 
availed liimself with great advantage of this fact. He al- 
ways j^laced the flower he wished to represent before a 
sheet of paper like that on which he had made his draw- 


ing, and he uniformly found that the flower woukl difi'er 
from the paper m bemg more yellow, or more pink, or 
more blue, or in some other way. White Campanulas be- 
come bhie when they are dried ; infusions of Avhite flow- 
ers in alcohol have always a perceptible tinge. Flow^ers 
which are white, verging upon yellow, yield infusions wdiich 
alkalies bring to a more positive brown ; infusions of those 
which are white, tending to blue or red, become light red 
by the action of acids, and greenish by the action of al- 

" Infusions of yelloAV flowers in alcohol are of a clear 
yellow, without the flowers losing much color. Acids pro- 
duce no other efiect in these infusions than to weaken their 
color slightly. Alkalies make them more brilliant or 

" Blue flowers produce, in alcohol, infusions either of a 
clear blue, as those of flax, or very dark, as in the case of 
the Aconite and the Larkspur. By the addition of acids 
they become red, and of alkalies green. Those which are 
colored red by acids, will not recover their blueness by the 
addition of alkalies, as sometimes happens to infusions of 
red flowers. Macaire having seen a red infusion of violets 
regain by degrees the natural blue of those flowers, by the 
addition of a vegetable alkali, such as quinine or strych- 
nine, suspects that the color of the violet depends upon 
the combination of their chromule with some alkali. 
Schubler and Funk assure us that the infusion of the Blue 
Day Lily {Funkia coerulea^) treated with an acid, will 
present, in the same glass, all the tints of the colored 
spectrum. Blues are among the most changeable colors 
in vegetation, passing freely to white, and to diflferent tints 
of violet and red." 

" From what has now been stated, it appears to result 
that modifications of chromule are the cause of the di- 
versity of colors ; and that these modifications depend 

44 beeck's new book of flowers. 

principally upon the degree of oxygenation. In leaves 
fully developed the chromule is green ; it gains a tendency 
to yellow or red when it is more oxidized, as one per- 
ceives by the changes of the color of leaves in autumn, by 
the effect of acids ; and it appears to verge to blue when 
it is less oxidized. We know that the flower of the Hy- 
drangea becomes blue in a soil sufiiciently impregnated 
with iron." 

" The nature of this work does not admit of a very ex- 
tensive discussion of this subject in its pages, but it may 
be well to show that plants do contain metallic oxides." 

" Dr. Sprengel, in a German publication called Der Land 
und Hauswirth^ or the Agricultural and Domestic Econo- 
mist, states that in almost all plants analysis discovers more 
or less iron, and as the atmosphere does not contain any 
sensible quantity, it must be admitted that it is derived 
from the soil." 

" In Sir Humphrey Davy's Agricultural Chemistry, it is 
stated that the only metallic oxides found in plants are 
those of iron and manganese, but there is little doubt that 
copper exists in the Rose, as may be verified by leaving a 
clean linen rag in rose water or in the water in which 
rose leaves have been steeped; after some days it will 
turn green, and copper may be detected, even when the 
rose water has been distilled in glass or new tin vessels. 
I remember to have seen a scientific account in some 
French publication, of gold being extracted from the sage 
plant, although in very small quantities. Iron and manga- 
nese would however be sufiicient to produce almost every 
variety of color known." 

" Immediately after the flower withers, a change in the 
juices of most plants takes place, by which change the 
fruit or seed is matured ; this is very perceptible in the 
eatable fruits, and proceeds until acidity becomes obvious 
to the taste; after this saccharine juice is formed — now if 


iron in a low state of oxidation be the coloring substance 
of a flower, it is clear that as soon as the juice of the 
plant becomes more acid, a farther oxidation takes place, 
this would cause a change in color." 

" I would instance the Lilac. Iron in a low state of oxi- 
dation combined with manganese and carbonic acid, form 
component parts of a mineral called Pearl-spar, which is 
of a brilliant white — it may therefore exist in the same 
state in the white Lilac ; and the manganese is often found, 
particularly in the Tiree marble, to be the cause of lilac 
color — as the juices ripen and grow more acid, the iron is 
farther oxidized, the flowers fade, turn of a rusty brown, 
and finally the seed vessel ripens of a dark brown." 

That Iron is able to produce almost every variety of 
color we may learn from the fact that the native miner- 
als. Phosphate of iron is of all shades of blue. Sulphate 
and arseniate of iron, are green, brown, yellowish red, 
brownish green. Humboldtine or oxalate of iron is bright 
yellow, etc., etc. 

Manganese is also found of most colors, from the green- 
ish blue of the Horn Mangan to the rose red of the Tiree 

" The amethyst is supposed to be colored by iron and 
manganese, the emerald by oxide of chrome; the topaz, 
the sapphire and the ruby by iron." 

" It is well known to the florist that over manured soil 
deepens, or spoils, as he calls it, the colors of his tulips and 
other favorites, and that from this deterioration it is difii- 
cult to recover them. 

" Strong manure contains a large proportion of alkah, 
and this always deepens and rather deadens many colors, 
particularly of the red and purple tinge, while acids on 
the contrary lighten and enliven them ; this consideration 
may be experimentally applied to the subject.'' 

A number of years since I sold to a Tulip amateur a bed 

46 breck's new book of flowers. 

of choice varieties of tliis flower, which had bloomed in 
my own garden the previous year, which I knew to be 
very fine. At the time of their flowering in his garden, 
he came to me in a great rage, bringing with him a hand- 
ful of the Tulips, and accused me of selling him a lot of 
inferior bulbs for the very best. They were indeed inferi- 
or, except in shape. I examined them, and found the 
ground color to be a dull brown, with stripes a few shades 
darker. I could not believe they were identical with 
those I sold him, but had some suspicions they might be 
the same, but had not received proper treatment. He in- 
vited me to visit his garden and judge for myself. The 
journey of 25 miles I cheerfully undertook, and found to 
my surprise, that not only my own Tulips, but also those 
obtained from two other sources, were indeed a sad sight, 
all pretty much in the same style and worthless. But I 
was not surprised when the mode of their cultivation had 
been detailed. He had not only prepared his beds with a 
large quantity of strong manure, but to cap the climax, 
he covered the bed in autumn with four inches of tanner's 
hemlock bark as a protection. The leaching of the hem- 
lock bark, and heavy manuring, satisfactorily explained 
the cause of the disaster, not only to myself, but to the 
gentleman also, when we presented the facts before my 
friend, Mr. Teschemacker, who afiirmed that their treat- 
ment was suflicient cause of their deterioration. The in- 
quiry was then made, how the flowers could be brought 
back to their original beauty. The answer was, that it 
was doubtful whether that could be done, but it was sug- 
gested, that the only probable means would be, to form a 
compost of virgin soil from a pasture without any manure, 
with sand and lime rubbish. — It, however, was not suc- 




I have been requested by a number of the readers of 
my first "Book of Flowers," should I publish anotlier 
work or a new edition of the old one, to give some direc- 
tions in constructing bouquets, show^ing how to arrange 
the colors, etc. Now this is about as difticiilt a task, as it 
would be to direct how a beautiful painting could be 
executed ; such an art cannot be communicated by writ- 
ing. It requires taste, skill, and ^^ractice to become a good 
artist, and to know how the colors should be blended to 
form a perfect jDicture. It is somewhat so in arranging 
flow^ers in a bouquet. There is very bad taste exhibited 
in many of the bouquets that are offered for sale in the 
flower shops, which to the eye of an amateur is about as 
annoying as discords are to the ear of an educated musi- 
cian. I must, however, confess that I cannot communicate 
the art of arranging the color of flowers in a bouquet that 
would be satisfactory to myself, and must give as a sub- 
stitute, some hints which I find in a late London i^aper from 
a report of a gentleman who gives an account of what he 
saw on a visit to Paris, in an article entitled, " Flowers 
and Foreign Flower FashionsP The article is a long one 
and I give only the following extracts : 

" Much green with a little color is a rule that has a 
wide reign ; and also it is remarkable how rarely one sees 
one color ; but crimson and buff" roses, violet and pink, 

48 breck's new book of flowers. 

pale sea green and rose color, or any of these, with white. 
This seems the prevailing thing, as much in dress as in 
flowers, and as much in rooms as anywhere. But then, 
Parisians do compose room, and toilette, and flowers, all 
as a sort of picture. 

" But to go on to vases and to flowers in general. The 
great idea now in arranging them, is to show each flower 
separately (not in that horrid way, of all others most ob- 
jectionable, when, having a crowd of flowers, each flower 
tries to be seen, thus making up a result of a mass of ex- 
cited petals, like flices turned up in a crowd) — but where 
the view is to let each flower repose quietly and calmly 
upon a bed of green. That is, after all, the natural view 
of flowers ; but I never saw it done perfectly till a few 
days ago, at Paris. 

"Bouquets for the hand are not made up abroad like 
" the run" of English ones. The prettiest mode this year 
is to have a kind of fern shaped spray of green going 
down the bouquet between each little group of flowers. 
It seems to me that in composing a bouquet, there are five 
or six separate bunches of green arranged first separately 
— some fern, for example, or sprays of rose leaves (to men- 
tion things, that every one has at hand), and then these 
sprays are fastened to the centre, formed, one after each 
little group of Azaleas or Geraniums. The efiect is ex- 
ceedingly good. The flowers would not be mixed much — 
perhaps red and white in one place, and only pink in an- 
other ; or perhaps blue would be alone here, and next door 
to it bufl". The art is, not to seem to think the flowers 
unsuited to each other. Flowers for hair and dress are 
now very rarely mixed. You have some one flower and 
its own buds for all. Then, if more green is wanted, 
there are always sprays of ivy, drooping fronds of fern, 
long ribbons of delicate grass. As a general thing, how- 
ever, one flower with its own leaves is enough for one per- 


son's ambition ; and the resnlt is once more, much grace 
and little heaviness. 

*'For actnal use on dinner tables, the prettiest fashion I 
have ever seen by fm\ is that of the large open vase sup- 
ported on gilt branches, always so arranged as to look 
wide and low in proportion to its height. 

" The dish or vase, I should mention, was of plain frost- 
ed glass, shallow and wide, and rested on twisted supports 
of bright and frosted gilding. 

" The dish was itself filled up with bright dark green 
moss — one of the beautiful green-house lycopods might well 
be used here. Lycopodimn denticulatum is, perhaps, best 
of all for the purpose, and is easily grown anywhere, in a 
shady corner of the green-house, or in a window that will 
not suit many flowering plants because of want of sun. 
The moss was raised in the centre — not a heap, but curved 
upwards. The flowers were as follows : one deep red 
Rose, one of the palest Blush white, a spray of white Con- 
volvulus, just touched with pink, a cluster of red droop- 
ing flowers (I thought of the Rose acacia), one spray of 
pale wild Rose, one bright pink Rose, a cluster of white 
Acacia, and a drooping branch of the pink Convolvulus. 

" It is to be remarked, the colors were all shades of rose 
and white. The whole thing was most perfectly bright, and 
fresh, and beautiful. Each flower was simply laid down 
on the green, fairly round the vase, no attempt being made 
to fill up the centre at all. The flowers just touched, and 
had each its own green leaves ; the stems, of course, were 
just hidden slightly in the moss. I give this to show the 
style of thing, but, of course, other flowers can be used 
for any of those named. The great thing is, it seems to 
me, to have some idea to work to ; and there certainly are 
such ideas to be picked up, sown broadcast abroad ; where 
nobody is ashamed of trying to make themselves and 
everything else look their prettiest ! 


" Another thing that struck me was the great nse made of 
green m ever^tliing, and the inujiense effect thus produc-. 
ed. A stand of flowers would really have very few plants 
indeed. There would be green and moss — and perhaps 
two plants in flower. Setting off one gem is far more the 
fashion than collecting a crowed that detract from each 
other's beauty. Eacli flower is thus allowed to be distinct. 
And then things are on a large scale. I have passed under 
a flower yase often in going to dinner — a tall yase on a 
side-table, with really gigantic flowers — Sunflowers and 
Dahlias, with great Roses and Gladioli, and with such 
large green leaves, and the flowers cut with such long 
stalks, that each seemed well detached — and the strange 
selection was Oriental, and beautiful in its strangeness. 
Of course all things of this kind must suit the rooms they 
are in ; but in immense lofty rooms, and with the large 
massive style of most of the French furniture, nothing can 
be in better taste than some of these brilliant vases. Then 
the beautiful feathery grasses are very much used in Paris ; 
and nothing can be more graceful, on a large scale, than 
are these white plumes." 


In our variable climate it is necessary to protect many 
of the herbaceous plants before winter sets in, esi^ecially 
in the vicinity of Boston and other places upon the sea 
coast. Farther back in the country, where the ground is 
covered with snow from December to April, it is not so 
important, as tlie snow is the best protection they can 
have. Many Alpine, Siberian, and other plants from high 


latitudes, are not hardy when exposed to the vicissitudes 
of our winters, but in their own locahties they are snugly 
stowed away under deep snow, all ready to burst into 
flower as soon as the snows are dissolved, where summer 
succeeds winter, without any spring. But when exposed 
here to the hot suns of February and March, succeeded 
by cold freezing nights, when the ground is bare, by the 
process of freezing and thawing, the plants are thrown 
out of the ground, and soon perish. Even many quite 
hardy herbaceous plants are thus destroyed. The only 
remedy to prevent this damage is to give all herbaceous 
plants a slight protection, which should be done before the 
jDiercing cold winds of December set hi. 

Leaves afford the best protection, and of these I prefer 
oak leaves, although any other kind will do very well. 
A thick covering of manure from the stable is injurious 
for many plants. Deep covering Avith any material is to 
be avoided. A covering of leaves three or four inches 
thick, is sufficient. A little brush laid over the leaves, 
will prevent them from being blown off by high winds. 
Do not be in a hurry to take off the covering before the 
first of April, and if the weather is severe, let it remain a 
few days longer. Some of the hybrid Roses, denominated 
pillar Roses, are best protected by laying doAvn and cover- 
ing Avdth earth, in the same manner as we protect Rasp- 
berry canes, but care must be taken to prevent tlie stems 
from being broken. When taken up in the spring, strong 
stakes or poles should be substantially fastened Into the 
ground, to which they should be tied to prevent the action 
of the wind, and keep the bushes in shape. Thus treated, 
I have seen pyramids of Roses, twenty feet high, which, 
without this protection, would have died down to two or 
three feet of the ground. Roses will bear any quantity 
of manure, and should receive a heavy dressing of stable 
or any other coarse material, applied to the roots in No- 

52 breck's new book of flowers. 

veraber, and spread and dug lightly into the ground in 
April. This aiFords the best protection to Roses and 
herbaceous Pseonies. 

Tree Pseonies, which though very hardy, may have an 
additional protection of straw neatly tied over their 
tops, the flower buds are sometimes injured without it. 
Young Altheas, some of the Spiraeas, and all tender shrubs 
may be treated in the same way. The Chinese Wistaria 
will receive much benefit by laying down, and covering 
with earth, the same as recommended for pillar Roses, as 
not unfrequently the flower buds are destroyed by the 
severity of the winter, and it is a great disappointment 
to loose the bloom of this, the most elegant of all orna- 
mental climbing plants. 

Having all the plants protected, much relief will be 
afibrded to the amateur, as he thinks of his pet flowers, 
securely covered and safe from the eflects of the extreme 
chancres which so often occur in our climate. 


That the plants in a garden may at all times present a 
neat and orderly appearance, it is important to give them 
proper support and training as the season advances, other- 
wise heavy winds and severe storms will create great dis- 
order and havoc in the pleasure ground. Stakes and rods, 
for this purpose, should be prepared in the winter or 
spring, and laid by for use, as they may be required. It 
will require some judgment and a little taste to prepare 
and affix these supports to plants of difierent habits. 
What would be most proper for a Dahlia, would not be 
appropriate for a Petunia. A strong stake, the size of a 


hoe-handle, about six feet long, should be 2:>repared for 
the Dahlia ; it should be painted, if white, with a dull 
brownish green. No rods or supports should be painted 
a bright green ; they will not require painting with any 
color if they have the bark on. Hazel rods, Buckthorn 
trimmings, or any other straight growing stick will an- 
swer for one year. Stout painted wire is more durable, and 
will answer for many years, if carefully preserved. Put 
down Dahlia supports before planting the tubers, as it 
can be done then in a more substantial manner than when 
the plant has grown a foot or two high. It is then all 
ready to tie the plant to as it advances in height. The 
best material for tying, is the bass from the West Indies ; 
it is the bark of some tree, and is kept by most seedsmen, 
and is much used by nurserymen for budding. This is 
very strong and pliable if wet, and can be split up very 
fine, and looks neat, if all hanging ends be cut off. 

When tall plants are in masses, they may be kept in 
shape by supports concealed as much as possible by the 
foliage, using strong brown twine, fastened to these sup- 
ports, to surround the mass, but care must be taken that 
the stake or twine be invisible if possible. Morning 
Glories and many other climbing plants may be trained 
on twine to some object, and will require a little assist- 
ance to give them a start, after which they will take care 
of themselves ; or in some corner they present a fine ap- 
pearance when trained to common bean poles. 

Petunias, in a mass, look best when left to themselves, 
as they naturally incline to a spreading position requiring 
only a little clij^ping w^hen they grow out of shape. A 
single plant will make a handsome j^yramid when trained 
to a supporting rod with an occasional trimming and tying. 

A few plants, well trained and supported, produce a 
much finer efiect, than a multitude of them when left to 
take care of themselves. 

54 beeck's new book of flowers. 


'' And the sinuous paths of lawn and moss, 
Which led through the garden along and across ; 
Some opened, at once to the sun and the breeze, — 
Some lost among bovvers of blossoming trees, — 
Were all paved v\ith daisies and delicate bells, 
As fair as ihe fabulous asphodels ; 
And flowerets which, drooping as day drooped loo, 
Fell into pavilions, while, purple, and blue. 
To roof the glow-worm from the evening dew." 

Situation. — As to the situation of a garden, it is not 
always in our power to choose. A level plot, however, is 
to be preferred ; for, if there be considerable descent, the 
heavy rains will wash away the soil. A southern aspect, 
sheltered from the north and west winds, is a projjer situ- 
ation for most plants. An inclination to the north, or 
west, or any any point between them, should, if possible, 
be avoided. It should be situated contiguous to or near 
the dwelhng-house, and well exposed to the sun and air, 
that the more curious and valuable flowers may be treated 
with the best success. 

Soil. — The soil should be a deep, rich loam. If not nat- 
urally so, it must be made rich and deep by trenching 
and manuring, by carting away poor soil and bringing on 
good. If naturally heavy, it should be made light with 
a more sandy soil; or, if too light, it should be improved 
by a mixture of that which is more heavy. 

The ground should be trenched two spades deep, or 
from twelve to sixteen inches, according to the quality of 
the subsoil. If the subsoil is poor, the depth of the 
mould must l)o made by carting on such substances as are 
most needed to correct tlie bad qualities of the soil. A 
comj)ost, made of decomposed green sward from a past- 


ure, and old, rotten manure, would, in most cases, be the 
best application to increase the depth of the soil. 

If the ground allotted for the flower-garden is inclined 
to be wet, or springy, it should be thoroughly drained by 
ditches, or drains, so deep underground as not to interfere 
with cultivation. A location having a gravelly subsoil 
and exposed to drought, should be avoided, if possible. 
In a word, what is wanted is a deep, rich soil, natural or 
artificial, not too wet, nor too dry. 

Laying out the Garden. — In giving directions for lay- 
ing out a flower-garden, it must be borne in mind that it. 
is not the design of the writer to give elaborate plans for 
extensive pleasure grounds ; those who are able or dis- 
posed to indulge tiiemselves in this great luxury, will, 
probably, consult the professional landscape gardener, or 
derive their information from other sources within their 
reach, rather than from a work written particularly for 
the multitude, whose means may be more or less limited. 

" Neatness should be the prevailing characteristic of a 
flower-garden, which should be so situated as to form an 
ornamental appendage to the house ; and, when circum- 
stances will admit, placed before windows exposed to a 
southern or south-eastern aspect. The principle on which 
it is laid out ought to be that of exhibiting a variety of 
colors and forms, so blended as to produce one beautiful 
whole. In a smaU flower-garden, viewed from the windows 
of the house, this eftect is best produced by beds, or borders, 
formed on the side of each other, and parallel to the win- 
dows from whence they are seen ; as, by that position, the 
colors show themselves to the best advantage. In a re- 
tired part of the garden, a rustic seat may be formed, over 
and around which honeysuckles, and other sweet and orna- 
mental creepers and climbers, may be trained on trelhses, 
so as to afibrd a pleasant retirement." 

In laying out a flower-garden, it is best to have the 

56 breck's new book of flowers. 

work all completed by the middle of October, that it may 
be in readiness to receive bulbous, and many of the herba- 
ceous and other plants, and such shrubs as are hardy 
enough to set in autumn. 

The work may, therefore, be commenced at any leisure 
time during the months of August and September ; or, if it 
is more convenient not to commence the work until spring, 
it should be accomplished as early as possible. If thus de- 
ferred, the proprietor must necessarily be deprived of the 
pleasure of having anything in its greatest perfection, ex- 
cept annuals, and tender bulbous, or tuberous plants, for 
that season. I should, therefore, advise, by all means, to 
have the work done in autumn. 

The quantity of land to be devoted to the object may 
be small; but however limited the space, it is necessary 
that some order should be observed in the general ar- 

As to the style of laying out, it will be difficult to pro- 
pose any plan that would be likely to give satisfaction to 
all, for most of our readers have a fancy of their own ; 
and, though they might be disposed to ask advice, yet 
would, probably, after all, follow the guidance of their own 
taste, whether it be good or bad. It may not be amiss, 
however, to throw out a few hints. And, in the first 
place, if any considerable extent is to be improved, — or if 
small, and it is desirable to have the business done neatly, 
and in a substantial, workmanlike manner, — we should re- 
commend that a thorough-bred, intelligent gardener be em- 
ployed to execute the work; for the beauty of a garden de- 
pends very much upon the manner of laying out, the pro- 
per consistency and richness of the soil, the make of the 
walks, and laying the edgings, Avhether of box, grass, or 
anything else. 

The form of the ground may be either square or oblong, 
somewhat circular or irregular. The interior part may be 


divided into obloDg four-feet beds, or in the manner of a 
parterre, in some fanciful style ; the former being more 
convenient, particularly for most of what are called florist's 
flowers, but the latter more pleasing to the eye. In either 
method, a walk should be carried around the outward 
boundary, leaving a border to surround the whole ground. 
This outward border wall be the most appropriate place 
for choice flowering shrubs, and tall herbaceous biennial 
and perennial plants. If the border be a wide one, groups 
of ornamental trees, of low growth, may be planted in the 
background, especially on the northern and western 
quarters, which will greatly protect the plants from cold 
winds, particularly if evergreens be planted there. Large 
trees sliould not be set so near the garden as to injure it by 
their roots or shade. Every fine garden should be well 
secured by a fence or hedge, if at all exposed to the public 
road. A hedge is far the prettiest, and if well managed, 
neat and ornamental. 

"The plan of the garden, be it either large or small, 
generally pleases when it is so constructed as to give a va- 
riety in the design. Formality, though often the leading 
feature, seldom gives that ease that is requisite. The 
planting of the ground should also bear the nicest consider- 
ation ; by which, I mean, that such shrubs and plants should 
be selected as will form a pleasing contrast, and be appro- 
priate in the difierent places assigned to them." 


Width of Walks. — ^The main walk, or walks, of a 
garden, should be laid out on a liberal scale. Nothing de- 
tracts so much from the pleasures of the flower-garden as 
contracted walks. When we wish to enjoy the company 
of a friend, in the flower-garden, it is much more agree- 
able to have him by our side, arm in arm, than to be un- 
der the necessity of making the tour of the garden in In- 

58 breck's new book of flowers. 

dian file. The main walks should, therefore, be calculated 
so as to admit two persons to walk comfortably in a social 
manner, and, if wide enough for a little one in addition, 
so much the better. From five to six feet will not be too 
wide for the main avenue. The internal compartments, 
of course, should have much narrower walks, the Avidth of 
which must be graduated, in a degree, by the size of the 

The walks of the flower-garden should be constructed 
of such material as will make firm and dry walking at all 
seasons of the year. The best walks are composed of 
small stones, oyster-shells, coarse gravel, or broken bricks, 
covered with five or six inches of fine gravel. As to the 
color of the gravel, or coating, you must be governed by 
fancy and convenience ; but as to quality, it should be 
coarse and lively, containing a due proportion of light 
sandy loam, to make it bind close and firm at all seasons ; 
but not so redundant of loam or clay as to stick to the 
feet in wet weather, nor so sandy as to be loose and open 
in dry weather. 

Groimd oyster shells are sometimes used, also granite 
chips, from a stone-cutter's, which make fine, hard walks; 
but these substances are too brilliant for the eye in a sunny 
day, and on that account are objectionable. A redish free- 
stone color has a better efiect. 

Agreeably to your design, stake out the width of the 
walk, and 2:)roceed to level the boundary on each side, cor- 
respondhig with the adjacent ground, and form the cavity 
of the walk for the reception of tlie gravel, — observing 
that the whole space, to make a good and 2)ermanent walk, 
should be dug twelve or fifteen inches deep, to allow a 
proper depth for gravel, to prevent the weeds from rising 
from the ground below, and worms from casting up the 
earth thereof. The earth dug out from the cavity of the 
walk, may be used to raise and level any hollow j^arts on 


each side, or contiguously situated, which, with the edg- 
ing, if of box, should always be completed before you be- 
gin to lay the gravel. 

The walks being thus laid out, you may first lay any 
stony rubbish, — such as broken bricks, small stones, etc., 
— for several inches deep in the bottom, which will drain 
off extra moisture, and thereby prevent the surface from 
becoming mossy or foul ; the proper gravel is then to be 
laid on, six or eight inches thick. As you proceed in lay- 
ing, observe to rake off the coarse parts into the bottom, 
and to raise the middle of the walk higher than the sides, 
in a gradually rounding form, just as much as is sufficient 
to carry off the water to each side. 

The proportion to be observed is, — a walk of four feet 
wide should be one and a half inches higher in the middle 
than at the sides, and for every foot of increase in width, add 
one-fourth of an inch to the elevation of the centre. Round- 
ing the Avalk too much would make it very uneasy to walk 
upon, and of an unpleasant appearance. No more gravel 
should be laid in one day than can be finished off and rolled 
effectually. Clean, hard gravel walks add much to the 
beauty and comfort of the garden. 

A garden roller is indispensable where there is much 
extent of walks, and it should be applied as often as once 
a week, and particularly after a rain. 


The surface of the garden having been levelled, and the 
walks dug out, according to the plan, and partially filled 
with stones and coarse gravel, the operator may now pro- 
ceed to plant the box edgings, or any other plant he may 
substitute for that purpose, or grass if that is preferred. 

Box, of all other plants, makes the neatest and most 
^beautiful edgings. This may be set in September or Octo- 
ber, but will require protection, as it is very liable to be 

60 bkeck's new book of flowers. 

thrown out by the frost, or winter-killed, without it. It 
may also be planted in the spring, and also in June ; but 
when late planted will require shading and watering. 

Box takes root freely from cuttings, and is sometimes 
used without root fibres ; but, unless great care is taken, 
some of it will fail to grow, thereby making the edging 
uneven and full of gaps, and it will be found difficult to 
get it into good shape again. If it is to be raised from 
cuttings, it should be done in a bed by itself, where it can 
have the benefit of shading and watering. 

To make neat edgings, you should get some short, bushy 
box, and let it be slipped or parted into moderately small 
slips, of not more than six or eight inches in length, divid- 
ing it in such a manner that each slip shall have more or 
less roots upon it, rejecting such as are destitute of them, 
for planting by themselves. If any have long, straggling 
roots, they should be trimmed ofi", and the plants should be 
made pretty much of a length. 

It is to be premised that the margins of the beds have 
all been properly levelled or graded ; then they should be 
trodden lightly and evenly along, to settle them moderately 
firm ; if for a straight edging, stretch the line along the 
edge of the bed or border; with the spade make up any 
inequalities of the surface, according to the line ; then, on 
the side of the line next the walk, let a small, neat trench 
be cut, about six inches deep, making the side next the 
line perfectly perpendicular, turning the earth out toward 
the walk or alley. 

For a curving margin, a strip of board, an inch wide 
and twelve or fifteen feet long, with pegs attached by 
screws or nails, at various distances along its length, so 
that it can be made fast in the ground, to correspond with 
the design, may be used instead of the line ; but some work- 
men are so expert, tlmt, having the design transferred to 
the ground, they will proceed with accuracy without such 


a guide. At any rate, the trench is to be dug out as di- 
rected for a straight line. 

The box is to be planted in the trench, close against the 
straight side, against the line, or strip of board, placing 
the plants so near together as to form immediately a close, 
comj^act edging, without being too thick and clumsy, and 
with the tops of the plants as even as possible, all at an 
equal height, not more than an inch or two above the sur- 
iace of the ground ; and, as you proceed in planting, draw the 
earth up to the outside of the plants, which will fix them 
in their due position ; and when you have planted the row 
out, then with your spade cast in the earth almost to the 
top of the plants, and tread neatly and closely thereto. 
When the edging is j^lanted, let any inequalities of the top 
be cut as evenly and neatly as possible, with a pair of 

Grass makes a very neat edging if kept in order, but it 
requires so much attention to keep it in its place, so much 
edging and cutting, that I would not recommend it. If, 
however, it is made use of, it should be obtained from a 
pasture or road-side, where it may be easily cut in strips 
to suit, of three or more inches wide, according to fancy. 
The sward should be fine and tough, so as not to break in 
cutting and removing. The mode of laying will suggest 
itself to almost any one: — the surface of the grass should 
be on a level with the earth, and but slightly raised above 
the walk. 

Thrift, if neatly planted, makes handsome edgings to 
borders or flower-beds. This may be planted as directed 
for box, slipping the old plants into small shps and setting 
the plants near enough to touch one another to form a tol- 
erably close row. 

Thyme, Hyssop, Winter-savory, and pinks are frequently 
used for edgings, but they are too prone to grow out of 
bounds, and therefore not to be recommended. 


Many other plants are often used for edgings, but there 
is nothing that makes so neat and trim an edging as box. 

It is a good time to clip old box edgings in June. They 
should never be suffered to grow tall, but be kept down low. 

It is best to give some protection to box in the winter, by 
coarse litter, or by throwing up a few inches of the fine 
gravel on one side and the earth of the border on the other. 


ISTo flower-garden can be complete without some grass. 
There are but very few, however, wlio can afford the 
luxury of an extensive lawn ; but every one wishes for a 
few rods, at least, about the house ; this may lie between 
the house and garden. When there is but a small surface 
to grass over, it may be done with turf, if it can be ob- 
tained of a good quality, Avliich is not often the case. The 
best w^ay is to begin at the beginning, and do the work 
up thoroughly. First, see tliat the ground is well prepared 
by deep digging or trenching ; for it is in vain to expect 
the lawn to preserve its greenness in summer, unless the 
soil is pulverized so that the roots of the grass may pene- 
trate two feet deep. After the soil is thus j^i'cpared and 
levelled, it should be left to settle a week or ten days ; 
then it is to be raked off smooth, and it will be ready for 
the seed. The New England Red-top, or Bent-grass, alone, 
makes the finest lawn for this climate ; but if it is desirable 
to give innnediate effect to the lawn, there sliould be a 
mixture of White Clover. Three bushels of Red-top to ten 
pounds of White Clover, or four bushels of Red-tojD without 
it, is none too much for an acre. This may seem a heavy 
seeding, but it is none too much. After sowing the seed, 
it should be rolled with a heavy roller. 

To have a fine lawn, it is necessary not only to mow it 
often, but roll it also, especially after a rain. By doing 
thus, a close texture and fine velvety turf may be obtained. 



There are many plants that succeed best when planted 
among rocks, and for their accommodation and to show off 
their beauties to the greatest advantage, it is common in 
large gardens to have an appendage, called a rockery. 
This is made of a collection of stones in the rough, or 
natural state, laid up without much order, with soil, which 
should be concealed as much as possible by the fragments 
of rocks. 

As some plants succeed best in the shade, a portion of 
the rock work should be partly surrounded by trees. 

Trilliums, Orchids, Cypripediums, and many other wild 
plants found in the woods and swamps, with an appropriate 
soil, would succeed very well in such a locality. I find an 
excellent article on this subject, written by my late friend 
J. E. Teschemacker, Esq., in one of the back numbers of 
the Horticultural Journal, which, as it is apj^ropriate, I 
insert. He says : 

" There are many plants with rather small flowers Avhich 
possess exquisite colors and elegant forms ; the charm of 
these is in a great measure lost by their being planted in 
the bed where the pitiless shower defaces their delicate 
tints with earthy splashes, or their distance from the eye 
causes their minute yet elegant characters to pass unno- 
ticed ; other plants run over the surface of the flower 
border to great distances, interfering with their neighbors, 
which would look much better hanging pendant from the 
crevice of a rock, or covering the sunny bank with their 
numerous blossoms. 

" Nature, who is always an interesting and instructive 
teacher, points out such facts plainly, by often exhibiting 

64 breck's new book of flowers. 

these her treasures inhabiting and flourishing in the cracks 
of her wild mountain scenery, making it as interesting on 
a near approach, as it is astonishing at a distance. 

Near Boston there are several glens, on a small scale, 
where the naked rock is beautifully ornamented by the 
Columbine, the Thalictrum, (Meadow-rue) the Violet, 
ferns and many other plants of great interest ; they always 
appear to me more captivating in these their natural situa- 
tions than when formally planted in the parterre. 

In Europe, few gardens are considered complete with- 
out their compartment of rock work ; and even where 
the spot is of the smallest size, a little piece of this device 
is frequently seen, filling up and concealing an ugly cor- 
ner ; nay, in the immediate vicinity of large towns where 
the kitchens occupy the places of the cellars in this coun- 
try, the way down is sometimes metamorphosed into a 
rocky glen where Polypodiums, Aspleniums and other 
ferns flourish — one friend of mine near London has a 
2>lace of this kind, where there is a collection of more 
than two hundred varieties of fern, many of them natives 
of this country, he writes to me — ' This I have turned 
into a rocky glen, planted all over with every variety of 
fern I could collect, and there are about 200 of them, in 
the several interstices between one piece of rock work 
and another, all growing beautifully, and presenting a 
singular and interesting contrast to the other surround- 
ing species of vegetation. I am quite sure that if any 
horticulturist who has the least feeling for the beauty of 
form were to see it, he would not be long without taking 
the hint ; the efiect surpasses much what I expected.' 

The nurserymen in the vicinity of London, drive a con- 
siderable trade in these rock plants, as they are called, 
and generally keep them in small pots in appropriate 
mould, so that they may T)e purchased and transplanted 
at any time of the year ; so great indeed has been, and I 


believe is still, the demand for them, that any one ac- 
quainted with the subject will know that the Alps, the 
Appenines, and every mountainous chain in the moderate 
climates have been ransacked for the purpose of adorning 
these faint imitations of nature's stupendous piles. 

The first and great care in erecting rock work is to see 
that it does not resemble a pile of loose stones, the next 
that it is not built in a regular form, such as the segment 
of a circle or right line, as I have seen recommended in 
some works — then that the fragments of rock be of widely 
different sizes — for instance, a few small stones may fill a 
large interval between heavy masses, but there must 
neither be a mass of immense blocks together, nor a num- 
ber of small ones piled on each other. It is by no means 
requisite that the whole rock work should constitute one 
mass ; on the contrary, more variety is produced by hav- 
ing it in separate masses, with passages occasionally nar- 
row and ruggedly rising, so that it is necessary to climb 
over a slight impediment to make the circuit — some 
art is required in arranging the crevices, so that the soil 
fit for each plant be not washed out by heavy rain, and 
the roots laid bare ; the moss which grows on the surface 
of barren rocks is excellent for filling the lower part of 
these interstices, and in cases where plants that love a 
damp soil are cultivated, a garden pot with the hole stop- 
ped to hold water, and another with the plant placed in 
it, may be easily concealed — where there is water which 
might be made to trickle over the rock work this aid is 
^not required. Due attention must also be paid to the 
aspect. Some flowers only open in the sunshine, others 
are only half hardy, for these the south and sheltered side 
is appropriate; ferns and many others, love the shade, and 
Avill not support the parching rays of the sun, these may 
clothe the northern aspect. 

I have already made the remark in a former communica- 

66 beeck's new book of^ flowers. 

tion that the clear and bright atmosphere of this section 
of the United States seems particularly adapted for col- 
lections of this nature ; for many delightful plants which 
luxuriate in the colder yet purer air which prevails in the 
higher regions of the Alps, will not bear the humid and 
foggy atmosphere of England ; these are often introduced, 
but as often perish ; here they would probably be perma- 

I may possibly have enlarged more on this subject than 
can be interesting here, where few of these artificial struc- 
tures exist, yet as it is almost certain they will be shortly 
introduced, and if once introduced, are sure to become com- 
mon, especially as the materials both for their erection 
and ornament are in plenty, I may be pardoned for en- 
deavoring, while opportunity is mine, to create an inter- 
est in a pursuit which has afforded me so much pleasure. 

I conclude with a list of some of the most showy and 
conspicuous plants for this purpose, beginning with those 
which are found in this immediate vicinity. 

HoilStonia coenil^a, and lon^ifolia, bluish and long- 
leaved Houstonia, The former blossoms from middle of 
May to the middle of June in clusters so thick, that no stem 
can be seen, about three inches high, and may be gathered 
plentifully at Cambridge and Dedham, it is only annual ; 
the long-leaved variety is perennial, an inch or two taller 
thnn the coerulea, but is a much rarer plant, I have only 
seen it near the granite quarry at Quincy, it was then in 
blossom in August. 

Mitchi^lla ripens, the Checkerberry, this is almost too 
well known to require description, but its beautiful hairy 
white flowers which are extremely fragrant, and the 
bright scarlet fruit which succeeds them, would be greatly 
ornamental to rock work ; it al)ounds every where. 

Epj^a^a rCipcns. — Ground-laurel. I do not know that 
this beautiful plant grows any where in this immediate 


vicinity, but it covers the rocks at Gloucester, Cape Ann, 
Plymouth, and a variety of other places, it is held in the 
highest estimation in Europe, and well deserves it. The 
fruit is rarely seen, nor do I remember a description of it 
any where ; it is about the size of a small wood straw- 
berry, white, pulpy, with divisions like those of an orange, 
the interstices filled with beautiful small black seeds, the 
flavor of this pulp is of a most delicate sweetness, which 
only remains an instant on the tongue, and appears as if 
formed for the food only of an ethereal humming bird. 

Gualtheria procumbens. — Partridge berry. This is 
more ornamental in its red-berried fruit than in the flower 
— it is found every where in the neighborhood. 

Dalibarda ripens and fra^rarioides, the white and 
yellow Dalibarda, very lively little creeping plants, some- 
what resembling the strawberry, but the flowers much 
more elegant from the delicacy of the stamens. Dr. 
Bigelow says they are found in woods in Princeton and 
in Hanover, N. H. ; I have not been to these places, but 
found them plentifully creeping over rocks imbedded in 
moss in Maine, flowering there in August, here rather ear- 
lier. [^DalibarcUafragarioides^'i^ now caWe^Waldsteiiia.^ 

Hepatica triloba. — Liver-leaf. This beautiful flower 
which appears before its leaves in April and May, is found 
plentifully at Mount Auburn in all its variety of colors, 
blue, white and pink ; it is indispensable in rock work. 

Thalictrum anemonoidcs.— Rue-leaved Anemone, and 
Anemone nemorosa — Wood Anemone. The first, which is 
from 8 to 12 inches high, is found in plenty at Dedham, 
the other everywhere in woods ; they are white and 
very ornamental. 

Viola pedata, and others. — These are well known, and 
as they are early, are extremely desirable to satisfy the 
impatience of those amateurs who are constantly on the 
look-out for signs of the approach of their season of en- 

68 beeck's new book of flowers. 

joyment. Many other plants of this description abound 
near Boston, but I must pass on to those of other chmates. 

The first are almost the whole tribe of Saxifrages, one 
of which, vernalis^ though not sufiicently showy for our 
purpose, is the earliest flower that blows near Boston. 
Saxifraga granulata^ which may be purchased here, I re- 
commend as most consj)icuous. 

The next are a tribe of thick-leaved plants called Sedums 
and Semjyervivuins or House-leek, amongst these the yellow 
stone-crop and the Sedum ternatum^ both ornamental, are 
well known here. 

The family of Campanula aflbrd a liberal subscription 
towards our design. G. pumila^ white and blue, eriiius 
and many others adorn the rocky places bordering the 
Me d it err an e an . 

Several creeping Geraniums which blossom throughout 
the summer are a|)propriate plants. G. sangidneum^ Lan- 
castr tense and Wallichiammi are to be had at the nur- 
series in this country. 

Dianthus montailUS, Mountain pink, with several others 
of this tribe, are extremely pretty. 

Verl)^lia, of different varieties, eclipsing every other 
flow^er by its brilliancy ; this, however, requires protection 
in the house during the winter. 

Lysimacllia niimmtllaria. — Money Wort. This requires 
a damp soil to flourish, but must be kept in subjection, or 
it will overrun all the rest. 

Lobelia bicolor and crinoides, with several others of 
this tribe, small bright blue flowers, very lively. 

Tiarijlla COrdifolia, a pretty plant with spikes of elegant 
sinfill greenish white flowers, a native of the older woods 
in this State. 

Fraffaria Illdica, or Chinese Strawberry. The bright 
red strawberry-like fruit of this is very ornamental to 
the rock in autumn. 


Cerastilim tomentosunii, Monse-oarod Chickweed, has a 
small Avhite woolly beautiful leaf, and for this genus a 
large white flower. 

I have given a list of enough for a beginner, and shall 
be happy to continue it if these structures at all increase. 

There are many other plants, not referred to in this ar- 
ticle, which will be found in the body of this work, under 
the heads of their respective genera, that are recom- 
mended for rock-work. 


When a garden is so situated that it can be supplied 
with living or running water, a collection of aquatic 
plants in an aquarium, in connection with a fish pond, 
will be an object of additional interest to the pleasure 
ground. But on no account would I advise an append- 
age of this sort to a garden, unless it be fed by a stream 
of water or spring. A dug-out, even if water can be ob- 
tained the year round, without an outlet or inlet, is a 
great nuisance, and only fit for raising frogs, musquitoes, 
and for the growth of green conferva3 upon its stagnant 
surface. With a stream or never failing spring of water, 
an aquarium can be made without much expense, if not 
on too large a scale. It should be at least three feet 
deep, and lined with a substantial stone wall ; it should 
have a margin of grass, or be edged with rough or dressed 
granite or free-stone, surrounded with a nice gravel walk. 
The portion of aquarium designed for most plants, should 
be three feet deep, in addition to a good depth of rich 
soil, while the bottom of the other section should be laid 


over with small pebbles, that the fish may be more dis- 
tinctly seen ; a few large shells will add to the interest 
of the pond. The most interesting aquatic plant of our 
country is the well known and universal favorite, the 
Nymphciea odorata^ the Water Lily. Its botanical 
name signifies "the Nymph or Naiad of the Streams." 
Few plants possess more exquisite fragrance than the com- 
mon Water Lily. When floating upon the surface of the 
water, its open petals spread out to receive the genial 
rays of the sun; it is an object of great interest, and may 
be truly considered the embodiment of purity and love- 
liness. It is generally found in deep water, where its 
roots are secured from the frosts in the winter by a sort 
of natural hot-bed being thus provided for it. In my ex- 
perience, two feet of water is ami)ly sufficient to protect 
it. The roots creep through the muddy bottom of ponds 
to a great extent. They are very rough, knotted, black- 
ish, and as large as a man's arm, and difficult to extract 
from the bottom of deej^ water, but when taken up there 
is no more trouble. Tie stones to the roots, and throw 
them in to the part of the pond prepared for them, and 
they will soon establish themselves. There appears to be 
two common varieties, one with stout green stems, green 
calyx and white within, and the petals without any tint 
of pink or purple ; the other has brown stems, more slen- 
der ; flowers with brownish green calyx and pinkish white 
within, the outer j^etals tinged with red on the under 
side. While I resided in Lancaster, Mass., I found a 
beautiful variety, in a corner of a pond in that town, with 
pink petals, which I transferred to a small pond in my 
garden, where it flourished until I left the place. The pond 
was afterward drained, and I suppose tlie root was destroy- 
ed. Mr. Wm. E. Carter, formerly of the Botanic Garden, 
Cambridge, procured from the same pond a root which 
flourished many years in the aquarium there, but in clear- 


ing it out by one of his successors, I understand this rare 
variety was destroyed. 1 fear that no more of it can be 
obtained, as there was but one spot in the pond where it 
was found, and I thought at the time that Mr. Carter and 
myself took possession of all the roots. 

IV. odorata minor^ is a rare variety with very small flow- 
ers and leaves, which I have found in some ponds, but 
cannot remember where. These varieties of the white lily 
will be sufficient for a small aquarium — but if it be of 
larger dimensions, there are a number of other species 
of native aquatic plants, which may be introduced. 

Nuphar adveiia, or Yellow Water-Lily, has roots 
similar to N". odorata j it has a very curious flower, but 
the odor of it is the opj^osite of that flower, for the smell 
is anything but agreeable. 

Poiltederia COrdata, or Pickerel-weed, is found in 
shallow water ; its tall spikes of blue flowers are quite 
ornamentak For this plant the soil should be raised to 
within one foot, or foot and a half, of the surface of the 

SagUtaria sagittifolia, is a handsome plant found 
about the margin of ponds and brooks in shallow 
water. Its white flowers arranged in whorls of three, are 
produced in July and August ; the depth of water over 
these roots need not be more than 3 or 4 inches. A por- 
tion of the soil on the margin may be raised a few inches 
above the water level, which will be a suitable place for 
the beautiful Lobelia cardinalis^ of our meadows, for the 
curious Sarracenia or side-saddle flower, and for many 
other bog or swamp plants. 

72 breck's new book of flowers. 


" Descemling snow, the golden leaf and sear, 
Are indications of old Time's career ; 
The careful florist tends his sheltered plants, 
Stiidies tiieir natures, and supplies their wants." 

A FEW plants in the house are desirable, or even in- 
dispensable to the female portion of the family, or to in- 
valids who have a taste for flowers. 

A choice collection of plants, in the sitting-room or par- 
lor, will add much to the charms of home ; but as we 
often see them, weak, straggling, drawn up, crowded to- 
gether, and infested with insects, they give pain rather 
than pleasure. 

The clear sunlight through the window, is far prefer- 
able to a congregation of coarse earthen j^ots and sau- 
cers, with their sickly occupants. Judging from what we 
too often see, cultivators in parlors have very erroneous 
ideas of what is necessary for a perfect development of 
their plants. In fact, the plants are often killed with too 
much kindness ; too much heat, too much water, want of 
light and air, or want of water, are the general causes of 
the sickly state of plants, to which may be added, unsuit- 
able compost or mould. Saucers under the pots, if water 
is suffered to stand in them, are injurious, though neces- 
sary for the sake of neatness ; never, therefore, suffer the 
water to stand in them, nor to be poured into them. The 
water should always be given on the surface, but never 
unless the surface is dry, and then for most plants, only 
in moderate quatitities. Rain water only should be used, 
and that of a mild temperature, but not warm. When 


water is necessary, it should be applied in the morning 
of a mild sunny day. 

Manure water may he resorted to, to stimulate the 
plants occasionally ; but an over-dose may be injurious, 
if not destructive. 

It is useless to expend time upon plants in rooms where 
the windows face to the north. South, south-east, or 
south-west exposures are the best ; of course a south Avin- 
dow is the very best, as it admits the sun all day. 

Light is more important than great heat ; indeed, plants 
are frequently ruined, by keeping the room excessively 
hot. The hot, dry air of most sitting-rooms of the present 
day is so injurious to the Camellia, (as well as to some other 
plants) that it can hardly be made to flower, as the buds 
will fall off lono; before the time of flowerino-. But I 
have seen as fine blooms of the Camellia in an old-fash- 
ioned sitting-room iu the country, as I have in the green- 
house. The room was so cold at night that the thermo- 
meter would fill nearly to freezing, with a plenty of air 
from the old window casements during the day. A good 
temperature for the Camellia is a range of 40^^ by night, 
to 60° during the day. I do not mean to be imderstood 
that this should be the highest i-ange in the sun ; but at 
the back side of the room, in the shade. This tempera- 
ture will also do for most plants ; some will thrive better 
with a higher range, but their cultivation should not be 
attempted in a sitting-room. 

Where there is too much heat, without a proper expo- 
sure to light, the plants will spindle up, and make feeble, 
sickly growth, and if they produce flowers, they will be 
so weak and pale as to excite the pity of the beholder. 

Unless the pots are turned every day, the plants will 
grow one-sided; every plant should receive as much light 
as possible. 

A stand for flowers should have rollers attached to the 

74 breck's new book of flowers. 

legs, so that the plants may be readily turned round to 
the light, or wheeled into the middle of the room at night, 
when the weather is severe. 


The most imjDortant requisite, for the successful cultiva- 
tion of plants, is to have a stock of suitable compost for 
the various kinrls. A plant in unsuitable mould cannot be 
healthy. The following materials should be obtained : 

1. Good garden mould. 

2. Mould from decayed turf, from a pasture or field. 

3. Mould from decayed leaves. 

4. Decomposed stable, or cow-yard manure. 

5. Sea or river sand, free from salt. 

6. Peat, from the meadows, that has been exposed to 


7. Coarse sand or gravel. 

8. Broken flower-pots, charcoal, or oyster-shells. 

9. Old mortar or i^lastering. 

Garden mould will not be needed if there is a supply 
of fine decayed turf mould, and will be wanted only in 
case of necessity. Turf mould, for a basis, is probably 
the best ingredient for a compost for plants. The broken 
pots, charcoal, etc., are used for drainage, to be placed in 
the bottom of the pot at the time of potting. About 
one-fifth of the depth of the pot may be filled with the 
broken up drainage materials. A little meadow moss 
over this will prevent the mould from washing down. 

Leaf mould is not always to be obtained ; but it is a pre- 
cious ingredient in a compost, and many plants thrive 
much better in it than in anything else. It takes a long 
time to decompose leaves so as to be suitable for compost. 

To have compost in perfection, the difierent ingredients 
should be mixed in advance of the time when they are 
wanted. They should be thoroughly mixed together, and 


put in heaps, in the shade or under cover, and turned over 
every five or six weeks during the summer, as it will be 
wanted in August or September, when the plants are re- 

Compost for Camellias, Pelargoniums, Roses, and most 
plants may be made of the following ingredients : 

1 part river or sea sand. 

1 " leaf mould. 

1 " well rotted manure from old hot-beds. 

1 " peat. 

2 " turf or a-arden mould. 
Or, if no leaf mould, 

1 part sand. 

2 " well rotted manure. 

1 " peat. 

2 " turf or garden mould. 

If there is no peat, substitute turf or garden mould. 
For Cactuses : 

2 parts coarse sand. 

8 " leaf and turf mould. 

1 " peat, and a little broken plaster. 

For Azaleas, Ericas, and most New Holland plants : 

4 parts peat. 

2 " sand. 

1 " garden or turf mould. 
1 " Teaf do. 

After the plants have done flowering in the spring, 
and as soon as the frosts are over, the pot should be 
plunged in the ground in a shady place, and watered 
sparingly during the summer. The great object during 
the summer will be to keep the plants at rest, so that they 
may bloom with greater vigor in the winter. They must 
not be suflered, however, to dry up, excepting the bulb- 
ous roots ; these may remain in the shade without Avater, 
as the moisture would start them prematurely. 

Washing the leaves of Camellias, Oranges, and some 
other plants, with a soft sponge, gives a healthy look to 
the plants, and is of great service to them. 

76 breck's new book of flowers. 

Geraniums, or Pelargoniums, should be cut in very 
close, as they will make much fiuer plants, and start with 
greater vigor, and give a greater profusion of bloom, 
than if this were neglected. It will not be necessary to 
repot the Roses quite so early as the Geraniums, Camel- 
lias, and some other plants ; they may be kept out much 
longer and exposed to severe frosts before they are pot- 
ted. The branches should then be reduced to three or 
four buds, and the pots stowed away in the cellar for a 
couple of months. 

Fuchsias may be treated in the same way. When 
brought into the room, in January, they will grow with 
great vigor, and give a finer bloom than if started earlier. 

It is better to keep most of the plants rather cool dur- 
ing the months of November and December, and all the 
hardier kinds should be kept out of doors as long as pos- 
sible. A slight frost will not injure a great majority of 
parlor plants ; but a hard frost, although it might not de- 
stroy them, would weaken them very much. Geraniums, 
Heliotropes, Begonias, Salvias, and others of like tender- 
ness, should be housed as soon as even moderate frosts 
are expected. 


There is a variety of insects which infest parlor plants, 
and, unless looked after rather closely, will destroy their 
beauty. The green fly is a great pest to parlor and green- 
house plants ; but is easily killed in the green-house, by 
filling the house thoroughly with tobacco smoke at the 
close of the day, and then shutting it up tight for the 
night. For parlor plants, it will be necessary to put them 
in large boxes, or barrels, and fill them with smoke, and 
cover up tight. This will effectually destroy this destruc- 
tive and disgusting insect. By immersing the plants in 
a tub of soap-suds they may be freed from the fly. To 


do this, a piece of pasteboard should be made to cover 
the top of the pot, cutting a side slit for the stem ; then, 
holding the hand over the pasteboard, the pot may be in- 
verted without disturbing the mould, and, by the immer- 
sion, the foliage will be effectually freed from the insect. 

The red spider may be detected by examining the 
leaves, which look yellow and sickly ; but they are so small 
it will require good eyes to see them. This minute, ugly 
customer is not so easily got rid of as the green fly. Plants 
from neglected green-houses are often infested with it. 
The most effectual way of destroying this insect is to give 
the plants repeated syringing with sulphur and water, or a 
solution of Avhale-oil soap water. The jilants can be taken 
out of doors in a mild day, and the operation performed 
upon them, remembering that it is important to syringe 
the under side of the leaf as well as the uj^per side, as 
the red spider will be found in greater abundance there. 

There is another insect more difficult to get rid of than 
either of those named. It is the mealy bug, which may 
be found in the axils of the leaves, and on the stems of 
Oranges, Camellias, Heaths, etc. It looks like little 
specks of cotton ; but, upon j^icking it off, a disagreeable, 
ugly-looking insect will be found imbedded in this glu- 
tinous, cottony substance. It is sometimes very trouble- 
some in graperies, and requires much care to get rid of it. 
It is only to be destroyed by industriously picking it off. 


The parlor can be made very gay, during the month 
of November and part of December, by a choice collec- 
tion of Chrysanthemums. If they are kept out of the mid- 
day sun, their beauty will be greatly prolonged. 

Some of the new varieties of Pompone, or Button 
Chrysanthemums, are very beautiful, and add much in- 
terest to a collection. One dozen each of the best large 

78 breck's new book of flowers. 

varieties, and as many of the new Pompono sorts, will 
make up a good assortment. The colors of the last are more 
brilliant than those of the others. On some of them the 
flowers are not much larger than fine double Daisies, but 
are produced in great profusion. After flowering, cut off 
the tops of the plants, and stow them away in a dry cel- 
lar, where they may remain till spring. For the most 
successful mode of cultivation, see page 

There is a great variety of plants that succeed well in 
the house, besides those already named. The Cactus Fam- 
ily embraces a great many varieties, which succeed well 
in very warm, dry rooms. The Daphne odora requires 
but little care, and is one of the most highly odoriferous 
plants in cultivation. The Diosma, Heliotrope, Sweet- 
scented Verbena, Double sweet-scented Violets, Jasmines, 
Perpetual Pinks, Gardenia, or Cape Jasmine, Sweet- 
scented Geraniums, Mahernia odorata. Lemon, Orange, 
and many other plants, are highly prized for their delight- 
ful odor. 

Azalea Indica in its varieties, Acacias of many beauti- 
ful sorts. Begonias, Fuchsia, Myrtles, Oleanders, Primu- 
las, Daisies, Geraniums (scarlet, rose, and variegated 
leaved). Pelargoniums, Verbenas, Oxalis, Stevias, and 
many plants, succeed very well in the parlor. I wish it 
could be said that the Ericas, or Heaths, so beautiful, 
would succeed equally as well ; — they want a moist at- 
mosphere, and neither very warm nor very cool. 

The double Stocks and Wall-flowers are also suitable for 
the parlor, and are very simple in their cultivation. These 
are raised from seed, which, if of a good quality, will pro- 
duce plants half of which or more will have double flowers. 
As they are difiicult to transplant when large, without 
severly checking their growth, it is best to pot them in 
the smallest sized pots, as soon as they show six or eight 
leaves, and, as they advance in growth, shift them into 


larger sized ones. When the flower buds show themselves, 
it will be easy to detect those that will be single, which 
should be rejected. Hyacinths, Polyanthus Narcissus, 
and many other bulbous-rooted plants, flourish in the 

I have named more kinds of plants than are commonly 
cultivated in parlors, but the directions given in this 
chapter apply equally to small conservatories, connected 
with the sitting-room, where professed gardeners are not 
employed. For such appendages a greater variety of 
plants will be required than for the parlor. 


By the middle of August, or the first of September, the 
plants will require to be re-potted ; this must be done with 
care and judgment. The following directions are minute 
and to the point : 

To ascertain if a plant wants fresh potting, turn it care- 
fully out of the pot, with the earth attached to it, and ex- 
amine the roots. If they are matted about the sides and 
bottom of the ball, the plant evidently requires fresh pot- 
ting. Then carefully reduce the ball of earth, to about 
a third of its original bulk ; single out the matted roots, 
and trim away all that are mouldy and decayed. Proba- 
bly the same pot may tlien be large enough, but, if it re- 
quires a larger one, it should be about two inches broader 
for a middle-sized plant; three or four for a large plant. 
If the roots are not matted, but the pots are filled with 
fibres, keep the ball entire and carefully plant it in a 


larger pot. At the top of a large pot, an inch, and of a small 
one, half an inch, should be left for the reception of wa- 
ter, without danger of overflow. A little gravel, charcoal, 
or pieces of broken pots should always be placed at the 
bottom for drainage. 

A plant newly potted must never be exposed to a 
strong sun. It should be watered and placed in the shade 
immediately, and there remain till it is rooted, which may 
be known by its starting to grow. 

Plants are frequently destroyed by re-potting, merely 
from the careless manner in which it is done. AYhere the 
roots spread, plenty of room should be left open, a little 
hillock made in the centre of the pot, and the plant be- 
ing placed thereon, the roots should be distributed around 
it in a regular manner, observing that they are not 
twisted or turned up at the ends. The earth should then 
be filled in, a little at a time, and the pot gently shaken 
to settle the earth to the roots all the way down. When 
filled, it should be pressed down with the hand. It is 
very common to fill in the earth at once, and press it hard 
down, which not only wounds the tender fibres, but often 
leaves a hollow space around the lower roots, and de- 
prives them of their proper nourishment. But the thing 
most necessary to be observed is, that the roots he allowed 
their natural course. 

All plants should be kept clear of weeds, not for neat- 
ness alone, but because these exhaust the nutriment which 
should feed the plant. 


The best water for plants is undoubtedly rain water ; 
if this cannot be obtained, river water will do, pond wa- 
ter is not so good ; but worst of all is hard spring water. 
In winter, and for delicate plants, even in summer, water 
should be placed in the sun until it becomes tepid before 
it is used. 


The water should never be allowed to remain in the 
pan under the pot, as it tends to rot the roots. It may be 
well to observe that plants should be watered with a rose 
on the spout of a watering pot, and the more finely it is 
perforated the better, so as to sprinkle the water lightly 
over the flowers and leaves, without bending them down 
with its weight. 

Many persons think it sufficient to water the roots, 
which is a great mistake. It materially contributes to 
its health and beauty to sprinkle the whole j^lant : 

— " Comforting the garden, woods, and flowers 

With llie cool spray of artificial sliowers." — Garcilasso. 

Of such plants as are succulent, it is generally advised to 
water the leaves but seldom, lest a redundancy of moist- 
ure should rot them. The best way in watering all 
plants, is rather to cast the water at, than to pour it on 
them, as it falls more lightly. It will be observed that 
more water, as well as more shelter, must be necessary 
for potted plants than for those in the open ground. 


. Flowers must not be denied the light, towards which 
they naturally turn ; the want of it will injure their health 
as much as the want of water, air, or warmth. 

They must also be allowed air, even those that will not 
bear the outer air must have the air of the room fre- 
quently freshened by ventilation, to preserve them in 
health. Care should be taken not to let plants stand in 
a draught, for, when so situated, one strong gust of an 
easterly wind will often prove sufficient to destroy them. 






To give a description of all the insects that infest the 
plants of the flower-garden, it would be necessary to 
write a volume, so numerous are the voracious tribe that 
prey upon the roots, stems, foliage, and flowers of the 
floral kingdom. The depredation of insects is one of the 
greatest ofl*sets to the pleasures of the garden. To nurse 
some favorite plant, watching over it from day to day, 
anticipating its opening beauties, and then, just as one's 
hopes are upon the point of being realized, to see the 
plant suddenly smitten with some mysterious disease, or 
as suddenly destroyed by some noxious vermin, — perhaps 
dying in a night, like Jonah's gourd, — who can help feel- 
ing a little ruflled, or even like justifying good old Jonah, 
who thought it " well to be angry for his gourd ? " 

The knowledge we j^ossess of the habits of the various 
insects is very scanty. We are indebted, mainly, to that 
excellent work, " A Treatise on some of the Insects of 
New England, which are injurious to Vegetation," by 
Dr. T. W. Harris, of Cambridge, Mass., for all that is im- 
portant in relation to them, and have freely quoted from 
it in the following pages. Dr. Harris' Treatise should be 
accessible to every one who has anything to do with the 
cultivation of tlic form or garden. His descriptions are 
so plain, that almost any person may get all the desirable 
information of all those insects of which he treats. 

Some of the most annoying insects of the flower-gar- 
den, are the Rose Saw-fly, or Rose Slug, and the Rose 


Rose Slug. — The Rose Slug has, within a few years, 
proved very destructive to the Rose, in the vicinity of 
Boston, and probably in other j^arts of the country ; so 
much so, that many persons have almost abandoned the 
cultivation of this most desirable of all flowers. Several 
years since, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society of- 
fered the liberal special premium of $100 for an efficient 
remedy. An application of diluted whale-oil soap was 
discovered, by Mr. David Haggerston, to be a complete 
remedy, when seasonably applied, and the premium was 
awarded to him. We insert on a subsequent page his 
communication to the Society, in which he details the 
mode of preparation and application. 

The Rose Slug, if not checked in season, destroys the 
foliage, and the plants look as if they had been scorched 
by fire. We have known delicate growing roses killed 
to the ground by these small, but destructive insects. 

One great objection to the use of whale-oil soap is the 
disagreeable odor it gives to the plant, and, if applied 
at the time the roses are in bloom, it spoils them entirely. 
When the insect is in the fly-state, it may be found in 
great numbers on the under side of the leaves. The 
whale-oil soap will destroy it in that state, if it is applied 
with a syringe, or garden engine. 

If the application is made in season, and followed up, 
every two or days, till the roses begin to open their buds, 
the slug will either be exterminated, or so far checked as 
to preserve the foliage till the bloom is about over, Avhen 
a new attack must be made upon the surviving vermin, 
which by this time have acquired their full size. It takes 
two or three days to rid the plants of the disagreeable 
odor, after the application. We give Dr. Harris' descrip- 
tion of the insect entire : — 

" The Saw-fly of the rose, which, as it does not seem to 
have been descrPoed before, may be called Selandria rosce. 

84 breck's new book of flowers. 

from its favorite plant, so nearly resembles the slug-worm 
saw-fly as not to be distinguished therefrom, except by a 
practised observer. It is also very much like Selandria 
harda^ vitis^ and pi/gmcea, but has not the red thorax of 
these three closely allied species. It is of a deep and 
shining black color. The first two pairs of legs are 
brownish-gray, or dirty white, except the thighs, which 
are almost entirely black. The hind legs are black, with 
whitish knees. The wings are smoky, and transparent, 
with dark-brown veins, and a brown spot near the middle 
of the edge of the first pair. The body of the male is a 
little more than three-twentieths of an inch long, that of 
the female one-fifth of an inch or more, and the wings 
expand nearly or quite two-fifths of an inch. These Saw- 
flies come out of the ground, at various times, between 
the twentieth of May and the middle of June, during 
which period they pair and lay their eggs. The females 
do not fly much, and may be seen, during most of the 
day, resting on the leaves ; and, when touched, they draw 
up their legs, and fall to the ground. The males are 
more active, fly from one rose-bush to another, and hover 
around their sluggish partners. The latter, when about 
to lay their eggs, turn a little on one side, un sheath 
their saws, and thrust them obliquely into the skin of the 
leaf, depositing, in each incision thus made, a single egg. 
The young begin to hatch in ten days or a fortnight 
after the eggs are laid. They may sometimes be found 
on the leaves as early as the first of June, but do not 
usually appear in considerable numbers till the twentietli 
of the same month. How long they are in coming to 
maturity, I have not particularly obseiwed ; but the period 
of their existence in the caterpillar state probably does 
not exceed three weeks. They somewhat resemble the 
young of the Saw-fly in form, but arc not quite so con- 
vex. They have a small, round, yellowish head, with a 


black dot on each side of it, and are provided with twen- 
ty-two short legs. The body is green above, paler at the 
sides, and yellowish beneath ; and it is soft, and almost 
transparent, like jelly. The skin of the back is transverse*- 
ly wrinkled, and covered with minute elevated points ; 
and there are two small, trij^le-pointed warts on the edge 
of the first ring, immediately behind the head. These ge- 
latinous and sluggish creatures eat the upper surface of 
the leaf in large irregular j^atches, leaving the veins of the 
skin, beneath, untouched ; and they are sometimes so 
thick that not a leaf on the bushes is spared by them, and 
the whole fohage looks as if it had been scorched by fire, 
and drops ofi" soon afterwards. Tliey cast their skins 
several times, leaving them extended and fastened on the 
leaves ; after the last moulting, they lose their semi-trans- 
parent and greenish color, and acquire an opaque yellow- 
ish hue. They then leave the rose-bushes, some of them 
slowly creeping down the stem, and others rolling up and 
dropping off, especially when the bushes are shaken by 
the wind. Havinoj reached the orround, thev burrow to 
the depth of an inch or more in the earth, where each one 
makes for itself a small oval cell, of grains of earth, ce- 
mented with a little gummy silk. Having finished their 
transformations, and turned to flies, Avithin their cells, 
they come out of the ground early in August, and lay 
their eggs for a second brood of young. These, in turn, 
perform their appointed work of destruction in the au- 
tumn. They then go into the ground, make their earthen 
cells, remain therein throughout the winter, and appear, 
in the winged form, in the following spring and summer. 

" During several years past, these pernicious vermin 
have infested the rose-bushes in the vicinity of Boston, and 
have proved so injurious to them as to have excited the 
attention of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, by 
whom a premium of |100, for the most successful mode 

86 breck's new book of flowers. 

of destroying these insects, was offered, in the summer of 
1840. About ten years ago I observed them in gardens 
at Cambridge, and then made myself acquainted with 
their transformations. At that time they had not reached 
Milton, my former place of residence, and have appeared 
in that place only within two or three years. They now 
seem to be gradually extending in all directions, and an 
effectual method for preserving our roses from their at- 
tacks has become very desirable to all persons who set any 
value on this beautiful ornament of our gardens and shrub- 
beries. Showering or syringing the bushes with a liquor, 
made by mixing with water the juice expressed from to- 
bacco by tobacconists, has been recommended ; but some 
caution is necessary in making this mixture of a proper 
strength, for, if too strong, it is injurious to the plants ; 
and the experiment does not seem, as yet, to have been 
conducted with sufficient care to insure safety and success. 
Dusting lime over the plants when wet with dew has been 
tried, and found of some use ; but this and all other reme- 
dies will probably yield in efficacy to Mr. Haggerston's 
mixture of w]iale-oil soap and water, in the proportion of 
two pounds of the soap to fifteen gallons of water. Par- 
ticular directions, drawn up by Mr. Haggerston himself, 
for the preparation and use of this simple and cheap appli- 
cation, may be found in the ' Boston Courier,' for the 25th 
of June, 1841, and also in most of our agricultural and 
horticultural journals of the same time. The utility of 
this mixture has already been repeatedly mentioned in this 
treatise, and it may be applied in other cases with advan- 
tage. Mr. Haggerston finds that it effectually destroys 
many kinds of insects; and he particularly mentions 
plant-lice of various kinds, red spiders, canker-worms, and 
a little jum])ing insect, which has lately been found quite 
as hurtful to rose-bushes as the slugs or young of the 
Saw-fly. The little insect, alluded to, has been mistaken 


for a species of Thrips, or rine-fretter ; it is, however, a 
leaf-hopper, or species of Tettigonia, much smaller than 
the leaf-hopper of the grape-vine {Tettigonia vitis)^ de- 
scribed in a former part of this essay, and, like the leaf- 
hopper of a bean, entirely of a pale-green color." 

" To M. P. Wilder^ Esq.^ Ft-esident of the Massachusetts Horticultural 

Society : 

" Sir, — Having discovered a cheap and effectual mode of destroying 
tlie Rose Slug, I wisli to become a competitor for the premium offered 
by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. After very many satisfac- 
tory experiments with the following substance, I am convinced it will 
destroy the above insect, in either of the states in which it appears on 
the plant, as the fly, Avhen it is laying its eggs, or as the slug, when it is 
committing its depredations on the foliage. 

" Wha-LE Oil Soap, dissolved at the rate of two pounds to fifteen gallons 
of boater. I have used it stronger, without injury to the plants, but find 
the above mixture effectual in the destruction of the insect. As I find, 
from experiments, there is a difference in the strength of the soap, it 
will be better for persons using it, to try it diluted as above, and if it 
does not kill the insect, add a little more soap, with caution. In corre- 
sponding with Messrs. Downer, Austin & Co., on the difference in its 
appearance, they say : ' Whale Oil Soap varies much in its relative 
strength, the article not being made as soap, but being formed in our 
process of bleaching oil. When it is of very sharp taste, and dark ap- 
pearance, the alkali predominates, and when light-colored and flat 
taste the grease predominales.' The former I have generally used, 
but have tried the light-colored, and find it equally effectual, but requir- 
ing a little more soap, — say two pounds to thirteen gallons of water. 

'■'■ 3Iode of Preparation. — Take whatever quantity of soap you wish to 
prepare, and dissolve it in boiling water, about one quart to a pound ; in 
this way strain it through a fine wire or hair sieve, which takes out the 
dirt, and prevents its stopping the valves of the engine, or the nose of 
the syringe, then add cold water, to make it the proper strength, 
apply it to the rose-bush, with a hand-engine or syringe, with as much 
force as practicable, and be sure that every part of the leaves is well 
saturated with the liquid. What falls to the ground, in application, will 
do good in destroying the worms and enriching the soil, and, from its 
trifling cost, it can be used with profusion. A hogshead of 136 gallons 
costs forty-five cents, — not quite four mills per gallon. Early in the 
morning, or in the evening, is the proper time to apply it to the plants. 

"As there are many other troublesome and destructive insects the 
above preparation will dcstro}', as effectually as the Rose Slug, it may be 
of benefit to the community to know the different kinds upon which I 
have tried it with success. 

88 beeck's new book of flowers. 

"The Thrips, often called the Vine-Fretter, — a small, light-colored or 
spotted fly, quick iu motion, which, in some places, are making the rose, 
bush nearl}' as bad in appearance as the effects of the Slug. Aphis^ or 
Plant Louse, under the name of Green or Brown Fly ; an insect not 
quick in motion, very abundant on, and destructive to, the young shoots 
of the Rose, the Peach Tree, and many other plants. The Black Fly, a 
very troublesome and destructive insect, that infests the young shoots 
of the Cherry and the Snowball Tree. I have never known any positive 
cure for the effects of this insect, until this time. Two varieties of in- 
sects that are destructive to, and very much disfigure, Evergreens, the 
Balsam or Balm of Gilead Fir in particular, one an Aphis, the other very 
much like the Rose Slug. The Acarus, or Red Spider, that well-known 
pest to gardeners, 

"The disease 3Iildcw, on the Gooseberry, Peach, Grape Vine, etc., etc., 
is checked and entirely destroyed by a weak dressing of the solution. 

"The above insects are generally all destroyed by one application, if 
properly applied to all parts of the foliage. The eggs of most insects 
continue to hatch in rotation, during their season. To keep the plants 
perfectly clean, it will be necessary to dress them two or three times. 
" I remain, Sir, 

"Your most obedient Servant, 


" Watertown, June 19th, 1841." 

The Rose Bug. — " The Rose-chafer, or Rose-bug, as it 
is more commonly and incorrectly called, is also a diurnal 
insect. It is the Melolontlia suhspinosa of Fabricius, by 
whom it was first described, and belongs to the modern 
genus Macrodactylus of Latreille. Common as this in- 
sect is in the vicinity of Boston, it is, or was a few years 
ago, unknown in the northern and western parts of Mas- 
sachusetts, in New Hampshire, and in Maine. It may, 
therefore, be well to give a brief description of it. This 
beetle measures seven-twentieths of an inch in length. 
Its body is slender, tapers before and behind, and is en- 
tirely covered with very short and close ashen-yellow 
down. The thorax is long and narrow, angularly widened 
in the middle of each side, which suggested the name 
subsjyinosa, or somewhat spined ; the legs are slender, 
and of a pale-red color; the joints of the feet are tipped 
with black, and arc very long, which caused Latreille to 


call the genus Macrodactylus^ that is, long toe, or long 
foot. The natural history of the Rose-chafer, one of the 
greatest scourges with Avhich our gardens and nurseries 
have been afflicted, was for a long time involved in mys- 
tery, but is at last fully cleared up. The prevalence of 
this insect on the rose, and its annual appearance coincid- 
ing with the blossoming of that flower, have gained for 
it the popular name by which it is here known. For 
some time after they were first noticed, Rose-bugs ap- 
peared to be confined to their favorite, the blossoms of 
the rose ; but within thirty years they have prodigiously 
increased in number, have attacked at random various 
kinds of plants, in swarms, and have become notorious 
for their extensive and deplorable ravages. The grape- 
vine in particular, the cherry, plum, and apple trees, have 
annually suffered by their depredations. Many other 
fruit trees and shrubs, garden vegetables and corn, and 
even the trees of the forest and the grass of the fields, 
have been laid under contribution by these indiscriminate 
feeders, by whom leaves, flowers, and fruits, are alike con- 
sumed. The unexpected arrival of these insects in 
swarms, at their first coming, and their sudden disappear- 
ance, at the close of their career, are remarkable facts in 
their history. They come forth from the ground during 
the second w^eek in June, or about the time of the blos- 
soming of the Damask Rose, and remain from thirty to 
forty days. At the end of this period the males become 
exhausted, fall to the ground, and perish, while the fe- 
^males enter the earth, lay their eggs, return to the surface, 
and, after lingering a few days, die also. The eggs laid 
by each female are about thirty in number, and are depos- 
ited from one to four inches beneath the surface of the 
soil. They are nearly globular, whitish, and about one- 
thirtieth of an inch in diameter, and are hatched twenty 
days after they are laid. The young larvae begin to feed 

90 breck's new book of flowers. 

on such tender roots as are within their reach. Lil^e other 
grubs of the Scarabseians, when not eating, they lie upon 
the side, with the body curved so that the head and tail 
are nearly in contact. They move with difficulty on a 
level surface, and are continually foiling over on one side 
or the other. They attain their full size in the autumn, 
being then nearly three-quarters of an inch long, and 
about an eighth of an inch in diameter. They are of a 
yellowish-white color, with a tinge of blue towards the 
hinder extremity, which is thick and obtuse, or rounded ; 
a few short hairs are scattered on the surface of the body ; 
there are six short legs, namely, a pair to each of the first 
three rings behind the head ; and the latter is covered 
with a horny shell of a pale rust color. In October they 
descend below the reach of frost, and pass the winter in 
a torpid state. In the spring they approach towards the 
surface, and each one forms for itself a little cell, of an 
oval shape, by turning round a great many times, so as to 
compress the earth and render the inside of the cavity 
hard and smooth. Within this cell the grub is trans- 
formed to a pupa, during the month of May, by casting 
off its skin, which is pushed downwards in folds from the 
head to the tail. The pupa has somewhat the form of the 
perfected beetle ; but it is of a yellowish-white color, and 
its short stump-like wings, its attennae, and its legs, are 
folded upon the breast, and its whole body is enclosed in 
a thin film, that wraps each part separately. During the 
month of June this filmly skin is rent, the included beetle 
wdthdraAvs from it its body and its limbs, bursts open its 
earthen ceh, and digs its way to the surface of the ground. 
Thus the various changes, from the egg to the full de- 
velopment of the perfected beetle, are completed within 
the space of one year. 

" Such being the metamorphoses and habits of these in- 
sects, it is evident tliat we cannot attack them in the egg, 


the grub, or the pupa state ; the enemy, in these stages, 
is beyond our reach, and is subject to the control only of 
the natural but unknown means appointed by the Author 
of Nature to keep the insect tribes in check. When they 
have issued from their subterranean retreats, and have 
congregated upon our vines, trees, and other vegetable 
productions, in the complete enjoyment of their propensi- 
ties, we must unite our efforts to seize and crush the in- 
vaders. They must indeed be crushed, scalded, or burned, 
to deprive them of life, for they are not affected by any 
of the applications usually found destructive to other in- 
sects. Experience has proved the utility of gathering 
them by hand, or of shaking them or brushing them from 
the plants into tin vessels containing a little water. They 
should be collected daily during the period of their visi- 
tation, and should be committed to the flames, or killed 
by scalding water. The late John Lowell, Esq., states 
that, in 1823, he discovered, on a solitary apple-tree, the 
Rose-bugs ' in vast numbers, such as could not be describ- 
ed and would not be believed if they were described ; 
or, at least, none but an ocular witness could conceive 
of their numbers. Destruction by hand was out of the 
question,' in this case. He put sheets under the tree, and 
shook them down, and burned them. Dr. Green, of 
Mansfield, whose investigations have thrown much light 
on the history of this insect, proposes protecting plants 
with millinet, and says that in this way only did he suc- 
ceed in securing his grape-vines from depredation. His 
remarks also show the utility of gathering them. 
' Eighty-six of these spoilers,' says he, ' were known to 
infest a single rose-bud, and were crushed w- ith one grasp 
of the hand.' Suppose, as was probably the case, that 
one-half of them were females ; by this destruction, eight 
hundred eggs, at least, were prevented from becoming ma- 
tured. During the time of their prevalence, Rose-bugs 



are sometimes found in immense numbers on the flowers 
of the common white-weed, or ox-eye daisy, {Leucanthe- 
mum vulgare,) a worthless plant, which has come 
to us from Europe, and has been suffered to overrun our 
pastures, and encroach on our mowing lands. In certain 
cases it may become expedient rapidly to mow down the 
infested white-weed in dry pastures, and consume it, with 
the sluggish Rose-bugs, on the spot. 

" Our insect-eating birds undoubtedly devour many of 
these insects, and deserve to be cherished and protected 
for their services. Rose-bugs ai'e also eaten greedily by 
domesticated fowls; and when they become exhausted 
and fall to the ground, or when they are about to lay 
their eggs, they are destroyed by moles, insects, and other 
animals, which lie in wait to seize them. Dr. Green in- 
forms us, that a species of dragon-fly, or devil's needle, 
devours them. He also says that an insect, which he 
calls the enemy of the Cut-worm, probably the larva of a 
Carabus or predaceous Ground-beetle, preys on the grubs 
of the common Dorbug, In France, the Golden Ground 
Beetle {Carahus aiiratus) devours the female Dor, or 
Chafer, at the moment when she is about to deposit her 
eggs. I have taken one specimen of this fine Ground- 
Beetle in Massachusetts, and we have several other kinds, 
equally predaceous, which probably contribute to check 
the increase of our native Melolonthians." 



Hyacinths may be jjlanted in pots from the first of 
October to the first of November. The soil used, should 
consist of one-third each, of white or river sand, vege- 
table mould, and rich loam. The pots should measure 
about six inches across the top. When the bulbs are 
planted, the pots are to be lightly filled with earth ; the 
bulb may be placed in the centre, and pressed into the 
earth, so that it may be about half covered. After this 
the earth should be made solid all around the sides of the 
pot, to secure the bulb in place. When the bulbs are 
thus potted, they should be removed into a cool place, 
in order that they may become well rooted before the 
tops shoot up. Much light is not necessary at this pe- 
riod ; indeed, the deprivation of light causes them to 
root more quickly, than they would otherwise do. For 
the first two or three weeks after potting, they may be 
placed in a shed or a cellar, or in any other convenient 
place, provided it be cool. Little water is also required ; 
once watering, immediately after they are planted, being 
suflicient, if the situation is tolerably damp where the 
pots are placed. 

If the stock of bulbs, such as Hyacinths, early Tulips, 
Narcissus, etc., be large enough to occupy a small frame, 
the pots may be put within it after planting, and they 
may be covered a few inches deep with rotten tan, or any 
other light material. The pots will soon become filled 
with roots, and the shoots produced by bulbs previously 
well rooted will be stronger, and the flowers larger, than 
if they had been put in a warm and light situation. 

94 . breck's new book of flowers. 

When they are rooted, a few may be introduced occa- 
sionally into the room or window, or on the mantle-piece, 
if there be sufficient light. Light is quite essential when 
the tops begin to grow. By this means a succession of 
flowers may be had during the greater part of the spring. 

If it is wished to bloom Hyacinths in water-glasses, 
the glass should be filled up with water, but not so high 
as to come in contact with the bulb. Too much moisture 
before the roots protrude might cause the bulb to decay. 
The glasses may be put in a light, but cool situation, 
until the roots are grown half the length of the glass, at 
least. The longer the roots are before being forced into 
flower, the finer the flowers will be ; and when rooted 
they may be kept warm or cool, as flowers are required 
in succession. The flowers will not put forth, even when 
the glasses are filled Avith roots, if they are kept in a cold 
l^lace. The water should be changed about twice every 
week, and rain or river water is better than spring water. 
Although the practice of growing bulbous roots in water 
is common, it is by no means preferable to growing them 
in earth. There are many failures when bulbs are grown 
in water, which are chiefly caused from their being more 
liable to rot before they begin to emit roots, than when 
grown in soil. Keeping the bulbs quite clear of the 
water is a partial, but only a partial, preventive. An- 
other cause is, that when the roots have attained some 
length, they frequently decay, and the loss of the flowers 
is the consequence. Should success attend the growing 
and blooming of the greater part of those placed in 
water-glasses, the bulbs will be good for nothing after- 
wards ; but those grown in pots might be planted the 
year following in the garden, and they would make pretty 
border flowers for several years. 

Similar treatment to that now described is required for 
the large-rooted Narcissus, whether in pots or glasses. 


To force early Tulips in pots, they should be placed 
about three or four in each pot, just within the earth, 
which may be of the same sort, and the management the 
same as recommended for Hyacinths and Narcissuses. 

Crocuses will force well. They should be planted near 
together, say from ten to twenty in a pot, according to 
its size. Let them root naturally after planting, before 
they are forced into flower. They require similar treat- 
ment to the preceding. 

In order that the bulbous roots, which have been forc- 
ed, shall not be quite exhausted, they may be planted in 
the garden, with the ball of earth entire, as soon as the 
flowering is over, if the weather is favorable. They will 
thus mature their roots and leaves, and be strengthened 
sufiiciently to bloom again the following season. If bulbs 
are neglected Avhen their flowering season is over, they 
will not recover such neglect for a considerable time ; 
but if carefully placed in the garden till their leaves be- 
come yellow, when the root will be matured, they may 
then be taken up and kept in a dry, cool place, until they 
are wanted the following season for planting. 



" A flowery crown will I compose — 
I'll weave the Crocus, weave the Rose ; 
I'll weave Narcissus, newly wet, 
The Hyacintli and Violet ; 
The Myrtle shall supply me green, 
And Lilies laugh in light between , 
That the rich tendrils of my beauty's hair 
May burst into their crowning flowers, and light the painted air." 

Those plants which do not in their growth form either 
trees or shrubs, but which lose their tops, wholly or in 
part, every year, the roots continuing to live for several 
years successively, are called perennials. 

Biennials are those plants that flower the second and 
sometimes the third year from the time the seeds are 
sown, and then perish, as the Sweet Scabious. 

Imperfect Perennials continue three or more years, and 
then die, as the Sweet William or Fox Glove, but which, 
with a little care in dividing the roots every year, can be 
kept many years. 

Perennials are hardy, half hardy, and tender. Hardy 
perennials stand the coldest winter without protection ; 
half-hardy require to be well protected ; and tender 
perennials must be kept through the winter in the green- 

Perennials are of two kinds, bulbous and herbaceous^ 
which, difierlng materially from each other in habits, re- 
quire, consequently, a different kind of treatment. Such 
being the case, a few remarks will be made on each kind 



They are of three kinds, — viz. : hardy, or sucli that 
grow in the open border; half-hardy, such as will not 
stand out over winter, or requiring a frame or the green- 
house; and stove, or those that will not grow to perfec- 
tion without artificial heat. Of these last we shall have 
nothing to say. Many of the half-hardy are perfected 
Avlien planted in the open ground in the spring, and are 
sometimes called spring bulbs, as the Gladiolus, etc. 

The Anemone and Ranunculus, are half-hardy, requiring 
the protection of a frame or otherwise. 

Hardy bulbs, with few exceptions, are remarkably easy 
of cultivation, and, if planted in proper soil and situation, 
seldom fail to produce plenty of offsets and seeds for pro- 

The best kind of soil for their growth is a hght loam, 
rather sandy than otherwise, yet not too light, or the 
bulbs will be injured during the heat of summer, and, if 
it be adhesive, they invariably grow weakly, and seldom 

As to the depth the different bulbs require to be planted 
in the ground, no certain rule can be laid down, as some 
species require to be planted from three to five inches, 
while others not more than one and a half deep. The 
different depths will be given as each variety is described. 

Encourage as much as possible the growth of the 
leaves, by giving them free exposure to light and air ; for 
on the full development of'these depends the flowering of 
another year. If the leaves grow strong, a good quantity 
of nutriment is stored up in the bulbs and a good bloom 
is the consequence. 

Never, if it can be avoided, disturb the roots by re- 
moval during their growth ; but if obliged to do so, select 
a wet day, and take them up with good balls, so as not to 
injure the fibrous roots. 

98 breck's new book of flowers. 

The only time to remove them with success, is during 
the tune of their dormant state, at which time the offsets 
may be separated, and planted where the cultivator may 
judge best. 

The season of rest, for most bulbs, happens shortly 
after they have done flowering. Tulip and Hyacinth bulbs 
are generally ripe in about one month from the time of 
flowering. As soon as the foliage of the Tulip turns pur- 
ple and begins to dry, the bulbs may be taken up ; and, 
with the Hyacinth, before the foliage is fully decayed. 
As a general rule, when the tops have quiet died down, 
the bulbs may be taken up and separated. 

With the exception of Tulips, Hyacinths, Narcissus, 
and some others, most hardy bulbs, as the Lily tribe. 
Crown Imperial, etc., are injured if kept long out of 
ground. It is best to plant offsets of bulbs, of every de- 
scription, immediately, for if kept long out of ground they 
become exhausted and perish. Bulbs that have com- 
menced growing, before planting, are always weakened ; 
yet ignorant purchasers will frequently select such because 
they look more lively. If they have made much growth, 
the bulb will not flower at all. 

Some tuberous roots are classed with bulbous roots. 
Strictly speaking, it is not correct, but for convenience 
sake we shall so consider them. The Dahlia and Peony 
are, properly, tuberous roots. Directions for cultivating 
these will be given when they are described. 


The mode of cultivating this class of plants is perfectly 
easy ; three things chiefly have to be attended to. First, 
the manner of propagation. Second^ the most suitable 
soil. Thirds the requisite temperature. There are five 
methods of propagation practised ; l)y divisions, suckers, 
layers, seeds, and cuttings. 


Dividing the Roots. — This may be done either with a 
knife, if the plant is small, or by a spade, if it is strong 
and large. The best time for doing it is when the tops 
are just beginning to grow after having been cut down. 

The roots may be divided in the spring, or (with some 
species) almost any time during the summer, after flower- 
ing. The month of August is a proper time for many 
kinds, as the divisions will become well rooted before 
winter,- and be prepared to flower strongly the next year. 

Suckers. — Tlicse may be taken up at any time when 
they appear, but the most usual time is when the plant is 
beginning to grow. 

Seed. — Sow, for the most part, in early spring, in light 
soil, and plant out in the following autumn in the situa- 
tions where they are to flower. Many of the fine double 
and otlier varieties never produce seed. 

Layers and Cuttings. — Thrifty, succulent shoots, if 
partly cut through, and pegged down, and covered witli 
earth, will take root, as is the case with the Pinks and 
Carnations. Cuttings of many plants will take root, with 
proper care. 

Soil. — Different species of plants require rather diff'er- 
ent kinds of soil; but a light, rich loam, will suit the 
greater number. 

Temperature. — Hardy, half-hardy, and green-house 
plants require similar care, but they diifer as to the amount 
of protection or quantity of heat they need. 


The plants generally known as annuals, are raised from 
the seed, perfect their flowers, mature their seed the same 
season, and then perish. There are some flowers, how- 
ever, cultivated as annuals, that are such only in a north- 
ern climate, being in their own more congenial region pe- 

100 beeck's new book of flowers. 

rennials or biennials. Among them are the Verbena, 
Eschscholtzia, Commeliiia, Mirabihs, and many others. 
This class of plants may be kept through the winter in 
green-houses or in any light cellar. Annuals are most ap- 
propriate for those who are changing their abode from 
year to year, as from these alone a fine display may be 
kept up the whole season, with the exception of the vernal 
months, and this deficiency may be supplied by having a 
choice collection of perennials, grown in pots, which can 
be plunged in the ground, and thus removed at any time 
when it is necessary to change the residence. 

No collection of plants can be complete without an 
abundance of annuals, as they can be disposed of in such 
a way as to succeed the perennials, and keep up a con- 
tinuous bloom in all parts of the garden through the 

Annuals may be divided as follows : — hardy, half-hardy, 
and tender. 

Hardy annuals are such as may be sworn in autumn or 
very early in the spring, as all the Larkspurs, Clarkia, 
Asters, Candytufts, etc. Half-hardy are those which will 
not bear a hard frost, and therefore not proper to plant in 
the open ground before the middle or last of May, as the 
Balsam, Cocks-comb, Marigold, etc. Tender annuals can 
hardly be brought to perfection without starting them in 
artificial heat, in a hot-bed or otherwise, and are very sen- 
sitive to cold, as the Cypress- Vine, Thunbergia, Ice-Plant, 
Sensitive-Plant, etc. Many of these, in a very Avarm season, 
will succeed tolerably well if planted about the 1st of June ; 
but to have them in perfection they should be raised in a 
hot-bed, in pots, and turned out into the ground about the- 
middle of June. 

Before sowing annuals, the soil in which they are to be 
grown should be made light and rich, and very finely pul- 
verized, as many of the seeds are vei*y small, and require 


every advantage and cave to get them up. The small 
seeds must receive but little covering, and that of the 
finest earth. In sowing these, my practice is to sow them 
in patclies six or eight inches square. The soil having been 
well prepared, I settle the ground gently with the foot or 
a small piece of board, so as to make an even, somewhat 
firm, surface. The seeds are then evenly strewed over 
the surface. Then take some very fine soil and sift or 
strew over them, covering the seed not more than one- 
eighth of an inch deep, after which press the soil again 
gently with the board. It is now of great importance 
that the seeds, as they vegetate, should be protected from 
the scorching sun ; an evergreen bough is as good as any- 
thing to shade them. The soil must not be permitted to 
get dry until the young plants have acquired some 
strengtli ; after wdiich they may be left to take their chance 
from the effects of sun or dryness. When the plants are 
of a proper size, and the weather suitable, they may be 
taken up with a transplanting trowel, and set where want- 
ed. A small patch of this description will afford plants 
enough for any common garden. In removing them, a 
number may be taken up together without distui'bing the 
roots ; but when the plants have become established, all 
may be cut off except the strongest ones. As a general 
rule, a single plant gives better satisfaction than when a 
number are grown together, except when planted in mas- 
ses, or where there is to be a group. The beauty of many 
annuals is completely destroyed by huddling them together. 
Give every plant room according to its habits. A single 
plant, well trained, may be made very beautiful ; while a 
number of the same species, grown together, without suf- 
ficient room, would be Avorthless. 

Larkspur, and many other seeds, should ])e sown where 
they are to remain. A bed of Double Rocket Larkspur, 
well managed, is almost equal to a bed of Hyacinths, when 

102 breck's new book op flowers. 

in bloom. This succeeds best when sown late in autumn 
or very early in the spring. The seed may be sown in 
drills, eight or ten inches ajDart, in beds, and the plants 
well thinned out. Larkspur, and many other hardy annual 
seeds, if sown late in autumn, lie dormant all winter, and 
give much stronger plants than the same kinds of seed 
sown very early in the spring, notwithstanding those sown 
in the spring may appear above ground as soon as those 
sown in autumn. The reason probably is, that the au- ' 
tumnal sown seeds are so prej^ared, by the action of the 
frost, that they start with greater vigor, and consequently 
are more robust than the spring sown seeds. 

Some seeds are difficult to germinate. Cypress- Vine is 
an example, the seeds of which require scalding, to facili- 
tate germination ; or, if the hull is carefully taken off with 
a penknife, so as not to injure the germ, the object is ef- 
fected, and it will innnediately vegetate. The seed of 
Gomphrena glohosa (Globe Amaranth) is encased in a 
thick coating of woolly substance, which greatly retards 
vegetation. If this be taken off with the hull, the germ 
will push immediately; or, if the seed is soaked in milk 
twenty-four hours before planting, it will soon start ; but, 
if planted with the coating on, or Avithout soaking, very 
few will appear above ground. 

As a general rule, the depth of planting flower seeds is 
to be governed by their size. For example, the Sweet Pea 
and Lupine may be planted an inch deep, and so in propor- 
tion. Annuals have a pleasing effect when planted in masses, 
particularly when the pleasure-ground is extensive. For this 
purpose, the Verbenas, of various colors, Portulacas, N"e- 
mophila, Phlox Drummondii, Coreopsis Driimmondii, Can- 
dy-tufts, and many other dwarf plants, are desirable. Beds 
of any of these, or others of similar habit, in a well-managed 
lawn, are very ornamental. The beds should be either 
round, oval, starry, or irregular ; but never square, dia- 


mond shape, or triangular. Masses of animals may be so 
arranged as to make a grand display in the common flow- 
er-garden. We have seen the walks of an extensive flow- 
er-garden deeply edged with a wide border of crimson and 
scarlet Portulacas ; and, throughout the whole garden, 
all the annuals, and other plants, in fact, were planted in 
masses. We have never seen a better managed garden 
than this one. It contained about an acre of ground. 
Not more than twenty or thirty kinds of annuals were 
cultivated in the garden, and of this class of plants more 
than one-half of the ground was filled. They consisted of 
every variety of Double Balsams, German Asters, Drum- 
monds, Phlox, Coreopsis, Amaranths, Verbenas, Portu- 
lacas, Double China Pinks, Petunias, Mignionette, Cocks- 
combs, Gilli-flowers, etc. 


" I like a shrubbery too, it looks so fresh ; 
And then there is some variety about it. 
In spring, the Lilac and the Snowball flower, 
And the Laburnum with its golden strings 
Waving in the wind ; and when the autumn comes, 
Tlie bright red berries of the Mountain-ash, 
With pines enough, in winter, to look green, 
And show that something lives." 

The flower-garden will be incomplete without a shrub- 
bery. A collection of shrubs and trees, embracing the 
different varieties to be obtained at our nurseries, will add 
much to the interest of the pleasure-ground. They should 
not be planted at regular distances, or in straight lines, as 
in that way they look too set and unnatural ; but, when 
grouped together, the various sorts gracefully intermin- 

104 breck's new book of flowers. 

gled, with the taller species in the background, they 
present, at all seasons of the year, an interesting sight. 

Shrubs are divided into two classes — Deciduous and 
Evergreen. Deciduous shrubs are those which lose their 
leaves in autumn. However uninteresting the naked 
brandies of this class of slirubs may appeal-, to the care- 
less observer, when denuded of their foliage, they are not 
devoid of beauty to the lover of nature ; and, when min- 
gled with evergreens, are pleasing even in winter. The 
twigs of some species are red; others yellow, or various 
shades of brown ; and then many are covered with a pro- 
fusion of berries, of different colors, which, contrasting 
with the evergreens, give a lively look to the shrubbery, 
even in the most dreary months. 

The culture of hardy shrubs is, in general, simple and 
easy. The chief things to be noticed are, — the proper 
season for planting, the situation in which the plants will 
thrive, the kind of soil best suited to their growth, and 
the encouragement to be given to enable them to thrive 

The proper season for Planting, — As soon as the leaves 
begin to fall, in October, deciduous trees may be planted 
with safety, with few exceptions. Althaeas, and some 
other sorts liable to be winter-killed, had better not be re- 
moved until spring. The spring planting, of all decidu- 
ous trees and shrubs, should be done as early as possible, 
— as soon as the ground can be worked to advantage, and 
before the buds begin to expand. 

Evergreens, in general, if carefully taken up, may be 
planted with success during most of the spring and sum- 
mer, provided dull and dripping weather be taken advan- 
tage of for that purpose. There are particular seasons, 
however, when they will thrive much more readily 
than at others. I have been as successful about the first 
of June as at any other time, and have also succeeded in 


planting, the 1st of July, and in August ; but, as a general 
rule, when they commence their growth, the last of May 
is the best time. It is indispensable that all large trees 
and shrubs be removed with good balls, and that the roots 
be uninjured. In planting evergreens, (and the same may 
be said of deciduous trees,) whether it be done on a dull 
day, a wet day, or a dry day, endeavor to keep the plants 
for as short time out of the ground as possible, — if only 
a few minutes, so much the better. If any quantity are 
to be planted, the plants should be " heeled in," as it is 
termed, (that is, the roots covered with earth,) and taken 
out, as they are wanted. I have generally been success- 
ful, without watering at planting ; but others think it ne- 
cessary, and one writer says : — 

" In all seasons, situations, and soils, the plants should 
be well soaked with water as soon as the earth is put 
about the roots. Where the water is not at hand, so that 
it may not be easily carried or wheeled by men, a horse 
with a water-barrel on wheels should be used. As soon as 
the plant has been put into its place the earth should be 
filled in, leaving a sufficient hollow round the stem, and as 
far as the roots extend, to hold water, which should then 
be poured on in sufficient quantity to soak the ground 
doAvn to the lowest parts of the roots ; in short, the whole 
should be made like a kind of puddle. 

" By this practice, which is particularly necessary in 
spring and autumn planting, the earth is carried down by 
the water, and every crevice among the roots is filled. 
Care must always be taken to have as much earth above 
the roots of the plants as will prevent their being exposed 
when the water has subsided. The best plan is to take 
an old birch broom, or anything similar, and, laying it 
down near the root, pour the water upon it ; this breaks 
the fall of the water, and prevents the roots from being 
washed bare of such earth as may adhere to them. In 

106 breck's xew book of flowees. 

this way time is saved, for the water may be poured out 
in a full stream from the pail, a watering-pot, or even 
from a spout or pipe in the water-cart or barrel, when the 
situation is such tliat this can be brought up to the plant. 

"After the first watering is dried up, the earth should 
be levelled round the stem of the plant, and as far out as 
the water has been put on, but not trod. If the plants 
are large, a second watering is sometimes necessary ; but 
in ordinary sized, plants, one watering is quite sufficient. 
And, after remaining twenty-four hours, more or less, ac- 
cording to the nature of the soil, the earth about the stem 
and over the roots should be trod as firm as possible, and, 
after treading, should be dressed with a rake." 

T]ie Situations in lohich the plants loill thrive. — With 
regard to the situation in which each shrub should be 
planted, little can be said here. To form a correct judg- 
ment of this, a knowledge of the natural habits of each is 
required. This knowledge may be easily obtained by re- 
ferring to a botanical catalogue and other works treating 
on the subject. Some shrubs love a dry and elevated sit- 
uation, and will not thrive, crowded with others ; some are 
rather tender, and must have Avarm and sheltered places; 
others are very hardy, and will thrive if planted any- 
where ; others, again, will not grow freely, unless they are 
placed in low damp ground ; and others, do not flourish if 
much exposed to the rays of the sun. 

TJie hind of soil best suited for them. — With respect to 
soil, hardy shrubs may be divided into two kinds, viz. : — 
firsts shrubs requiring common soil ; and second., those 
shrubs which require a peculiar soil. A rich, light, hazel 
loam, undoubtedly suits the greater part of this first class 
of plants, although many of the stronger-growing kinds 
will make fine bushes on almost any kind of soil. The 
"American plants," Kalmias, Rhododendrons, Androme- 
das, etc., etc., will make the finest plants and the best 


show, if they are planted in a soil composed for the most 
part of sandy peat; but, in the absence of this, a very 
good compost may be made for them of hght hazelly 
loam, river sand, and vegetable or leaf mould, equal parts. 
This may have a little peat earth mixed with it. After 
having taken out the original soil from the proposed bor- 
der to about a foot and a half deep, substitute the above 
mixture in its place. 

To encourage the growth of Shrubs after being plant- 
ed. — Whilst the plants are small, constantly keep down all 
rank-growing weeds, and clear off all rubbish that would 
otherwise retard their growth ; also they receive much 
benefit by the surface of the ground being often stirred 
with a Dutch hoe, as it prevents the surface baking hard in 
dry weather. 

Watering shrubs,, except in peculiar situations during 
dry summers, appears to be of very little if any benefit ; 
on the other hand, it takes up much time, and is the 
means of the ground bakmg hard when dried by the sun 
again. When they have advanced to a large size, all the 
care that is required is to cut ofi" the overhanging branch- 
es, so as not to allow them to smother each other, or the 
stems of those overhung will become naked and unsightly. 

108 breck's new book of flowers. 


" Not a tree, 
A plant, a leaf, a blossom, but contains 
A folio volume. We may read, and read, 
And read again, and still find something new, 
Something to please, and something to instruct." 

To cultivate all the sj^ecies and varieties of flowers describ- 
ed in this section of the work, will require a greater extent 
of land than most of my readers will be disposed to ap- 
propriate to a flower-garden, even if they have the time 
and requisite skill to devote themselves to its cultivation. 

It must be left to the judgment of each one to select 
from this list such plants as they have space for, and time 
to attend to. There are many other interesting orna- 
mental plants which might be noticed, but should I at- 
tempt to describe all that are known, it would require a 
number of volumes like the present one, to complete the 

Such have been the diligence and perseverance of col- 
lectors of plants who within the last fifty years, have been 
sent out to all parts of the world, under the patronage 
of wealtliy hidividuals and associations in Europe, that 
. one would suppose that every nook and corner of the 
globe had been explored, and that nothing more of interest 
could be garnered up to gratify the eye of the florist. 

But such is not the fact. Every year brings to light 
" something new, something to please, and something to 
instruct," in the floral kingdom. But, however rare and 
interesting many of these newly discovered plants may be 


to the florist, their vaUie for ornamental purposes cannot 
be compared with that of some of the improved old stand- 
ard varieties of the flower-garden. The science, skill, and 
perseverance, of amateur gardeners and florists, have 
transformed many comparatively inferior species of flow- 
ering 23lants from a state of simplicity and inelegance, to 
tliat of gorgeous magnificence. We can hardly believe 
our senses, as we call to mind the great improvements 
that have been made in many of the races of ornamental 
plants, with which we have for years been familiar. 

Let us look at the Verbena, hardly known twenty years 
ago, now sporting into every conceivable color and shade, 
excepting yellow, always in bloom, and never tiring. Or the 
Portulaca, with its shining scarlet, purple, yellow, orange, 
white, and variegated blossoms, ever bright and beautiful, 
making itself perhnps too common, but certainly very gay 
and lively, and forming an indispensable appendage to the 
flower-garden. But these single varieties are now eclipsed 
by the recently introduced double sorts, as large and as 
double as a Rose, with all the brilliant colors of the single. 

That awkward flower, the single Zinnia, has been trans- 
formed into a full double flower, as large and as perfect in 
shape, as the Dahlia, with greater brilliancy of color. 

"Who would recognize the Aster, the old-fashioned China 
Aster, since, by the florists hands, it has been transformed 
into the variety called " Pseony-flowered," a class unsur- 
passed in brilliancy of color, perfection of shape, and in 
size equal to the Dahlia ; or, into the other beautiful va- 
rieties of Pompon shape. Imbricated, Bouquet, and many 
other styles of beauty, unknown only within a few years ? 

Then the Dahlia, the Gilly-flower, Petunia, Balsam, 
Chrysanthemum, Phlox, Hollyhock, and other old denizens 
of the flower-garden, — how have they been transformed, 
their beauties made more beautiful, and their varieties 

110 beeck's new book of flowers. 

What an unlimited field for future improvements opens 
before us ! We shall never arrive at perfection, but great 
improvements are yet to be made in many of the new as 
well as in the old flowers. We do not hold that the ex- 
citement and pleasure incident to the improvement and 
cultivation of a flower-garden, Avill wholly remove the ills 
and troubles of life ; but it is an occupation that has a ten- 
dency to remove many disquitudes of the mind, and gives 
employment for many odd moments, that would otherwise 
be spent in brooding over some real or imaginary evil. 
We think Cowper came near the truth when he said: 

" The spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns ; 
The lowering eye, the petulance, the frown, 
And sullen sadness, that o'ershade, distort, 
And mar the face of beauty, when no cause 
For such immeasurable woe appears ; 
These Flora banishes, and gives the fair, 
Sweet smile and bloom, less transient than her own." 


[Name from the Greek, signifying delicate.] 

Abronia umbellata. — A beautiful annual, with long 
trailing stems, bearing clusters of elegant flowers in dense 
umbels ; color, delicate lilac, with white centre, highly and 
deliciously fragrant. 

The seeds are enclosed in a husky covering, and look 
very unpromising, but they vegetate freely. They may 
be sown as early in the spring as the ground is ready to 
receive seed of any kind. It appears to be quite hardy, 
and easily cultivated, and has the advantage of sowing it- 
self, as there will be found in the spring an abundance 
of young plants on the ground where the plants of the last 
year were grown. The leaves are light green, of a long 
oval shape ; the stem rather succulent or fleshy, two or 
three feet in length, lying prostrate on the ground. It 


is very pretty when trained to neat sticks, or when left to 
its natural mode of growth. Being ever in bloom, endur- 
ing light frosts, beautiful and sweet, it will, Ave think, be- 
come a great favorite. 


[Named after Achilles, a disciple of Chiron, and the first physician wlio used 
it for liealing wounds.] 

Achillea millefolium. — ^A native, and like the other 
species a hardy perennial, common along road sides; I 
have found a quite "pretty rose-colored variety of this. A 
handsome variety with red flowers, sometimes called A. 
rubra ; is in bloom all the season and worthy of a place in 
the garden. 

A. Ptarmica. — Sneeze-wort, a name given it because the 
dried powder of the leaves, snufied up the nostrils, pro- 
vokes sneezing. This is a desirable border-flower, particu- 
larly in its double variety, as it continues in bloom most 
of the season, throwing up a succession of its double 
white flowers in corymbs, on stems about one foot high. 
The foliage is dark, shining green. It is very hardy, and 
easy to cultivate in almost any common soil. 

A. aurea, or golden-flowered, has rich golden-yellow 
flowers, but not so hardy as the others named. All the 
species produce their flowers in corymbs. 

ACONITTJM.— Monkshood. 

[So called from growing about Aco7ii, a town of Bithynia.] 

The species are robust, free-flowering plants, of some 
beauty and consequence. The stems rise from 2 to 6 feet 
in height, upright, strong, furnished with many digitate 
or palmate leaves, and terminated by panicles or loose 


spikes of blue, purple-blue, and white or yellow flowers. 
There are many species, all handsome perennials. 

All of them are violent poisons when taken into the 
system, but harmless to handle. The root is more active 
than the other j^arts of the plant, and has sometimes been 
eaten by mistake, with fatal effects, and death has occurred 
from eating the young shoots in salad. The plants are 
used in medicine. 

Aconitum Napellus. — Wolfsbane, or Monkshood.— Is a 
well-known inhabitant of the garden, flowering in July 
and August. It is increased by parting the roots, which 
are of a tuberous character, every piece of which will 
grow. This should be done soon after they have finished 
flowering; the stalks should be cut down at the same 
time. They like shade and moisture. 

A» variegatum. — Is a beautiful species, throwing up 
spikes with branches, continuing in bloom a long time. 
Flowers, light-blue, edged with white ; 3 feet high. 

A. Japonicum, from Japan, has dark-blue flowers, in 
spikes 3 or 4 feet high ; a handsome plant. 

A. Sieboldi, has large blue flowers, which are produced 
on spikes two feet high, and one of the latest flowering. 

A. rostratum, is a very tall growing species, 4 or 5 feet 
high, with dark-purj^le flowers on lax panicles. 

A. uncinatum, a North American species, except in fo- 
liage resembles A. Japonieum. There are many other 
species, all hardy and handsome. 


Acroclinium roscum, and its varieties atro-roseum and 
album, are very pretty half-hardy annuals; with light 
rose, dark rose, or pure white flowers. These are '* im- 


mortelles," which flower in August and September, and 
quite an acquisition in the composition of winter wreaths 
or bouquets. 

ADLTJMIA. — Climbing Fumitory. 

[A. name given by Rafinesque in lienor of Major Adlum.'] 

Adlumia cirrhosa. — Climbing Fumitory, Wood Fringe, 
Alleghany Vine. — In the older books this plant is called 
Corydalis fungosa y' it is an elegant, indigenous, biennial, 
climbing vine, growing frequently, in rich ground, from 
fifteen to thirty feet, in one season ; with pink and white 
flowers, which are pi-oduced in abundance during the three 
'summer months ; handsome foliage. Proj^agated from 
seed, which should be sown in April. The first year, the 
plant makes but little progress ; but the second year, it is 
of more vigorous growth. The young plants will do best 
to be transplanted where they are to remain in July and 
August, but will bear moving in the spring, if done with 
much care. 


[Tliis owes its classical name to Adonis, tiie favorite of Venus ; some say its 
existence also, maintaining tliat it sprung from his blood when dying. Otliers 
again, trace its pedigree to the tears which Venus shed upon her lover's body.] 

Adonis autumnalis. — The flowers are globular, dark 
blood-red, not very large; it is known by the name of 
Pheasant'' s eye^ from the resemblance it has to that bird's 
eye. The foliage is many parted and delicate ; the flower 
and foliage together are beautiful but not showy ; a hardy 
annual which flowers in August and September. 


bbeck's new book of flowers. 



A. vernaliSj is a liardy perennial border-flower, bloom- 
ing in May, of easy culture. The flowers are yellow, 
large and rather cup-shape ; one foot high. 


[A name employed by Dioscovides, and probably applied by him to some 
plants similar to what we call "everlasting."] 

Ag^ratlim Mexicaniim, is a handsome, half-hardy an- 
nual, with light-blue flowers, in compound corymbs. It 
continues to bloom through the summer; also through 
the winter, when kept in the green-house, and is desirable 
for bouquets. There is also one with white flowers, but it 
is not so free a bloomer, and one with variegated foliage. 


[Named by the authors of the Flora Peruviana, after Zanoni Alonzo, at the 
time of the publication of that work, Spanish Secretary for the Kingdom of 
Santa Fe, and a great patron of Natural History.] 

Beautiful green-house plants with scarlet flowers, but 
bloom finely in the open ground, when treated like other 
tender annuals. 

A. incisifolia. — Nettle leaved Alonsoa. — It. has nettle 
shaped foliage, but delicate and pretty ; it flowers all the 

A. graildiflora has larger flowers, which are also scar- 
let ; plants one to two feet high. 



"And from the Nectaries of Hollyhocks 
The liumble bee, e'en till he f;tints, will sip." 

The humble, or bumble bee, as it is usually called, 
revels in this flower and is generally found in great num- 
bers extracting the honeyed sweets from its nectaries, to 
the great amusement of nauglity boys, who take wicked 
delight in confining the poor bee, by infolding it in the 
flower for the pleasure of hearing him sing. 

Althaea rosea, the Chinese Hollyhock, is a very hand- 
some plant in its double varieties, and continues in beauty 
during July and August. It flowers the second year 
from seed and the year following, and then dies ; but if 
the stalks are cut down in August of the second year, by 
dividing the roots carefully with a sharp knife and plant- 
ing them out in a warm, light soil, they may be continued 
from year to year ; or they may be raised from cuttings 
of the young stalks, about six inches in length, taken in 
summer. They should be inserted half their depth, and, 
if a glass be j^laced over them, it will facilitate their root- 
ing. Plants so raised, will flower early the following sum- 
mer. Seed saved from fine improved double varieties, 
will generally produce a large proportion of double flow- 
ers ; this is the easiest, and most sure method of obtain- 
ing plants. The seed should be sown in May or June, 
half an inch deep, and when the plants have put out six 
or eight leaves, they should be transplanted to the place 
where they are to remain. If the soil is very moist and 
wet, they are subject to be much injured or destroyed in 
winter ; in that case, it is a safe way to take them early in 
autumn, pot them and preserve them in frames until 
spring. Only the choicest varieties will pay for this 
trouble. The Hollyhock succeeds best when j^lanted in 
light, rich soil, that has been well drained. There is no 
flower which makes a greater show, when planted in mas- 


ses, than the different varieties in all their numerous col- 
ors and shades. Its proper locality is is in the front of 
the shrubbery, or in the back ground of the border. A 
great improvement has been made in this old-fashioned, 
ordinary flower, within a few years, that has brought it 
before the 2:»ub]ic under a new phase ; and it now bids 
fair to become as poj^ular as many other flowers that have 
been taken in hand by the florist. We give the experi- 
ence of an European cultivator, found in an English paper, 
to show what can be done in the imj)rovement of tliis 

"If I were not afraid of advancing a horticultural 
heresy, I should say that many amateurs prefer Holly- 
hocks to Dahlias. The Hollyhocks of Belgium and Ger- 
many had a great celebrity long before they appeared 
among us. The collections of the Prince of Salm Dyck, 
and of M. Van Houtte, of Ghent, have been much ad- 
mired. In other places varieties have been obtained with 
leaves more or less lobed, more or less entire, more or 
less palmate, all with flowers large, full, or colored differ- 
ently from those of other plants, being sometimes of a 
more or less dark mahogany color, at others of a delicate 
tint, and varying from the purest white to the darkest 
glossy black. Some progress has also been made in the 
cultivation of those plants by themselves. Since 1830, 
M. Pelissier, jun., a gentleman of Prado, has cultivated 
Hollyhocks, and from the seeds of a pink variety has suc- 
ceeded in obtaining plants with flowers of a delicate rose 
color, and which, in consequence of the extreme delicacy 
of their tints, and regularity of form, may serve both to 
encourage perseverance and as a good type for seed. 
In the following year, from the seeds of joink flowers, he 
obtained a beautiful, brilliant, clear, sulphur-colored speci- 
men, perfect in every respect. It is from the seeds of 
those two plants that he has obtained all the other beau- 

118 breck's new book of flowers. 

tiful and remarkble varieties which he now possesses, after 
a lapse of ten years from his first attempts. As a general 
rule, M. Pelissier prefers flowers with six exterior petals, 
with entire edges, well open, well set out, of a middling 
size, of a pure, clear, brilliant color, and forming a perfect 
Anemone. As the flowers expand, M. Pelissier removes 
whatever is not comformable to the type he has chosen, or 
is not of a marked color, and like a perfect Anemone. It 
is by doing this every year that he has obtained twenty re- 
markable varieties, tlie names and characteristics of which 
have been kindly furnished by him, and are given below." 

I omit the names, as these particular varieties cannot be 
obtained here, and besides, the named varieties are often 
lost, it being very difficult to perpetuate them for any 
great length of time. " Delicate rose, very full flower ; 
red, very full; pure white, flower full; rose, flower very 
full ; dark-yellow, flower very full ; clear red, flower 
beautiful, perfection ; cinnamon-colored, shaded, flower 
very full ; nankeen-colored, very full ; dark-red, very full ; 
dark rose, streaked, flower full, very perfect ; fleshy white, 
flower full, beautiful ; clear cherry, full ; clear yellow, 
flower very full ; beautiful white, flower well rounded ; 
yellow, with a tint of pink, flower very full ; dark violet, 
spotted with white ; white, the middle yellow ; very dark- 
red, flower very full ; black, flower very full." 

Hollyhock seed is imported from France and Germany 
every year, from named varieties, in packages of from 10 
to 20 fine sorts, from which many kinds equal to those 
described above may be obtained. Semi-double and single 
flowering plants should be pulled up as soon as their 
character is determined, or the seed from the fine double 
sorts will be deteriorated by their proximity. As tlie flow- 
er-stems begin to advance, they should be strongly staked, 
as it is very slovenly to permit the plants to be prostrated 
in every direction by storms and wind. 



[From Greek, words signifying to prevent rage. The Alyssum passed 
among the ancients as a plant which possessed the properties of allaying thirst.] 

Alyssum saxatile. — Rock or Golden Alyssiim. — Is a de- 
sirable vernal flower, of dwarf habit, proper for rock 
work, or to be planted in masses. The flowers are of a 
brilliant golden-yellow, completely covering the plant, 
which is not more than 8 or 10 inches high; a hardy 
perennial. It is a suitable companion for the Phlox stolo- 
nifera with its red flowers, P. suhulata with pink flowers ; 
all of which appear together in May. Raised by seeds 
or by laying the branches as is done with the carnation. 

A. maritimum. — Sweet Alyssum. — This is a desirable 
hardy annual, flowering from June to November, w^ien 
planted in the spring ; and all winter in the green-house 
if sown in August. One foot high, with flowers in long 
prostrate racemes, which continually extend themselves 
during the season, producing flowers until killed by 
frost. It is quite efi*ective Avhen planted in masses. The 
plants should not be put out nearer than one foot from 
each other. 

AMARANTHS. —Amaranth. 

[From the Greek, meaning unfading Jloiver, as tiie flowers of some species da 
not wither.] 

A genus of annuals, some of wdiich are ornamental, and 
others are coarse and troublesome weeds. 

Amarantus tricolor. — This is a tender annual, an old 
favorite of the flower-garden, and is in some places called 
" Joseph's Coat ;" its only beauty consists in its variegated 
leaves. Miller, in ancient times, says : — " There is not a 
handsomer plant than this in its full lustre." 

Gerarde thus speaks of it : — 


" It farre exceedeth my skill to describe the beauty and 
excellencie of this rare plant, called F lor amor ; and I 
thinke the pensil of the most curious painter will be at a 
stay, when he shall come to set it downe in his lively col- 
ors. But to colour it after my best manner, this I say, 
Moramor hath a thicke, knobby root, whereon do grow 
many threddie strings ; from which ariseth a thicke stalke, 
but tender and soft, which beginneth to divide itself into 
sundry branches at the ground, and so vpward, whereup- 
on doth grow many leaves, wherein does consist his beau- 
ty : for in few words, euerie leafe resembleth in colour 
the most faire and beautifull feather of a Parot, especially 
those feathers that are mixed with most sundry colours, 
as a stripe of red, and a line of yellow, a dash of white, 
and a rib of green colour, which I cannot with words set 
forth, such are the sundry mixture of colours that I^ature 
hath bestowed, in her greatest jolitie, vpon this floure. 
The floure doth grow betweene the footstalks of those 
leaves and the body of the stalk or trunk, base, and of no 
moment in respect of the leaves, being as it were little 
chaffie husks of an ouerworne tawny colour ; the seed is 
black, and shining like burnished home." 

A. hypochondriacus. — Prince's Feather. — A hardy, 
Avell-known annual, four or five feet high, with numerous 
heads of purplish-crimson flowers, suitable for the shrub- 
bery. A. superhus is an improved variety of this ; flowers 
dark-red ; three to four feet high ; from June to September. 

A. melancbolicus. — Love-lies-bleeding. — This is also a 
well-known hardy annual, from three to four feet high, 
with blood-red flowers, which hang in pendant spikes, 
and, at a little distance, look like streams of blood ; in 
July and August. It is sometimes called, in France, 
*' Discipline des rdigieuses^'' — the Nun's Whipping Rope. 
There is a variety, with straw-colored flowci-s, but it is 
too mean-looking for the flower-garden. 


A. melancliolicus var. ruber, is a new variety, with 
blood-red leaves, pyramidical growth, 14^ foot high, of ex- 
cellent habit, and will supersede the Perilla. 


[The name of a nymph celebrated by the poet Virgil.] 

This is a superb genus, nearly all of the species are 
green-house or stove-plants ; some few maybe planted out 
in the garden, but none of them will stand the winter. 

Amaryllis formosissima, Jacobean Lily, is a flower of 
great beauty. It is a tender bulb, but succeeds well 
when planted in May, in the open border, in a rich sandy 
soil. The top of the bulb should hardly be covered with 
earth. The flowers are large and of a very brilliant dark 
crimson ; when the sun shines upon them, they look as if 
sprinkled with gold. The under petals hang down, the 
upper curl up, and the whole flower stands nodding on 
one side of a stalk, about a foot high, making a fine ap- 
pearance. The bulb rarely produces more than two flow- 
ers, and more frequently but one; flowers in June or 
July. Upon the approach of freezing weather, the bulbs 
must be taken up, and put away in dry saw-dust, secure 
from frost. It is a native of South America. 

Amethystea ceerulea. — A tender annual with pretty 
blue flowers, and a variety with white ; grows about 14- 
foot high ; not very common in gardens ; in flower from 
July to October. 

122 breck's new book of flowers. 




CFrom the Greek, meaning to live upon sa7id.] 

Ammobilim alatum.— Winged Ammobium.— A pretty, 
half-hardy Xew Holland annual, with dry, Avhite, involu- 
cral scales, like a Gnaphaliiim. The flowers, when gath- 
ered before they fully mature, retain their shape and 
brightness, and are fit companions for Helichrysums, 
Amaranths, and other everlasting flowers for winter orna- 
ments. Height, two feet. The stems have a curious 
winched attachment their whole length. 


[Named after a traveller, Mr. Cliarles Amson.] 

Amsonia Tabcrnsemontana. — Broad-leaved Amsonia, 
and lias been called A. latifolia^ but the name here given 
is the oldest. A hardy perennial, about two feet high, 
with leaves somewhat like those of the jDcach and pale- 
blue flowers in terminal clusters. 

A. salicifolia. — Willow-leaved Amsonia, has narrower 
leaves. Both are easily cultivated native plants, which 
succeed in almost any soil, and flowers in June. 

ANAGALLIS.— Pimpernel. 

[From tlie Greek, ^o Zawg-A ; the name expressing the medicinal qualities of 
the plant, whicli, by removing obstructions from the liver, removed a cause 
of low spirits and despondency. So at least say Piiny and others.] 

Anagallis arvensis. — Pimpernel, or Poor mail's weather 
glass^ one of the Ilorm horologica^^ opening its flowers 
regularly about eight minutes past eight o'clock in the 
latitude of England, and closing about three minutes past 
two o'clock. It also serves as an hygrometer, for, if rain 
fall, or there be much moisture in the atmospere, the flow- 

124 breck's new book of flowers. 

ers either do not open, or close up again. So says Lou- 
don. It is a handsome trailing weed of England, and 
is found in some parts of this country. 

Anagallis grandiflora carnea^ A. lilacea and A. fruti- 
cosa, are j)i*etty annuals. 


[Derived from the Greek, mea,mng paint for the skiti ; one of the species hav- 
ing been used in early times to stain the skin.] 

Anchusa Italica. — Italian Bugloss. — Is a tall-growing 
hardy perennial, with coarse, rough leaves, but bearing a 
multitude of small briUiant blue flowers all the season. 
There is another species with parti-colored red and purple 
flowers ; and still another with red flowers. All the species 
are tall-growing plants, from two to three feet high. 
Easy to cultivate and perfectly hardy, desirable only iu 
large collections. 

ANEMONE.— Wind-flower. 

[From the Greek, aneinos, wind ; some say because the flower opens only 
when the wind blows ; others, because it grows in situations much exposed to 

"Youtli, like a thin Anemone displays 
His silken leaf, and in a morn decays." 

This poetical allusion is in reference to the fragiUty of 
the Anemone, which applies to tlie Wood Anemone of 
Europe and this country, and not to A. coronaria, a 
florist's flower, which has already been described under 
the head of bulbous roots. 

Anemone Pulsatilla, Pasque Flower, is an old-fashioned 
English }>erc'nni;d ])order-tlo\vcr, easily cultivated, and 
descriped )jy Gerade, the herbalist, in his book written 
two hundred and flfty years ago, thus: — "It hath many 


small leaves, finely cut or jagged, like those of carrots, 
among which rise up naked stalkes roughf, hairie, where- 
upon doe grow beautiful floures, bell-fashion, of a bright 
delaied purple color; in the bottom whereof groweth a 
tuft of yellow thrumbs, and in the middle of the thrumbs 
it thrusteth forth a small purple pointell. When the 
whole flower is passed, there succeedeth an head or knob, 
compact of many gray hairy lockes, and in the solid part 
of the knob lieth the seed, flat and hairy, — every seed 
having his own small haire hanging at it. The root is 
thicke and knobby, of a finger long, running right down, 
and therefore not unlike those of the Anemone, which it 
doth in all its other parts very notably resemble, and 
whereof no doubt this is a kind." 

A. nemorosa^ or Wood Anemone, is one of our earliest 
flowers in spring, appearing in April, and continuing 
through May; found in company with violets and other 
vernal flowers, in woods and pastures, and by the side of 
walls and fences. It grows in spreading clusters, sending 
up its stem, bearing three leaves, which is crowned with 
one single white flower, the external part of which is of 
a reddish-purple. It requires care in transplanting and to 
be set in a shady and moist place. The Rue-leaved Ane- 
mone is placed under Thalictrum. 

A. hortensis, or Garden Anemone, is the species from 
which all the fine varieties of the florist's flowers origin- 

" See I yon Anemones their leaves unfold. 
With rubies flaming, and with living gold." 

Very little attention has been paid in this section of 
the country, to the cultivation of this most beautiful 
flower, from the fact, probably, that it will not stand our 
winters, unless planted in a frame, or othewise protected. 
With this precaution, and some little attention, it will 

126 breck's xew book of flowers, 

abundantly repay all the labor that may be bestowed up- 
on it. 

I have succeeded very well, in its cultivation, by keep- 
ing the roots out of ground until March, and then plant- 
ing them in a bed prepared in the fall, that had been 
kept covered till the time of planting. The roots of the 
Anemones are solid, flattened masses, like those of ginger, 
and are multiplied by dividing them. 

More than one hundred and fifty choice varieties are 
enumerated in some of the Dutch catalogues of the 
present day, classed as follows : — red, or blood color ; 
rosy and white, flamed with purple ; sky blue ; purple or 
ash color ; rosy, with green, and white, and agate. 

A fine double Anemone should stand upon a strong, 
elastic and erect stem, not less than nine inches high. 
The blossom or corolla, should be at least two and a half 
inches in diameter. The outer petals, or guard leaves, 
should be substantial, Avell rounded, at first horizontally 
extended, and then turning a little upwards, so as to form 
a broad, shallow cup, the interior part of which should 
contain a great number of long, small petals, imbricating 
each other, and rather reverting from the centre of the 
blossom. There are a great number of small stamens in- 
termixed with these petals, but they are short, and not 
easily discernable. The color should be clear and distinct 
when diversified in the same flower, or brilliant and strik- 
ing if it consists only of one color, as blue, crimson, or 
scarlet, etc., in which case the bottom of the broad ex- 
terior petals is generaly white ; but the beauty and con- 
trast are greatly increased when both the exterior and in- 
terior petals are regularly marked Avitli alternate blue and 
white, or pink and white stripes, etc., which in the broad 
petals should not extend quite to the margin. 

Propagation. — By dividing the roots for the fine sorts, 
and by seed for new varieties. 


Soil and Situation. — The situation should be open, but 
not exposed to currents of air. As to the soil to grow 
them in, various composts are prescribed by florists. 
They require a fresh, strong, rich, loamy soil. Hogg re- 
commends fresh loam, with a considerable portion of rot- 
ten horse or cow dung. The bed should be dug eighteen 
inches deep, and filled with the rich compost, a little 
above the level of the walk ; then lay a stratum of good 
rich mould, two inches deep, over the compost, on which 
to plant the roots, a§ the dung or very rich compost in 
contact with the roots would prove injurious rather than 

Planting. — After the bed is thus prepared, and Jias 
stood long enough to settle, the frame should be placed 
upon it. Fall planting is much the best, if the bed can 
be kept from very severe frost, or if not kept so warm as 
to start the foliage. Late fall or early spring planting is 
the best. 

The roots should be planted in rows six inches apart, 
and the same distance from each other in the rows. A 
little care is necessary, in planting, to j^lace the roots 
right-side up. By close examination, the eyes, from 
which the stems and flowers are to proceed, can be dis- 
tinguished, which, of course, must be planted uppermost. 
After the roots are placed on the bed, they must be care- 
fully covered two inches deep with good sound garden 
mould. When the bed is all completed, the surface should 
be three or four inches above the walk. They will be in 
flower in June, and, if shaded from the sun, will continue 
to display their beauties a long time. 

Tahing up the Roots. — When the foliage begins to turn 
brown and dry, the roots should be taken up and dried 
in the shade. When properly dried and kept from mois- 
ture, they may be kept out of ground two or three years 
without injury. 

128 breck's new book of flowers. 

ANTHEMIS— Chamomile. 

[From a Greek word, signifying a. Jlov:er, on account of the multitude of 
flowers with which the plants are covered.] 

Anth^mis nobilis* — Garden Chamomile. — Is in consider- 
able repute, both in the popular and scientific Materia Me- 
dica. The flowers are well known or should be well known 
to every housekeeper, on account of their valuable medicin- 
al qualities. In its double variety it is quite handsome, and 
a mass of it with its pure white flowers, springing from 
their bed of mossy-like foliage, are certainly quite charm- 
ing. It is easily propagated by dividing the roots. A 
bed of Chamomile is improved in its appearance if occa- 
sionally rolled or pressed down. The flowers rise from 
the bed three or four inches high. 


[Derived from words in Greek, which express " similar to a nose."'] 

The flower bears a perfect resemblance to the snout or 
nose of some animal ; by applying the thumb and finger 
to the side of the corolla, it opens and shuts, as with a 

Antirrhinum majUS, the Great or Purple Snap-Dragon, 
is described by Gerarde in his Herbal, thus : — " This pur- 
ple Snap-Dragon hath great and brittle stalks, which di- 
videth itself into many ,fragile branches, whereupon do 
grow long leaves, sharp-pointed, very greene, like unto 
those of wild flax, but much greater, set by couples and 
set one opposite against another. The flowers grow at 
the top of the stalkes, of a purple color, fashioned like a 
frog's mouth, or rather a dragon's mouth, from whence 
the women have taken the name Snap-Dragon. The seed 
is black, contained in round husks, fiishioned like a calf's 
snout, — whereupon some havec ailed it Calf's snout, — or 


in mine opinion it is more like unto the bones of a sheep's 
head that hath been long in the water, or the flesh con- 
sumed clean away." 

Since Gerarde's day, the Snap-Dragon has sported into 
many varieties, not only purple, but rosy, crimson, yellow, 
red and white, white striped, mottled, tipped, etc. It is 
an imperfect perennial, and is apt to die out every few 
years, particularly in a moist soil — in fact I have been un- 
able to keep it through the winter in some seasons. The 
varieties may be propagated from cuttings, or division of 
the root. It is raised abundantly from the seed, flowering 
the first autumn ; but not so strong as the second year. 
Many beautiful varieties are in cultivation. It flourishes 
best in a dry, loamy soil ; is in flower in June, July, and 
August. Linaria vulgaris^ which grows profusely by 
our road sides is a closely related plant ; the flowers, 
yellow and orange. This was formerly cultivated in the 
garden, but it has a propensity for running about the 
ground where it is not wanted, and soon becomes a troub- 
lesome weed. 

APIOS. — Ground-nut. 

[From the Greek word for pear, in allusion to the shape of the tubers.] 

Apios tuberosat — Ground-nut, Dacotah Potato. — Indi- 
genous and common in rich moist woods and thickets, 
produces flowers in axillary, crowded racemes, of a black- 
ish-purple color, which would make a pleasing acquisition 
to the various ornaments of the border or shrubbery. Its 
roots are strings of oblong cylindrical tubers, frequently 
known by the name of pig or Indian potatoes; when 
roasted or boiled, they are eatable, and said to have made 
an ordinary part of the vegetable food of the aborigines. 

130 breck's new book of flowers. 

The leaves are pinnated, each consisting of from five 
to seven ovate accuminate leaves. Stems round, twining 
from six to eight feet high, in July and August. 

AOTILEGIA.— Columbine. 

[From aquila, an eagle. The inverted spurs of the flower have been likened 
to the talons of a bird of prey.] 

Aquilegia vulgaris, and its varieties, are too well 
known to require description. They are all beautiful, and 
interesting when planted in beds or masses. They are of 
every shade of blue, purple-white, reddish-brown, rose, 
striped or variegated, with single, semi-double and full 
double flowers. Some of the single sorts are more desir- 
able than the double ; particularly the large single blue 
and purple varieties, with white centers. In bloom in 
June and July. Propagated by dividing the roots, or 
from seed from choice varieties. All are perennial. 

A. Canadensis, is one of the finest species ; indigenous, 
common in rocky situations, flowering early in May and 
June. It has pendulous scarlet flowers, yellow inside. I 
have seen a 2)ui'e white variety, growing in the crevice or 
seam of a rock, but, in my attempt to extricate it, the 
root was broken ofi" and ruined, to my great sorrow. I 
have also seen a straw-colored variety at the Botanic 
Garden, Cambridge. This elegant vernal flower is much 
improved when cultivated, the stool increasing in magni- 
tude, throwing up many more stems, and the flowers en- 
larged. If some florist would undertake the task of 
impregnating the flowers of this variety Avith some of 
the fine garden species, no doubt, but very satisfactory 
results would be obtained. 

A. glandlllosa, is a splendid and newly introduced 
sj)ccies from Siberia. The plant is more dwarfish in its 


132 bkeck's new book of flowers. 

habits than the common Cohimbine, the leaves are more 
finely divided ; it is about one foot high, producing its 
beautiful flowers in June. The flowers are large and rich 
sky-blue; the inside and margin of the corolla pure 
white. It is one of the most desirable of the genus, 
propagated from seeds, or dividing the roots soon after 
flowering and not in the spring. This splendid species 
is lost to me and I cannot obtain it from Europe ; the 
seed which has been sent me for this, has proved to be 
something else. Many of the Siberian plants are pro- 
tected by the deep snows of that climate, and our open 
Avinters are fatal to many plants from that region, and I 
suppose I lost my bed of this elegant flower on account 
of its being half-hardy. It should have been kept in a 
frame through the winter. 

A. alpina^ is a very handsome species with rich, deep 
blue flowers ; which, instead of drooping as in other 
species, has its flowers erect. 

A. Skinn^rii; raised from imported seed, it has large 
red flowers ; the sj)urs are of deep green color, singular 
and beautiful, this also is lost in my collection. I do not 
know its origin. A. Mcolor, is a beautiful hybrid. Most of 
the species and varieties are at home in any good garden 


[Named from Greek words, signifying bear, and capsule, because its fruit is 
shaggy, lilte a bear.] 

Arctotis breyisc4pa, a new annual. I do not know the 
origin of this plant, but received it, with other seeds, 
from Paris. The flowers are composite, like the Calen- 
dula officinalis, or Pot Marigold, and have some resem- 
blance to that flower, but the foliage is quite different. The 


flowers are of a brilliant yellow, and open to the sun, but 
close at night. There is a succession of flowers through 
the season, which makes it a desirable border-plant. 

ARGEMONE.— Prickly Poppy. 

fFrorn agema, the name by which the cataract of the eye was known, and 
was thought to be cured by this plant.] 

Ar^emone Mexicana^ is a troublesome weed in the 
West Indies, with a fig-shaped capsule, armed with 
prickles, and thence by the Spaniards, called JFigo del in- 
ferno. The whole plant abounds with a milky juice, 
which turns in the air to a fine bright yellow. It has 
handsome j^oppy-shaped yellow flowers. It is some- 
times found inthe garden, but that is not a proper place 
for it, for one cannot touch it without being wounded 
with the spines which are upon the leaves as well as the 
capsules ; nor break it without soiling the hand, and 
when the flower is gathered it is not suitable for the 
bouquet. A. grandiflora^ like the last, is an annual in our 
climate, but the thick fleshy roots may be taken up in 
the fall, kept in the cellar, and planted out in the spring. 
It has a very large, showy white flower, with numerous 
yellow stamens and quite ornamental ; but, like A. 
Mexicana is only to be looked at and not meddled 
with. A. ochroleuca^ has pale-yellow flowers. The 
leaves, capsules, and the whole plant are armed with 
formidable spines ; having had the hands or any part 
of the body in contact with the plant, it will be forever 
after viewed with feelings far from pleasureable. A. Bar- 
clayana is equal to the others in its poAvers of annoy- 
ance, but its more showy, brilliant yellow flowers, will, 
in some measure, make amends for its repulsiveness. I 
cannot recommend this genus of plants, only where 
large collections are desired. 


ARMERIA— Thrift. 

This genus contains a number of ornamental plants, 
generally well adapted to rock work. 

Armeria vulgaris, is the common Thrift of the gar- 
den, and next to box most desirable for edgings. It is 
rapidly multiplied by divisions of the root. It produces 
pink flowers, in little heads or clusters in June and Ju- 
ly ; six inches high. 

ASCLEPIAS.— Milkweed. 

[The Greek name of the ^sculapius of the Latins.] 

This genus is mainly North American, many of the 
species are well-known as common road-side weeds ; 
nearly all are tall-growing perennial plants, some of which 
are worthy a place in the garden. We have about fif- 
teen or more indigenous species. The flowers of this 
genus produce their flowers in umbels ; all are very at- 
tractive to butterflies and other beautiful insects, and for 
this reason a few of the most ornamental should find a 
place in the flower-garden. 

Ascl^pias Cornuti, formerly called A. jS^riaca, is a very 
common plant, highly odoriferous, especially in the even- 
ing. The stems, when broken, give a copious discharge 
of milky, viscid juice, and for this reason it is often called 
Milk-weed. Parkinson calls the plant Virginian silk, on 
account of the great quantity of silk, like cotton, which 
the capsules contain. This silky substance is an attach- 
ment to the seed by which it may be carried to a great 
distance in a windy day. This silk is characteristic of all 
the species, and has been used for domestic purposes, such 
as filling for pillows, beds, and other uses. 


A. tuberosa. — Butterfly-weed. — Root large, fleshy, 
branchiDg, somewhat fusiform, but it is only by compar- 
ison wdth other species that it can be called tuberous ; 
stems numerous, growing in bunches from the root, hairy 
and dusky red ; flowers numerous, erect, and of a bright 
orange color ; blooms in August. This fine ornamental 
plant for the garden grows two feet high. A. pur- 
picrascens, A. variegata, and others, are also ornamental ; 
all the species would be interesting in large collections. 


Nearly one hundred si^ecies of Asters, mostly peren- 
nials, are described by botanists as indigenous to North 
America. Many of them are without much beauty, and 
may be considered as weeds. But some of the species 
are quite beautiful, and would add much to the interest 
of the border or shrubbery, if introduced into the gar- 
den. The flowers are star shaped (hence the botanical 
name) and it is often j^opularly called the Star-flower. 
The color of the flowers varies, in the difierent species, 
from white to light-blue, dark blue to purj^le ; some of 
them are quite small as in A. multiforus^ and A. diffusus^ 
w^hich, however, are handsome from the great profusion 
of their flowers. A. JVbvce-A?iglice,}iiis large showy purple 
flowers. A. puniceus, has fine sky-blue flowers. A col- 
lection of the different species may be successfully made 
when in flower, if the flower stems are cut off and the 
roots planted in good soil. They wdll flower well in the 
following autumn and will richly repay all the trouble, 
provided there is plenty of room in the garden. I have 
found that great improvement can be made in them by 
cultivation. The China Aster does not belong to this 
genus, but to Callistephus, under which name it will be 

136 beeck's new book of floweep. 


LFiom Greek words, signifying f-imilar to a star ; so called in reference to 
the beautiful star-like dispositions of the involurum of all the species.] 

Astrantia major and A. minor. — Hardy herbaceous 
perennials, with pretty green and pink, star-like flowers, 
or clusters of flowers ; in bloom most of the season. 
The flowers are fine for bouquets. 


Av^na St^rilis, the Animated Oat, is sometimes grown 
as an object of curiosity, on account of its singular hy- 
grometrical properties. After the seeds have fallen off 
their strong beard is so sensible to alternations of dryness 
and moisture in the atmosphere as to keep them in spon- 
taneous motion, when they resemble some grotesque in- 
sect crawling upon the ground ; or, if when dried, the 
seed is moistened in the mouth and then placed upon a 
table, will throw itself over as if it had life. 

BAPTISIA.— False Indigo. 

[From bapto, to dye ; in allusion to the economical properties of some species. 
A blue dye may be extracted from the leaves.] 

Baptisia australis, formerly Sophora australis, is con- 
sidered a handsome border-flower of the easiest culture, is 
exceedingly hardy and indigenous to some parts of Nortli 
America. It j^roduces its blue flowers in terminal spiked 
racemes in June. Leaves ternate, stalked, leaflets cune- 
ate-lanceolate , stipules longer than the stalk, lanceolate. 
A variety has white flowers ; another, with brown and 
yellow. They are hardy perennials of easy culture. 


BELLIS— Daisy. 

[The name is derived from the Latin word bellus, handsome. The word 
Daisy is a compound of day and eye, Day's-eye, in wliicii way it is written by 
Ben Johnson.] 

Brills perennis. — The Common Daisy. — No flower 
has been more frequently celebrated, by English poets 
than this. Burns' address to the Mountain Daisy will un- 
doubtedly be remembered by many, beginning 

" Wee mo'iest crimson tipped flower." 

A native of England and Scotland, a well-known peren- 
nial, in bloom most of the season, in a cool sheltered 
place, but will not succeed in a warm sunny spot. 
There are several varieties in the improved cultivated 
sorts, as the double red, white, blush, red-quilled, white- 
quilled, variegated, etc. 

This beautiful little flower will not stand our winters 
without protection. It is best kept in a frame, where it 
can be j^reserved from the extreme cold weather, but will 
require air in pleasant weather. 

Daisies may be propagated abundantly, by dividing 
the roots ; also from seed, which is imported from Europe. 
If seed from double flowers is sown, the product will be 
single, semi-double, and a few full double sorts, with a 
variety of colors and shades. 

The seed should be sown in the green-house or in a 
hot-bed, with very little bottom heat ; the young plants 
must be very carefully attended to, or all the labor will 
be lost. 

138 breck's new book of flowers. 


[Named afier Dr. Charles Bouvard, formerly a Superintendant of the Jardin 
du Roi, at Paris.] 

The species and varieties are all shrubby green-house 
plants, but, when raised from cuttings and planted out in 
the oj^en ground, flower all the season ; and small plants, 
tliree inches high, will begin to bloom and continue to 
grow and blossom until they have attained the height of 
two feet by October, forming fine bushy plants ; the flow- 
ers are rose, crimson, and scarlet. Their dazzling rich- 
ness of color, and pleasing form of flower, make them 
the most useful plants we have for cut-flowers or bou- 
quets. I think there can be no difiiculty in preserving 
the plants by taking up and potting them, after the foli- 
age is blackened by frost, and placing them in a dry cellar 
through the winter. 

The species J^. triphylla and B. versicolor are Mexican 
and South American plants ; the former with scarlet, the 
other with red flowers. There is no bedding plant more 
desirable for the borders than this. 


Brachycome iberidifolia. — This is a beautiful hardy 
annual, in flower from July to September; of dwarf 
habit, eight or ten inches high. Flowers, various deli- 
cate shades of blue, lilac, and white, with brownish-black 
centre. A suitable plant to be grown in masses ; foliage 
also delicate. 

BRIZA.— Qhaking Grass. 

[From a Greek word, to nod. in allusion to the iianging spikelets.] 

Briza maxima, is cultivated as a border-flower; the 
spikelets of the grass are curious and elegant, and when 
dried help to make up a bouquet of immortal flowers. 


BROWALLIA.— Blue Amethyst. 

[Named by Linnaeas, in honor of John Biowallius.] 

Browallia data. — A tender annual from Peru. It 
grows one and a half foot high, and bears an abundance 
of small brilliant blue flowers, from July to September. 
There is also a variety with white flowers. 

To have it in 23erfection, it should be sown in hot-beds, 
and transplanted into the border in June. The plants 
are quite minute when they first make their appearance, 
and unless protected from the sun, are liable to be 
destroyed. The same be said of nearly all plants with 
very fine seed. In the open ground, about the middle of 
May, is a suitable time for planting. 


[Named after Calandrini, a German botanist.] 

Calandrinia ^randiflora. — Great-flowering. — This is a 
half-hardy annual ; grows two feet high ; blooms from 
June to October. It is a fine plant for growing in mas- 
ses. When the fine, rosy lilac flowers of this A^ery beau- 
tiful plant are fully expanded, being produced in vast 
profusion, and continuing for so long time in bloom, they 
make a pleasing appearance, and nevei* fail to give ample 
satisfaction. To have it in its greatest perfection,the seed 
should be planted in pots, and placed in a hot-bed early 
in the spring. In June the plants should be turned into 
the ground. The soil should be a rich sandy loam. 

C. discolor is in habit very much like the other; the 
foliage is purple on the under side ; it requires the same 
treatment. C. JBurridgii^ C, speciosa^ and G. umhellata., 
are all handsome species or varieties, but rather delicate, 
and not perhaps desirable except in extensive collections. 

140 breck's new book of flowers. 

CALCEOLARIA.— Lady's Slipper. 

[From calceolus, a slipper, in allusion to the shape of the corolla.) 

Calceolaria pinnata. — This species, a native of Peru, 
may be raised from seed in a hot-bed in spring, and trans- 
planted to the borders with other tender annuals. The 
regions of Chili and Peru abound in many splendid spe- 
cies, from which very beautiful hybrids have been pro- 
duced ; but all are too tender and delicate for out-door 
culture, unless planted in a sheltered situation. 


[So named because it may be found in flower during the calends of each 
month, or, which is the same thing, during every month of the year. This can- 
nut be the case in our climate.] 

Calendula officinalis. — Pot Marigold. — A hardy annu- 
al, common to the gardens time out of mind, and form- 
erly much used in soups and broths. Flowers deep 
orange, and continue all the season. Some of the double 
varieties are very handsome. C. ranunculoides siiperba, 
and C. sulphur ea., are highly improved varieties ; one with 
bright orange, the other with sulphur-colored flowers, 
very large and double ; as they are always in bloom, they 
are a great addition to the flower-garden. 


Callirroc pedata, a handsome annual, introduced from 
Texas, two feet high, with crimson mallow-shaped flow- 
ers. C. veriicillata^ is double the size of C. pedata^ and 
very beautiful ; a perennial or biennial. 



CALLISTEPHUS.— China Aster. 

[From the Greek, meaning beautiful crown.] 

Callistephus Chin^nsiS. — The China Aster. — Is the on- 
ly species with which we are acquainted, and of this the 
varieties are almost infinite, embracing in color white, 
blue-purple, red, variegated red and white, blue and 


white-purple, and white, etc. ; also in variety of shapes as 
the Pompon, Chrysanthemum, P^ony, Imbricate, Crown, 
Globe, etc. ; of difierent heights as the Tall, Semi-dwarf, 
Dwarf, and Pigmy, also in the different arrangements as 

142 breck's new book of floweks. 

the bouquet, etc. All these varieties, as now cultivated, 
have full double-flowers. No others are tolerated. The 
improvements that have been made in this flower within 
the last dozen years, are wonderful. The French call the 
China Aster la Reine Marguerite^ which has been render- 
ed in English, the Queen Margaret. By this name they 
are sometimes called; also the German Aster ^ from the 
improvements which have been made by the florists of 
that country. Some of the very finest are called French 
Asters or the Trufiaut Pseony Aster, from a Mr. Trufiaut, 
a celebrated florist at Versailles, who has produced some 
of the most superb varieties, nearly the size of Dahlias, 
of most brilliant colors, and very double and full. 

These varieties cannot be too highly recommended. 
No class of Asters surpasses them in splendor, perfection, 
softness, brilliancy and variety of their colors. It would 
seem hardly possible that such a wonderful transforma- 
tion could be made from the original, inferior, single flow- 
er; but Mons. Trufiaut has made this a specialty, and 
his perseverance and skill have been crowned with com- 
plete success ; he has the honor of introducing a class of 
flowers which must stand in the first rank among the or- 
namental plants of the flower-garden. His packages of 
these grand Asters embrace from ten to twelve varieties. 
The flowers are so full and double that they produce very 
few seeds, hence they will always command a high price. 

The double German Globe Aster forms another distinct 
class, embracing all the variety of colors found in the 
Pa3ony Aster. The flow^ers are large and very full, of a 
globular shape ; plants about two feet high. Boltze's 
Miniature, or Pigmy Dwarf Bouquet Pyramidal Asters, 
are a great curiosity as well as very beautiful. A bou- 
quet of Chrysanthemum-shaped Asters, of five to ten 
finely shaped flowers, with very rich colors, and of good 
size, spring directly from the ground, not more than six 


inches high, with very little foliage, presenting a very- 
pleasing sight when planted in a bed or groups by them- 
selves. These varieties are new ; perfected by Mr. Boltz, 
of Germany. 

Newest Chrysanthemum-flowered Dwarf Double Asters. 
— This new tribe of dwarf Asters is highly recommended 
as a very important acquisition to tlie flower-garden. 
They flower rather later than the other varieties, attain 
the height of about ten to twelve inches, and produce 
clusters of flowers nearly as large as the Pjeony, flowered 
so abundant, that very few leaves are seen ; they sport in- 
to all the colors of the other classes. 

New Double Corcadeau or Crown Aster. — This class of 
Asters have very large flat flowers, with white centres ; 
the colors are violet, blue, crimson, and deep scarlet. 
The contrast between the rich colors of the outer petals, 
and the pure white centre is very fine. The varieties are 
very double ; height, two feet. 

Double Dwarf Pyramidal Bouquet-flowered Aster. — 
This is also an interesting class of about twelve varieties 
of colors ; height ten or twelve inches. They produce 
immense bouquets of quilled flowers, when planted in 
rich soil. 

Double Pyramidal-flowered German Aster. — This divi- 
sion of Asters grows about two feet high, flowers in pyr- 
amids, Chrysanthemum shaped, with all the colors of the 
other sorts; some of them are beautifully striped or 
ribboned with blue, rose or red, on white ground. 

New Giant Emperor Aster. — A beautiful Aster, flowers 
of great size, very double, and well up in the centre ; 
style of growth very distinct, in about ten distinct colors ; 
height one and one-half foot. 

Victoria Aster. — Color carmine rose ; an extra fine 
double variety of a globular shape, well up in the centre ; 
of the size of the Giant Emperor Aster, having a fine 

144 breck's new book of flowers. 

pyramidal habit of If foot, covered with ten to twenty 
flowers ; of this there is as yet but one variety. 

Imbricated Pompon Aster. — This class embraces twelve 
or more varieties of exquisite shaped flowers, very full 
and double, with narrow petals closely imbricated, form- 
ing a most perfect pompon. 

Asters, styled Borabee, are convex shaped, and are in- 
cluded among the Pseony-flowered. 

Imbricated, like the Pompons, are closely imbricated 
with an immense number of petals, having larger flowers 
and more flat and spreading ; some of the varieties have 
a rich metallic lustre ; height 1^ foot. 

To have Asters in perfection, the ground should be dug 
deep and highly manured. For early blooming plants, 
the seed should be sown in frames wdth a little bottom 
heat in April. But for late-flowering plants, they succeed 
full as well when sow^n in the open ground, from the 1st 
to the 10th of May. — Asters have the most pleasing efiect 
when planted in beds. The tallest growing plants should 
be placed one foot to fifteen inches apart; the dwarf- 
varieties from six to ten inches. The plants, when cov- 
ered with flowers, will require a little support, with light 
rods, as a heavy rain or wind often prostrates them unless 
thus protected. Asters are in perfection from the middle 
of August to the middle of September. 

CALTHA.— Marsh Marigold. 

[Caltha signifies in Greek a. goblet, and refers to tlie appearance of the flower 
when not fully expanded.] 

Caltha palustris. — Marsh Marigold. — This is a handsome 
indigenous perennial, seen in the early part of May, or- 
namenting the margin of brooks and wet places with a 
great profusion of its yellow blossoms, by Avhich the 
course of a stream may be traced a great distance by the 


abundant bloom in the green grass. This plant, in its 
tender state, is gathered for greens and is brought to 
market under the name of Coioslip. It is a plant well re- 
membered in our juvenile days as being one of the most 
conspicuous May-day flowers, and for wet feet, caused in 
gathering it. It is also a native of England, and the 
north of Europe, where it makes the same brilliant ap- 
pearance in their meadows as it does in our own. The 
flower buds, gathered before they expand, are said to be 
a good substitute for capers, and their juice, boiled with 
alum, stains paper yellow. In Lapland it is the first 
flower that announces the approach of spring, although 
it does not appear there till the end of May. There is a 
double variety which is quite ornamental, and succeeds 
very well in garden soil, if not very dry. It flowers 
most of the season, and is more dwarfish than the wild 
single variety. The flowers are very fiill double, and 
have some resemblance to the TroUius. It is propa- 
gated by parting the roots ; it likes the shade, and if in a 
wet place, so much the better, for its natural place of 
growth is — 

— " Not the sunny plain. 
But where tlie grass is gieen with shady trees, 
And brooks stand ready for the kine to quaff," 

C AL YSTEGIA. — Bracted Bindweed. 

[From the Greek for calyx and to cover in reference to the bracts which en- 
close the calyx.] 

Calystegia sepium. — Hedge or Large Bindweed. — A 
native species w^hich climbs over fences and bushes in 
low grounds. Stem twining, a little angular, smooth ; 
leaves large, arrow-shaped ; the upper ones with the 
lobes mostly cut off". Flowers large, white or rose color, 
blooming in June and Julv. A beautiful perennial, which, 

146 breck's new book of flowers. 

were it not for its ])roi)ensity to fill the whole ground 
Avith plants from its abundant suckers, would be very de- 

Ct pubesccns. — Downy Bindweed. — A Chinese species 
with elegant double rose-colored flowers, which was in- 
troduced into our gardens a few years ago, but which has 
proved a great nuisance. In my garden, it would throw 
up young plants at a great distance from the old one ; in 
fact, it would establish itself everywhere, and it required 
several years of vigilance to eradicate it. 

C. spithamae. — Low-Bindweed. — A native perennial 
species of dwarf habit, growing in dry sandy woods. It 
is about a foot high, with leafy branches which never 
twine. From the lower part of the stem arises a long 
peduncle (sometimes two) bearing a large white flower of 
much beauty. It is found from Maine to Wisconsin and 
southward, in rather barren localities, but not very com- 
mon. This was formerly called Convolvulus stans, and 
the other species were also included in Convolvtilus, from 
which they are separated on account of the two broad 
leafy bracts which surround the calyx. 


[A diminutive o{ campana, :i bell; on account of the form of the corolla, 
which resembles a little boll.] 

This is a large genus of plants, mostly handsome, hardy 
perennials, with a few annuals ; some of them very beau- 
tiful and nearly all suitable for ornamenting the borders. 

Campanula rotiindifolia. — Hare-Bell. — An indigenous 
species, which is very pretty and worthy of cultivation; 
It is found on the banks of the Merrimac river, above 
Lowell, and in many other places. It has nearly round, 
lieart-kidney, crenate radical leaves, from which the spe- 




148 BRECK's new book of FLO^yERS. 

cific name is given, and linear entire cauline ones, with 
drooping, solitary, fine blue flowers ; those of the English 
plants being rather the largest. In flower, in July ; a 
perennial one to one and a half foot high. It is known 
by the name of Hare-bell in England also, and Sir Walter 
Scott speaks of it by that title ; 

" What though no rule of courtly grace 
To measured mood had trained her pace? 
A foot more light, a step more true. 
Ne'er from the heath-flower dashed the dew ; 
E'en the slight Hare-bell raised its head 
Elastic from lier airy Iread."— L«f/j/ of the Lake. 

C. Lor^i. — Lore's Bell-flower. — A hardy annual, 
of considerable beauty, introduced in 1825, from Mount 
Baldo. It is of easy culture, very hardy, produc- 
ing seed very abundantly ; it grows about nine inches 
high, flowering freely. Some of the blossoms are of a 
fine purple-blue color, and others of a pure white. Each 
flower is two inches and upwards across. When the 
plant is cultivated in masses, the flowers are very showy 
and ornamental, and continue in bloom a long time. C. 
pentagonia., or five-angled, is another annual with blue or 
purple flowers, is also very pretty ; from Turkey, one 
foot high. 

C. medium. — Canterbury Bells. — This species, with 
its varieties, is one of our oldest ornamental plants, 
it havino; for a longf time been cultivated in our o-ardens ; 
it is, nevertheless, a showy plant, and will doubtless al- 
ways be retained as a prominent ornament of the border. 
The varieties are rose, blue, and white, double and single. 
The double varieties, however, are much inferior to the 
single ones, and will be cultivated only for their oddity. 
Being biennial, it will be necessary to sow the seeds every 
year. The young jDlants must be transplanted to the 
place in which they are to flower, in August or Septem- 
ber, for if deferred until spring the bloom will be greatly 


weakened ; tlie same holds good with all biennials, and 
most seedling perennials. 

C. persicaefolia, — Peach-leaved Bell-flower. — This is 
one of the finest species, containing a nnmber of beautiful 
varieties, with large, showy flowers, more bowl-shaped 
than the last. The varieties are single and double blue, 
single and double white, maxima^ or large peach-leaved, 
etc. All of them are perfectly hardy, with handsome 
foliage, which makes them valuable as border flowers. 
Stems angular; leaves stiff*; obsoletely crenate-serrate ; 
radical ones, oblong-ovate ; cauline ones, lanceolate-line- 
ar ; three feet high ; in flower in June and July. 

Ct pyramidalis. — Pyramidal Bell-flower. — This is a 
grand ornament, when cultivated in perfection, forming 
a pyramid from four to six feet high, producing innumer- 
able flowers for two or three months, if shaded from the 
sun. It was formerly a great favorite in England, but its 
popularity has long since passed away to give place to 
other more fashionable flowers, which have in their turn 
also been succeeded by other rivals more fair. But the 
old-fashioned Hollanders are not quite so fickle ; flowers 
with them seem to be esteemed, notwithstanding their 
antiquity. The Pyramidal Bellflower is said to be in 
demand there still, as an ornament to halls, stair-cases, 
and for placing before fire-places in the summer season. 

Plants raised from seeds are always stronger^ and the 
stalks rise higher, and produce a greater number of flowers. 
They are to be sown in pots of light earth, soon after be- 
ing gathered, protected by a frame during Avinter, and 
will come up in the spring. When the leaves decay, in 
October, they are to be transplanted to beds of light, 
sandy earth, without any mixture of dung, which is a 
great enemy to this plant. Here they are to remain two 
years, being protected by rotten tan ; they are then to be 

150 breck's new book of flowers. 

removed to their final destination, in September or Octo- 
ber ; and the year following, being the third year from 
sowing, they will flower. 

Seedling plants, in our climate, will flower the second 
year generally, some not until the third. A slight protec- 
tion is necessary during winter. Under our fervid sun, 
there will be no difficulty in ripening seeds. 

C. noMlis. — This is a handsome, low growing peren- 
nial, with creeping' roots, with very large drooping bell- 
shaped flowers ; one variety a purplish brown, the other 

C. Trachelium. — Great Throatwort. — It is a native of 
Europe. It has purple or white flowers, blooming in June 
and July. A handsome perennial, three to four feet high. 
The name of Throatwort was given to these plants, from 
a notion that they would cure inflammation and swelling 
of the throat. Increased by dividing the roots, or from 
seed. It prefers a loamy soil. The Giant Throatwort is 
a native of England, is mentioned by Sir Walter Scott^in 
the poem of Rokeby : 

lie laid him down, 

Where purple heath prol'iiselv strown 

And Throatwort with its azure bell, 

And moss, and tliyme, his cushion swell." 

C. Garganica. — A beautiful perennial alpine plant, 
with delicate, star-shaped, blue flowers, with distinct 
white throat ; indispensable for basket or rock-work. 

C. aj?l?rej^atat — Has pale-blue flowers, in a crowded 
head. G. grandis^ G. latifolia speciosa^ glomerata^ and 
many others, are fine border-flowers, growing from one 
to four feet high. There is also a class of dwarf species, 
growing from three inches to one foot in height, very ap- 
propriate for rock-work, as G.hederacea^ alpina, Gaucasi- 
ca^ Garpatica^ jniinila^ rotundifolia^ etc. This genus em- 


braces about one hundred species. Several, wliich were 
formerly included in it, have been removed to other gene- 
ra. See Specularia and Platyeodon. 

CANNA.— Shot Plant. 

[From a Celtic, word, signifying a cane or reed.'[ 

The Cannas are mostly tropical plants, from four to 
eight feet high, with elegant foliage. 

CaEiia patens, Indica, and coccinnea, are found wild 
within the tropics on all the continents, and chiefly in 
moist woods, or spongy, woody wastes. In Brazil and 
other parts of America, they are known by the name of 
Wild Plantain, and their leaves are used as envelopes for 
many objects of commerce. In Spain and Portugal, the 
inhabitants use the seed for making their rosaries ; in the 
East Indies, the seeds are sometimes used as shot. The 
seeds of most of the species are round, hard, black, shin- 
ing, heavy, and about one-eighth of an inch in diameter. 

€anna Indica. — Indian Shot. — This is the most 
common species, and succeeds well as an annual if the 
plants are started in a hot-bed. If the seeds are planted 
in i^ots, and plunged in the bed when it has its greatest 
heat, the plants will soon appear ; and, if turned into the 
ground in June, will make large plants, which will flower 
in July and August. In the green-house, it is a perennial, 
and may be propagated by dividing the roots. 

This is desirable, not only for the beauty of its spikes 
of scarlet flowers, but a!so for its elegant foliage. The 
leaves are of a rich deep green, three feet long and four 
to six inches wide ; a ery handsome as they unfold them- 
selves ; the flower-stem rises five or six feet high. 

I have cultivated twelve or thirteen of the different 
species, all of them characterized by long, broad, and 

152 breck's new book of flowers. 

handsome foliage, with either scarlet, orange, or yellow 
flowers ; but I find C. Lidica the best for this climate. 
All the species require a rich garden soil. 

CARDAMINE.— Cuckoo Flower. 

[An ancient Greek name for Cress.] 

Cardamine pratensis. — Cuckoo-flower, or Lady's Smock, 
is a native of England and is a common plant in meadows 
and brook-sides. The Double Cardamine., is the only va. 
riety cultivated or deserving a place in the borders, and 
not very common in this country. " This floAver has been 
usually described by the poets as of a silvery whiteness, 
which shows the season they have chosen for their rural 
walks to have been a late one ; as, in its natural state, it 
is more or less tinged with purple, but becomes white as 
it fades, by exposure to the heat of the sun. The various 
shades of these flowers, with the little green leaves that en- 
close their unopened buds, have an exceeding pretty eflect 
when a quantity of them are collected ; and, if kept in 
fresh water, and well su^^plied, they will survive their 
gathering for a fortnight or more. The height of the 
plant is about one foot. The double varieties are purple 
and white ; tliey are increased by parting the roots in au- 
tumn. They love the shade, and require a rich moist soil. 
It is called ' Lady's Smock,' from the white sheets of flow- 
ers they display ; and ' Cuckoo-flower,' because it conies 
at the time with the Cuckoo. Shakespeare's Cuckoo 
buds are yellow, and supposed to be a species of Ramm- 
cidus. Indeed, he expressly distinguishes Jiis Cuckoo bud 
from this flower " : 

" When daisies pied, and violets bine, 
And Lady's-smocks all silver white, 
And Cuckoo buds of yellow hue, 
Do paint tiic inc;ulows v\ith delight." 

descriptive list of flowers. 153 


[From Greek words, signifying heart and seed, in allusion to its round seeds, 
•which are marked wiih a spot like a heart.] 

Cardiosperraura Halicacabum. — Balloon Vine. — Heart- 
Seed. — A half-harcly annual from the West Indies ; a 
climber. The seed should be sown between the first and 
tenth of May, and the plant supported with brush ; four to 
six feet high. 

The plant is remarkable for its inflated membranous 
capsule, from which it is sometimes called Balloon Vine, 
or Love in a Puff. The flowers are white and green, 
without any claim to beauty. 

Cassia Marilandica. — Maryland Cassia, Wild Senna. — 
A hardy, indigenous perennial, four feet high, with yellow 
flowers, from August to September. Many of this genus 
are beautiful plants, but mostly tender ; some species are 
sensitive, and close their leaves in wet weather, or at the 
approach of night. 

Catananchc ceerulea. — Blue Catananche. — A handsome 
perennial, from the south of Europe, one and a half foot 
high, with brilliant blue flowers, in July and August. It 
has not proved perfectly hardy with me ; but believe it 
will stand the winter better in a lighter soil than mine. 
It grows about two feet high. Vaillant explains the 
meaning of Catananche, by deriving it from two Greek 
words, and signifying necessity^ that is to say, a plant 
which compels admiration. The name was employed by 
Dioscorides, to designate a plant used by the women of 
Thessaly, in philtres and love potions. 

154 bkeck's new book of flowers. 

CELOSIA.— Cocks-comb. 

[From a Greek word, signifying burnt, because the flowers of some of the 
species appear as if they were singed.] 

Celosia cristata. — Cocks-comb. — Is a well-known ten- 
der annual, of which there are many varieties, as in the 
balsam, and which, like that plant, will attain a large size, 
and singular beauty by repeated shiftings. Thunberg 
states that in Japan the flowers or crests are frequently 
a foot in length or breadth. The following account is in- 
serted, to give some idea of what may be done by artifi- 
cial means. " Mr. Knight, in October, 1820, sent to the 
London Horticultural Society a Cocks-comb, the flower 
of which measured eighteen inches in width and seven in 
height, from the top of the stalk ; it was thick and full, 
and of a most intense purple-red. To produce this, the 
great object was to retard the protusion of the flower- 
stalk, that it might become of great strength. The com- 
post employed was of the most nutritive and stimulating 
kind, consisting of one part of unfermented horse-dung, 
fresh from the stable, and without litter, one part of 
burnt turf, one part of decayed leaves, and two parts of 
green turf, the latter being in lumps of about an inch in 
diameter, in order to keep the mass so hollow that the 
water might escape and the air enter. The seeds were 
sown in the spring, rather late, and the plants put first in- 
to pots of four inches diameter, and then transplanted to 
others a foot in diameter ; the object being not to com- 
press the roots, as that has a tendency to accelerate the 
flowering of all vegetables. The plants were placed with- 
in a few inches of the glass, in a heat of from 70'^ to 100° ; 
they were watered with pigeon-dung water, and due at- 
tention paid to remove the side branches Avhen very young, 
so as to produce one strong head or flower." 

The color of the scarlet varieties is highly brilliant. 
None of the other colors are so rich. The yellows are 


generally rather dull — some of them dirty-looking. The 
scarlets and crimsons are the only colors that look well. 
There are tlie tall and dwarf varieties, and some that are 
somewhat branching ; but these last should be rejected. 
To produce fine combs, the soil cannot be made too rich ; 
the plants must also be forwarded in a hot-bed. Very 
showy plants can be raised by sowing in the open ground 
the middle of May, but they cannot be raised in perfec- 
tion. The appellation. Cocks-comb, was given it from the 
form of its crested head of flowers, resembling the comb 
of a cock. Sometimes the heads are divided like a plume 
of feathers. 

CENTATJREA.— Star Thistle. 

[It is said that with this plant, tlie Centaur Ctiiron cured the wound in iiis 
foot, made by the arrow of Hercules.] 

Centaur^a cyanus, is a popular border hardy annual. 
It is known by the common name of Blue-bottle. In 
Europe it is a common weed, in cornfields and on gravely 
soils, having blue flowers ; but when cultivated, it sports 
into varieties of white, purple, pink, parti-colored, etc., and 
is a handsome flower. 

Ct Americana. — American Centaurea. — Is a handsome 
hardy annual, discovered by Nuttall, on the alluvial soil 
of the Arkansas and Red rivers. It has large purplish- 
lilac flowers, somewhat resembling a large thistle ; it 
grows two or three feet high, flowering in August and 
September. It is of easy culture, and should be sown the 
first of May. 

C. Moschata, varieties pupurea and alba, are handsome 
border annuals of easy culture, natives of Persia, two feet 
high, with fragrant flow^ers ; from July to October. It is 
commonly known by the name of Sweet Sultan. 

156 breck's new book of flowers. 

C. SUaV^Olens. — Yellow Sweet Sultan. — A Imndsome 
annual from tlie Levant, one and one-half foot high, with 
lively rich yellow flowers ; from July to September. Time 
of sowing and culture, the same as the others. C. Cen- 
taurium^ Montana^ splendens^ and others, are among the 
most ornamental of the perennials. The genus is a very 
extensive one, embracing more than one hundred species, 
including many thistle-like, weedy-looking 23lants. 


[From Greek words, signifying a spur and a flower, in allusion (o the shape 
of the corolla.] 

This genus comprises several handsome border annuals, 
with flowers arranged in corymbs, which are either red, 
rose, or white. Centranthus macrosiphon has varieties 
with all these colors, about one foot high. There are 
also dwarf varieties of the same colors. 

CHEIRANTHUS.— Wall Flower. 

[So called from the Arabic name of a plant with red, sweet-scented flowers.] 

Cheiranthus Cheiri. — Wall Flower. — This is a well- 
known plant, which, were it perfectly hardy, would be 
more highly esteemed. It is a native of Britain, where it 
is hardy; here it is half-hardy, and must be preserved 
through the winter in the green-house or in a frame. 
Sometimes it can be kept through our winters in favor- 
able situations with some protection. It grows one and 
one-half foot high, with various colored flowers in its dif- 
ferent varieties. Yellow and orange predominate, but these 
colors are more or less shaded with rich brownish-red or 
violet. There arc also varieties of all these colors with 


double flowers, which are rich and handsome. It is raised 
froiii seed ; the plants flowering the spring following. 

CHELONE.— Turtle-head. 

[A Greek word, signifying a tortoise, to the back of which the helmet of the 
present genus has been fancifully compared.] 

Chelone glabra, also called C. ohliqua^ is a North 
American species with white, rose-colored or purple flow- 
ers. The plant formerly called Ghelone harhata^ is a 
JPentstemon. Handsome border perennials, of easy cul- 
ture in loamy soil, or loam and a little peat. 

CHRYSANTHEMUM.— Chinese Chrysanthemum. 

[From the Greek words for Gold ^nd flower.] 

Chrysanthemum Indicum. — This is one of the hand- 
somest autumnal flowers, and easily cultivated in almost 
any soil. It stands the winter without covering, but is 
best cultivated in pots, where it can receive protection 
when in bloom, in severe weather in autumn. In warm 
seasons, it flowers well in October and November, in a 
sheltered place, in the open ground. The plants may be 
cultivated in the garden till they are in bud, when they 
may be safely transferred to pots ; but it would be better 
to commence their cultivation from the slip or cutting, iq 
the spring, and sink the pots into the ground, in a shady 
place, until the time of taking up. The varieties are end- 
less, early and late, tassel-flowered, quilled, flat-petalled, 
pompon, etc., with every shade of light purple, yellow, 
white, lilac, blush-brown, red-brown, etc. 

For common culture, divide the roots in the spring, and 
plant them out, where they are to stand, in a warm ex- 

158 breck's new book of flowers. 

posure, in good rich loam. As they are coming into bud, 
give them occasional waterings with liquid manure. 

To produce handsome, dwarf, bushy plants, the follow- 
ing course may be adopted, as practised by Youell & Co., 
England, whicli plan, they say, " if carried out, will ensure 
dwarf plants from one and one-half to two feet high, cov- 
ered with rich dark-green foliage, and carrying blooms 
from five to seven inches in diameter. In the last week in 
May we select the tops of the strongest shoots for cut- 
tings, putting four or five round the edge of a three-inch 
pot, and placing them in a gentle warmth. When rooted, 
they are potted singly in the same-sized pot, and kept in 
a close frame for a few days, until they have become es- 
tablished. The tops may then be pinched out, leaving 
five or six joints to remain for lateral shoots. After a few 
days' hardening oflf, they are then removed to an open sit- 
uation, allowing the plants a suflicient distance from 
each other to prevent their drawing, care being observed 
that they do not suflTer from want of water. About the 
third week in July, we shift, for blooming, into seven-inch 
pots, using a small handful of coarely-broken bones at the 
bottom. The soil we use consists of equal parts of well 
decayed (one year old) pig manure, turfy loam, and leaf- 
mould, adding half a barrowful of peat, and half ditto of~ 
road-drift to every four barrows of the above. When 
potted, they are placed in rows two feet apart, and they 
require but little attention, except watering, for two 
months. At the expiration of this period, we commence 
watering tAvice a week with liquid manure made with 
one bushel of fresh pig manure (free from straw) 
to about eighty gallons of water. This will be ready 
for use in two or three days. As soon as the plants 
show flower-buds, we tie ea<;h shoot to a stick, and train 
them fan-shaped. Disbudding ought now to be attended 
to, reserving only one, or, at most, two, at the top of 


each shoot ; bat where two are left, it is better to take 
out the second bud, and leave the third, to prevent confu- 
sion. As soon as the buds show color, the plants are 
tlien removed to the f^reen-house or conservatory, giving 
plenty of air, and substituting water for liquid manure. 
We ought to have mentioned that, where a profusion of 
bloom is required, two or three plants may be inserted in 
the pots where only one is usually grown. This will af- 
ford an opportunity of cutting away the ^veakest shoots, 
and reserving the strongest only," 

C. coronarium. — The varieties of this annual species 
are hardy garden plants, of some beauty in their full dou- 
ble varieties of white and yellow ; two or more feet high ; 
in bloom most of the season. Easily raised from seed. ■ 
The single sorts should be pulled up as soon as the blos- 
soms appear. Extra fine double varieties can be raised 
from cuttings, and kept through the winter in the green- 
house or setting-room. 

Of the Dwarf Yellow variety, Yilmorin, of Paris, says : — 

" This new variety has been obtained in our own grounds; 
it is of a low habit, forming a thick, branchy brush, about 
15 inches high on 20 to 24 inches in diameter, and pro- 
duces on this reduced space about as many flowers as the 
old variety on its much larger plants. As a bedding and 
border-plant this new Chrysanthemum will soon be a fa- 
vorite and reconquer the place which the tall variety seems 
to have been obliged to give up to other plants, more in 
consequence of its ancientness than for the superiority of 
the merits of its younger comj^etitors." 

C. carmatlim, — Tri-colored Chrysanthemum. — Is a 
hardy annual from Barbary ; one and one-half foot high ; 
in flower all the season. Disk of the flower purplish- 
brown, inner circle of the rays yellow, margined with 
white, very pretty. Some of the imj^roved varieties of 
this flower are C. venustum and JBurridgeanum. 

160 beeck's new book of FLO wees. 

C. Parthenium. — Fever-few. — A plant much resembling 
Chamomile in appearance, having a strong, unpleasant 
smell and a bitter taste. The double variety of this plant, 
known as the Double Fever-few, is a half-hardy perennial, 
which gives a succession of double pure white flowers, re- 
sembling Daisies, from June to November; two feet high. 
It can hardly be kept through the winter except in frames,* 
or as is most common in the green-house or conservatory. 
It is raised from cuttings very readily, or from divisions 
of the root. When raised from seed, most of the plants 
will be worthless, not much better than weeds, as there is 
no beauty in the single flowers. 

C. carneum. — This is also called Pyrethrum roseum^ 
but we follow the best authorities and place it with Chry- 
santhemum. Within a few years we have received from 
France a number of varieties of this species with double 
flowers, which are perfectly hardy. One variety has car- 
mine, one rose, another with white flowers. There are 
also a number of named varieties, all hardy perennials, 
propagated by divisions of the root; in flower most of the 
summer ; about two feet high. The flowers are as large 
and of the shape of that pest of the farmer, the White 
Weed, and related to that nuisance, at least as near as 
second cousin, but I have not noticed that it has any pro- 
pensity to intrude itself upon good society as that plant 
has. When propagated from seed, most of the plants 
will be single and worthless. Like the Double Fever-few, 
the plant has a strong, unpleasant smell 

In the winter of 1864-5 it stood without protection. 



[From the Greek, signifying to drive away bugs. — A Siberian species being 
used as a bugbane.] 

Cimicifui^a racemosa. — Black Snake-root. — Black Co- 
hosh. — A native plant, not often seen in gardens, but 
which, from its stately habit, is worth growing where there 
is room for it. The leaves are large and much divided ; 
the flower-stalk grows to the height of six or eight feet, 
and produces numerous long spikes of small white flow- 
ers. The root of this is one of the many things that have 
had a reputation as antidotes for snake bites. This is 
sometimes called Actma racemosa ; the Actseas have ber- 
ry-like fruit, while this has dry pods. Actma spicata of 
our woods, is rather showy for its fruit ; there are two 
varieties, alba and ruhra^ with white and red berries, 
which may find a place in large collections. 


[Named in honor of Capt. Clark, who discovered it in his expedition, with 
Capt. Lewis, to the Columbia river.] 

Clarkia pulch^lla. — Beautiful Clarkia. — A handsome 
dwarf-plant, eight to twelve inches high, with beautiful 
rose or light-purple flowers ; annual, as are all the species. 
In bloom from July to September. If the seed is planted 
in April or May it will succeed very well, but the plants 
will be much stronger from seed sown in August or Sep- 
tember. The young plants will stand the winter very 
well, if protected with a few leaves. The soil should not 
be over-rich or moist, as the plants frequently damp ofl" if 
so situated. In a good, rather light loam, it succeeds 
best. The varieties of this species are numerous, viz. : — 
ivhite^ rose, lilac, with double varieties of the same : 
Tom Thumb varieties, marc/inata, etc., integripetala alba, 
fimbriata and iyitegripetala. 



i\ (^leirailS. — Elegant Clarkia. — Tliis boautiful species 
was found in California, by 3lr. Don^las, and was first 
raised in the garden of the London Horticultural Society 




iu 1832. Since then, this and the other species, with their 
numerous varieties, have been generally disseminated 
throughout Euroi)e and America, or wherever choice 
flowers are cultivateil. This plant grows one and one- 
half to two feet hiorh, and is raised from seed. All the 


varieties, when grown in large masses, are hignly onia- 
mental. The varieties of C. elef/ans are tliose with purple 
and rose-colored flowers ; also, double-pui-ple, rose, flesh 
color and white. It is sometimes called C. rosea. 

C. rhomboidea. — Entire petaled, or C.gauroides. — This 
is also an annual, growing about two feet high. The flow- 
ers are an inch across, purple and white, near the bottom 
of each petal, spotted with white. All the varieties are 
fine for bouquets, as the foliage, as well as the flowers, is 
delicate and pretty. 

CLEMATIS.— ViEGLs's Bower. 

[From the Greek, for tendril ; in allusion to the climbing habits of most of 
the species.] 

The species are mostly climbing shrubs, or herbaceous 
perennials, of rapid growth, free bloomers, very ornamen- 
tal, and some ai-e highly odoriferous. 

Clematis Virginiana is a native plant, well known as a 
great climber, growing profusely upon the banks of our 
rivers and wet places ; taking possession and covering all 
the shrubs in its neighborhood, to which it attaches itself 
by its petioles, (which are given ofi", at intervals, in pairs,) 
twining round objects for support, and seiwing the pur- 
pose of tendrils. The flowers are white, borne in cymes, 
and make a handsome appearance the beginning of August. 
The most remarkable appearance of this plant is when in 
fruit ; the long feathery tails of the fruits separating like 
tufts of wool. It grows twenty feet or more in a season, 
most of the stem perishes, leaving but a small shrubby 
portion. It makes an appropriate covering for an arbor 
or wall ; for, whether in flower or fruit, it is ornamental. 

C. erecta is strictly an herbaceous plant, growing from 
three to four feet high, producing large clusters of white 

164 beeck's new book of flowers. 

flowers in August. It requires support, as it has the pro- 
pensity to attach itself to everything in its neighborliood, 
like the last, by its j^etioles. 

€. illtCja^rifolia. — Entire-leaved. — A handsome, upright 
plant, about two feet high, producing nodding, bell-shap- 
ed, blue flowers, most of the season. 

C. VitiC(^lla is a much admired species, with blue flow- 
ers, Avliicli are produced from June to September, on long 
peduncles from the axils of the leaves; rather bell-shaped, 
and nodding. Tt is a climber, growing from eight to ten 
feet in a season, dying down to the ground, in this climate, 
but otherwise hardy. There is a variety with double 
flowers, others with brownish-red flowers, and several im- 
proved varieties. 

ۥ Flanilllllla is a hixuriant climber, having clusters of 
small white fragrant flowers, in August and September. 

C. florida has large white flowers ; like the last, a luxuri- 
ant climber. There is a variety with double flowers. 

C. SicboMlD. — Siebold's Virgin's Bower. — This magni- 
ficent plant is said to be a variety of C florida^ and, till 
lately, treated as a green-house plant, but it has proved 
as hardy as the other sorts. The flowers are three or four 
inclies in diameter, the outer sepals, or petals, a creamy 
white, filled up with others, disposed in many series, the 
groundwork of the petals is white, sufi*used with a rich 
purple. No plant possesses a stronger claim to a place in 
the flower-garden, from its graceful habit, and from the 
size and beauty of its blossoms. 

Tlie i)lant thrives best in a mixture of loam and peat, 
and is increased by layers. It was introduced by Dr. 
Siebold, from Japan, a few years since. I have kept it 
two winters, by covering it lightly with coarse manure. 
C. aziirea grand'iflora^ or Great-flowering Blue Virgin's 
Bower, has still larger flowers than the variety Sleboldii. 


It has the reputation of being more tender, requiring 
greater heat to bring it to perfection. With me, it stood 
near the other species two winters, with the same protec- 
tion. The flowers are produced only on the old wood ; it 
is necessary, therefore, to lay down, and cover the growth 
of the season, to insure bloom the next year. The flow- 
ers are four or five inches in diameter, of a rich blue, in 
July ; a climber, like the last, but not of so robust growth. 
C. Sieholdii is certainly the most showy of the genus, but 
since the first edition of my " Book of Flowers " was 
published, I have found by experience, that it is not so 
hardy as G. azurea grandiflora^ which lias proved quite 
hardy when the vines are laid down, producing a profusion 
of its rich blue flowers. Wherever a lattice is mentioned 
by the Poets, it is expected the Clematis will run over it : 

" In llie calmness of a cloudless eve, 
How gently dies a long, long summer's day, 
O'er yon broad woods, as lotii to take its leave, 
It sheds at parting its most lovely ray. 
And golden lights o'er all the landscape play, 
And languid zephyrs waft their rich perfume 
Where the wide lattice gives them ojien way. 
And breathe a freshness round the twilight room, 
From Jasmine, Clematis, and yellow-blossomed broom." 

All the climbing species are shrubby, and if laid down and 
covered with earth late in autunni, will flower much bet- 
ter than the plants exposed in winter. 

C. cirrhosa is a beautiful Avhite-flowered, sweet-scented 
species. Besides the species and varieties enumerated, 
there are many others, esteemed ornamental. 


This is an elegant genus of plants, and very curious in 
their structure. The petals range themselves on the upper 
side, and the stamens and pistil are protruded a consider- 

166 breck's new book of flowers. 

able length on slender filaments, forming beautiful airy- 

Cleome ^randiflora is one of the most showy of the 
genus. It is easily raised from seed, when planted in the 
open ground, in April or May, and blooms abundantly 
from July to September ; grows from three to four feet 
high. Its spikes, continually increasing in length, are al- 
ways surmounted with a crest of beautiful buds and flow- 
ers, which are of a pale pink-purple. It is beautiful in 
the garden, but withers very quickly when cut. 

C. pentaphylla. — This is also a handsome annual, of 
the same habit of the last ; about two or three feet high ; 
the flowers pure white ; the odor of tlie plant is most of- 

C. spinosa is a spiny plant, which grows about four feet 
high, and bears a spike of beautiful white (sometimes 
pinkish) flowers. All the species flourish in any common 
garden soil. 

However beautiful and curious these plants may be, and 
desirable for show, they are repulsive to the smell and un- 
pleasant to the touch, and therefore, will not be favorites. 

COB^A.— Mexican Cob^a. 

[In honor of Bernandez Cobo, a Spanish Jesuit, who wrote upon the subject 
of natural history in llie middle of the 17th century.] 

Cobaea SCaildcnSt — This is the most rapid growing green- 
house plant known, having been found to grow two hun- 
dred feet in one summer, in a conservatory. It is a perennial, 
but will not stand the winter, and, unless cultivated in a 
green-house, is classed with tender annuals. It flourishes 
well in the o])en ground, if it is first started in a hot-bed, 
in pots, and turned out in June. I have found it to con- 
tinue blooming after a number of moderate frosts. The 



flowers are large, purple, and bell-sbaped. The foliage is 
handsome, and the tendrils, which are fine and silky, will 
attach themselves to anything within reach, even a cob- 


web. If located in a warm place, it will cover a large 
surface before it is destroyed by the frost. It can be 
raised by cuttings, but requires care to keep it through 
the winter. 

168 beeck's xew book of flowers. 


fol^ns TerschaffVltii. — This is unsurpassed as a leaf- 
plaut. Its peculiar and beautiful marking of crimson, 
green and bronze, makes a strong and agreeable contrast, 
in groups, or along the margin of borders in the flower- 
garden. The beauty of the plant consists entirely in the 
leaf; the flowers are of no consequence. It is a tender 
plant, which must be housed in the winter. It is easily 
raised from cuttings, and is sold by dealers in bedding 
plants in the spring. If planted out the last of May, or 
1st of June, it forms a handsome spreading plant by Sej> 
tember, two feet high. The colors are more brilUant when 
jilanted in the shade. 

I do not know the origin of this beautiful plant, but 
from the specific name suppose it was introduced by Mr. 
Yerschaff"elt, a German florist. 


I'Named for Z. Collins, a Philadelphia Botanist of the last generation.] 

Collinsia bicolor. — Two-colored ColUnsia. — A beautiful 
hardy annual, with purple and white flowers, which are 
numerous and pretty ; in July and August ; one foot high. 

C. grandiflora. — Large flowering ColHnsia, — ^This is an- 
other beautiful species, with large blue and purple flowers ; 
at the same time and height, but more si)reading than the 
other. There are also many other ornamental species or 
varieties of the same habit, viz : camea alha, candidissi- 
ma^ heterophylla^ multicolor^ etc. All are suitable for 
planting in masses and easily propagated from seed; sow 
Mav 1st. 


follODlia COCCinca. — A very lively dower, growing in 
heads of bright carmine-red; a desirable dwarf annual, 
flowering early in June and July. The seeds have, like 
some of the Salvias, the curious property of becoming in- 
vested with mucus when moistened with water. 


[So named by Plumier, in honor of ilie brothers John and Gasper Commelin, 
Botanists and Dutch Merchants.] 

rommelyna CCelestis. — Sky-bine Commelyna. — Tender 
annual from Mexico, or perennial if the roots are taken up 
and housed. The splendid blue flowers of this plant can- 
not be excelled, and its j^rofusion of blossoms renders it 
deserving of cultivation in every flower-garden. The 
plant blooms from the middle of June to October. The 
roots are tuberous, and keep well through winter, if taken 
up after the blooming season, and preserved like Dahlia 
roots. Plants from the old roots grow, in good soil, from 
two to three feet high ; those from seeds reach only from 
one to two feet. The following is the mode of manage- 
ment I have practised; — I fix upon a circular bed, eight 
feet in diameter, and in the first week in May I plant four 
feet of the center with the old roots, i)lacing the crowns 
just under the surface of the soil. The outer portion of the 
bed I plant with sjyring-soicn plants, that have been raised 
in pots placed in a frame. Both the roots and plants 
should be planted about six inches apart. Thus, the cen- 
ter of the bed being much higher than the outer part, the 
appearance is that of a splendid blue cone of flowers, 
scarcely to be excelled in beauty. Seeds are produced in 
abundance, and may be had of seedsmen at a small cost. 

170 breck's new book of flowers. 

CONOCLINUM— Mist-flower. 

[Name derived from the conical sliape of the disk, on wliicli the florets are 

Conoclinum CCelestinum. — Sky-blue Conoclinum, Mist- 
flower. — A perennial ; two feet high. This is the most 
beautiful species. It grows wild, from the Potomac to the 
Mississippi. Its flowers, produced very late in autumn, 
are of a beautiful suLalt or sky-blue. The roots of this 
species are creeping, from which it is easily propagated. 
It was formerly called Eupatorium coelestinum. 

CONVALLARIA.— Solomon's Seal. 

, " No flower amid the garden fairer grows 

Than the sweet Lily of ihe lowly vale, 
Tiie queen of flowers." 

Convallaria inajalis. — Lily of the Valley. — An elegant 
and delicate, sweet-scented plant, which for ages has been 
a favorite flower, and highly prized. It succeeds well in 
the shade in any soil, and soon spreads itself, by its slen- 
der, creej^ing roots, beyond the desire of the cultivator. 
It flowers in May and June. Gerarde describes it, in his 
quaint way, thus : " The Lilly of the Vally hath many 
leaves like the smallest leaves of Water Plantaine, among 
which riseth vp a naked stalke, halfe a foot high, garnished 
witli many white floures, like bels, with blunt and turned 
edges, of a strong savour, yet pleasant enoughf, which be- 
ing past, there come small, red berries, much like the ber- 
ries of asparagus, wherein the seed is contained." That, 
which was foi-merly called G. racemosa^ will be found un- 
der Smilacina and C, multlflora is now Polygonatum — 
which see. 



[From coiwolvo, to entwine.] 

Convolvulus arvensis. — This is a perennial from Europe, 
with small nearly white flowers. The leaves arrow or 
heart-shaped with acute lobes. Stems numerous, climbing ; 
on account of its twining propensity, covering bushes and 
fences in its neighborhood, it is called Bind-weed. In 
Britain it is one of the greatest pests to gardeners and 
farmers. It is worse tlian the Hedge Bind-weed ; for that, 
for the sake of climbing, confines its ravages to the bor- 
ders of the field and garden, while this wanders over the 
whole ground, and is with difiiculty rooted out. And 
yet it must be acknowledged that this little red and white 
flower is extremely beautiful ; and, if it were a little more 
modest, would, doubtless, be a general favorite. As it is, 
it must sufier the consequence of its impertinence, not on- 
ly in being avoided, but positively turned out. Like the 
Calystegias, notwithstanding its great beauty, it must not 
be encouraged in the garden. 

C. tricolor. — D«'arf Convolvulus. — This is C. minor 
of the catalogues ; a native of Spain and Portugal ; the 
flowers are often pure white, but sometimes variegated 
with blue and yellow, or blue and white ; the most beau- 
tiful kind is a bright blue, fading by delicate gradations 
to a pure white in the centre. It resembles the blue at- 
mosphere, relieved by fleecy clouds on a fine summer day. 

'' When on high 
Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the cerulean sky." 

Kor is the form of this flower less beautiful than the 
color, either wlien spread out in full beauty to the mid-day 
sun, or when, at the approach of night, it closes its blue 
eye to sleep. The plant spreads out much in every dii-ec- 
tion from the center, so that a bed of them, with the 
plants two feet distant from each other, will interlock. It 

172 breck's new book of flowers. 



is not exceeded in elegance by any plant when profusely 
covered with its flowers, which continue open all day, if 
peasant, but shut in case of rain. Sown in March. It 
affords a large mass of beauty, from July to October. 


[The name is from Greek words, signifying a bug and resemblajice. Its fruit 
is convex on one side, and concave on the other ; it has a membranous margin, 
and it has two little horns at the end wiiicli gives it very much tiie appearance of 
some insect.] 

The genus has been divided, and C. tinctoria and its 
varieties are now classed in the genus Calliopsis^ but as 
they are generally known as Coreopsis, I shall consider 
them under this head. The genus includes both perennials 
and annuals. The perennials are hardy border-jDlants, with 
yellow flowers and most of them quite showy. The most 
desirable are C. tenuifoUa^ with very delicate pinnated foli- 
age, about one and one-half foot high ; C lanceolata with 
lance-shaped and large flowers ; C latifoUa^ G. verttGiUa- 
ta^ C. tripteris^ and others, all continuing long in bloom. 
Propagated by dividing the roots. The following are an- 

Coreopsis Drummondii is a fine bedding plant, where a 
mass of brilliant yellow flowers are wanted ; the flowers 
being A^ery large, and continuing in bloom most of the 
season. It is about one and one-half foot high. 

C. Coronaria has flowers of a paler yellow, each petal 
or ray is marked or penciled with brown at the base. 
Most of the genus of Coreopsis are natives of N. America. 
G. Drummondi^ was discovered by Mr. Drummond, and 
named after him. 

C. tinctoria was introduced by Nutall, who found it in 
great profusion in Missouri and other southwestern States. 


It is so liberal in scattering its seed, that, unless it is 
kept under it, becomes so much of a nuisance, that 
it has received the name of " Nutall's weed." It is, 
however, very beautiful when confined within proper 
bounds. It grows from two to three feet high in rich soil, 
and its dark-yellow flowers, with rich brownish-crimson 
centre are very fine. From tliis many superb varieties 
have been obtained. C. atrosanguinea has large dark- 
brown velvet flowers, with yellow borders. G. nigra^ or 
black Calliopsis is another variety without any border, 
which, in the sun, assumes a very dark crimson hue. 
These varieties are all the same height of C. tiiictoria. But 
the most beautiful are the dwarf-varieties, which are fi-om 
six to twelve inches high. Those called Pigmy, are only 
six inches high, with flowers nearly as large as the taller 
varieties, among them are the black or very dark ; dark 
with a very small edging of yellow ; yellow with dark 
centre, and mottled ; another variety has curious quilled 
petals. All these varieties are hardy and easily propagated 
by seed. The Pigmy sorts are desirable for bedding, as 
they keep in bloom all summer. It must be observed, 
that all the varieties are liable to sport, and vary from the 
original plant, but a great majority will be like the mother 
plant. Plant out rather thick, so that those, which depart 
from the original, may be weeded out as the flowers ap- 


[The ancient Greek name for Fumitory, to whic ii tliis genus is closely related.] 

Corydalis ^lauca. — Pale Corydalis. — An indigenous 
biennial, ii:rowing in rocky places, from one to three feet 
liigh, with glaucous leaves; flowers yellow, red, and 
green, in June; propagated by seed. This, and the less 


common C. aurea^ which has golden yellow flowers, are 
both pretty plants for rock- work. 


[A name made use of by Pliiiy, a plant of which he gives no description.] 

Crepis barMta. — The Pm-ple-eyed Crepis, is an uncom- 
monly hardy and beautiful annual, of the easiest culture. 
The flower-stems are prostrate like those of Convolvulus 
tricolor. Grown in masses and the plants thinned out to 
eighteen inches distant, it makes a fine appearance. It 
begins to flower the first of July, and continues till Octo- 
ber or November, covered with beautiful flowers, the 
rays of a light-yellowy finely contrasted with the bril- 
liant purple-brown of the centre. 


[Crocus, an unhappy lover, whom the gods in pity were said to have changed 
into this flower.] 

" Glad as tlie spring, when tlie first Crocus comes 
To laugh amid the shower." 

Crocus VerilUS,— The Spring Crocus is a bulbous rooted 
plant, of whicli there are many varieties annually imported 
from Holland, and sold at very low prices. The most 
prominent sorts are the great yellow, deep-blue, light-blue, 
white with blue stripes, blue with Avhite stripes, white with 
a purple base, pure white, cloth of gold, etc. It flowers 
in April, and in w^arm seasons, in sheltered places, fre- 
quently in March. Where there is a plenty of them, they 
make a magnificent show. The bulbs are small, solid, and 
flat. They should be planted in September or October, 
about one inch or one and one-half inch deep, in any good 

176 breok's new book of flowers. 

garden soil. They are very hardy, and the only difficulty 
is their liability to be thrown out by the frost, when the 
ground is bare, towards spring. To remedy this evil, 
some light substance should be thrown over them, to shade 
them from the action of the sun. After flowering, when 
the leaves have decayed, the roots may be taken up, and 
kept, until they are wanted to plant in autumn, in some 
cool, dry place ; or they may remain in the ground a num- 
ber of years without removing. 

" Haworth, who has for thirty years paid particular at- 
tention to the Crocus, and raised many varieties from seed, 
found that the blue, white, and purple flowering kinds rip- 
ened their seeds more readily than the yellow, and that 
the leaves of the latter were narrower through all the spe- 
cies and varieties. When this genus is in flower, the 
germen is situated underground almost close to the bulb ; 
but some weeks after the decay of the flower, it emerges 
on a white peduncle and ripens its seed above ground. 
This extraordinary mode of semination is peculiarly con- 
spicuous in G. nudifloriis^ which flowers without leaves in 
autumn, and throws up its germen the following spring 
like the Colchicum." 

The Autumnal Crocus is supposed to have come origi- 
nally from the East. The flowers are of a purple, lilac, or 
pale-blue, blooming in October ; the leaves grow all win- 
ter. This species of Crocus is also called Safl*ron, and the 
medicine so called is obtained from it. It is (7. satious, 
and is rarely to be seen in our garden. 


fFrom a Greek word, s'lguUy'ivg gibbous, in reference to the form of its calyx.) 

Cuphca i^nca, commonly but incorrectly called C. 
platy centra. — A fine dwarf plant for bedding out, witli 
scarlet and piiri)l(; tubular flowers, which are i)rodiiced in 


great profusion through the whole season. It is raised 
from cuttings, the same as the Verbena, and like that 
plant, must be housed during the winter. All the Cu- 
pheas, with which I am acquainted, are tender ; most suc- 
ceed well as annuals, of which I have grown a number of 
species, but believe, those who have seen the one described 
above, and compare it with any other sorts introduced, 
will be satisfied with that alone. C. Zimpanii is a pro- 
fuse growing, spreading plant, with dark-purple flowers, 
which wither soon under a hot sun, and, although very 
pretty, not worth the trouble of raising. 

CYPRIPEDIUM.— Lady's Slipper. 

[From Greek words. Venus, and a slipper, an allusion to the elegant slipper- 
like form of the labelluin.] 

Cypripedium acaule, differs from the other species in 
having no stem leaves. The leaves are two, springing 
from the root, large, oval-lanceolate, 23laited, and downy. 
This is the most common species, sometimes called Two- 
leaved Lady's Slipper, or Whip-poor-will's Shoe. It is 
found in rich and somewhat shady woods. This singular 
flower has its sepals and petals spreading, green with a pur- 
ple tinge, except the petal which forms the lip, or purple 
inflated bag, which is veined, A^illous, and longer than the 
other parts of the flow^er. The flower stems are about one 
foot high, bearing one solitary flower, in May and June. 

C. parvifloriim. — YellowLady's Slipper. — This is another 
beautiful indigenous species, not very common about Bos- 
ton, but found in some localities in this State, New Hamp- 
shire and Vermont. The lip of this flower is oblong oval ; 
yellow, dotted inside ; its aperture roundish with an in- 
flexed margin ; stem erect ; leaves alternate, clasping, 
oval, nerved, downy ; blooms in June. 

178 beeck's new book of flowers. 

C. spectabile. — Showy Lady's Slipper. — This is one of 
the most splendid of this curious genus, indigenous and 
perennial like the others. It is so highly prized in Eng- 
land that a single plant is often sold for one guinea. It 
is a stout plant, about two feet high, the stem and leaves 
hairy; leaves oval-lanceolate, plaited. Flowers two or 
three, large variegated, with stripes of purple and white ; 
found in some parts of Maine, Canada, and Vermont; 
flowers in July. 

C. arietiniim,— Ram's Head. — Stem six or eight inches 
high, with a few alternate lanceolate leaves. Flower 
much smaller than in any of the foregoing species. 
Sepals greenish-brown, lip small, inflated, acute, reticulated 
with red and white. It has been compared in shape to a 
ram's head, the lateral petals representing the horns. 
Found in Maine and northward ; flowers in May. 

Any attempt to cultiv^ate this beautiful genus of plants, 
will be vain and futile unless they have a peat or leafy 
soil, and a shady border. The genus is most interesting 
to botanists, and well worthy a place in the flower-garden, 
provided a suitable soil and locality are alloted to it. 


[Named after Andrew Dahl, a Swedish botanist and pupil of Linnaeus.] 

There is fashion among amateurs of the floral kingdom, 
as well as in matters of dress, and style of living among 
those who lead in fashionable circles of society. Thus, 
when a new flower of fancied merit is introduced, it be- 
comes all the rage, for the time being. It is admired, ex- 
tolled, sold at extravagant i)rices, cultivated, improved, 
and dissenunated among the multitude. The leaders in 
floral novelties have seen it in its highest state of perfec- 


tion ; it is no lonci^er a novelty ; they are satiated, and it is 
discarded for some new favorite, to be in its turn set up 
and adored as tlie JS/eplus ultra of all that is lovely and 
desirable. One of this class, that has had its day, is the 
Dahlia, which must now stand in the back ground, and 
give precedence to the lovely Verbena and the gorgeous 
Gladiolus. In the first edition of the "Book of Flowers," 
I confess I was rather too severe upon the Dahlia ; I have 
been criticized and censured by some friends, for the man- 
ner in which this once fashionable flower was disparaged. 
There was, however, some reason why a little ill-feeling 
should be expressed, when speaking of a flower that had 
given me more than usual vexation and disappointment, 
besides that of the ill success which, in some seasons, I had 
experienced in its cultivation. I am almost ashamed to 
speak of my folly, in a transaction which took place a 
quarter of a century ago, in connection with this flower, 
from which the reader may well imagine the reason why I 
should have manifested a little spite in my description 
of it. A proposition was made to me by a celebrated and 
wealthy florist, to join him in importing from England an 
invoice of choice, new, high-priced seedling Dahlias, Avith 
the understanding, that I was to pay one-quarter of the 
expense, and receive as my share one plant each of all the 
varieties thus obtained. So we sat down and looked over 
some florists' catalogues of new Dahlias, in which was at- 
tached to each variety a glowing description of its pecu- 
liar merits and beauty, with its price, which by the way 
was anything but moderate. But they were new and 
fashionable^ and must be obtained, notwithstanding the 
high prices. So a list w^as made out of such varieties as 
were supposed to be the finest. As one to ten guineas a 
plant was considered rather extravagant, a few only of 
this class were ordered ; but some latitude was given to 
the florist, which he took advantage of, and to our surprise, 


the bill footed up over eight himdred dollars, where it was 
expected one-quarter of that sura would cover the expense. 
But w^e were in for it, and must make the best of it, and 
I consoled myself with the thought of the pleasure that 
would be derived in watching the opening of these gor- 
geous new varieties. One plant each was received, accord- 
ing to agreement, about the middle of June, raised from 
cuttings taken from the small tubers; but they were so 
weak and attenuated, and the season being unfavorable, 
they proved a perfect failure, and not a single blossom from 
the whole rewarded me for the expense, trouble, and vex- 
ation which I experienced. It is said of a certain South- 
ern Senator, who was violently opposed to the old tariiF, 
and of course to manufacturers of cloth, and to the an- 
imal that produced the raw material, so bitter were his 
feelings, that he remarked in one of his speeches, that 
" he would go any time a mile out of the way to kick a 
sheep." I have no such feeling of hatred and spite against 
the innocent Dahlias, but Avhen I think of these past ex- 
periences Avith it, it produces feelings somewhat akin to 
those of the statesman as expressed in his speech. How- 
ever, I will give no more kicks at this flower, but some- 
what modify my original article on the Dahlia, and present 
it in the following shape : — 

" In queenly elegance the Dahlia stands. 
And waves her coronet."' 

This flower is so capricious in its flowering, so subject to 
the ravages of insects, so much influenced by too much heat, 
too much dryness, or too much wet ; and then, just as it be- 
gins to give promise of abundant bloom, having escaped all 
the casualties of the season, is cut down by the frost as it is 
beginning to give promise of flower, that after so many 
disappointed hopes, I have sometimes been disposed to 
say I would not try it again. It must be confessed, how- 
ever, it is on some accounts desirable : the flowers are 


large, showy, gorgeous in color, sporting into every tint 
except blue. The shape, too, is perfect, although a little 
too set and prim, as though it was made for the occasion. 
The habit of the plant is coarse, and the smell repulsive ; 
but, with all its fiihngs, it is or has been a popular flow- 
er, and will continue to find favor with many. 

It was first introduced into England in the year 1789, 
was but little noticed, and soon lost. It was re-introduced 
from Mexico in 1804, as a single purple flower of not 
much interest. It is only within the last 40 years that it 
has received the attention of the florist. From the single 
purple and scarlet flowers, all the numerous varieties of 
florists' flowers have been produced ; a striking example 
of what may be done by patient perseverance and skill in 
the improvement of a floAver from its native simplicity. 
Continental botanists call the genus Georgina. It is found 
in sandy meadows in Mexico, and till the peace of 1814, 
was more cultivated in France than in England. It was not 
introduced into this country until about 1825. D. variabilis 
is the species from which the innumerable florists varieties 
have been produced, though there are several other spe- 
cies to be found in European collections. 

The root is tuberous and tender. Freezing destroys it 
at once ; it can, therefore, be planted only in the spring. 

Propagation. — It is propagated by seeds, division of 
the roots, and by cuttings. 

By Seed. — If the seed is soon in a hot-bed in April or 
March, and the plants set out in the open ground in June, 
most of them will flower the first season ; and though not 
one in a hundred may come up to the standard of a per- 
fect flower, yet it is very interesting to mark the curious 
sports which are often made in these seedlings. Many of 
them will make a greater show than the more perfect sorts ; 
as what is lacking in shape and size, may be made up in 
the profusion of bloom and variety of colors. 


Sy Divisions of the Root. — This is the most common 
mode of propagation, miless it be with the nursery-man, who 
raises from cuttings to increase his stock rapidly. If the 
buds have not started, it is best to place the roots, or stools 
as they are called, in gentle heat, before they are divided ; 
or cover them over with a little earth, in a warm 
place, the beginning of May, so as to start the buds be- 
fore the roots are divided. Without this course, it will 
be impossible to divide the tubers so as to be sure of a 
bud on each ; and without a bud a tuber is worthless. 
The buds having appeared, clean the roots from soil, and 
with a sharp knife divide the stool in such a manner that 
a bud may be secured to each division. The smallest 
tuber, with a bud, will make a strong j^lant. 

Ry Cuttings. — This process requires so much care and 
attention, that I must refer my readers to works on the 
subject of propagation. 

Plants raised by cuttings have never succeeded so well 
with me as from divisions of the root. The reason may 
be, that in the propagation of new varieties, in the desire 
to realize as much as possible, weak shoots are taken, and 
forced so rapidly, and become so attenuated and weak- 
ened, that they never recover. True it is, that, after pay- 
ing extravagant prices for new sorts, I have frequently 
been disappointed in not having a single bloom ; and, what 
is worse, the roots may not get strength enough to stand 
through the winter, even with the greatest care. 

8oil and Cultivation. — Too much has been said and 
written upon the cultivation of the Dahlia. After follow- 
ing the directions given by various amateurs and writers, 
and after taking much pains and care in cultivation, I have 
been surprised to find that the refuse of my roots, planted 
without care, with very little manure, in yellow loamy soil, 
liave far outstripped those on which more abundant pains 
had been bestowed. The Dahlia likes a humid atmosphere. 


such as we rarely have in this country. It frequently be- 
gins to flower, and promises well in July, but on the last 
of that month and in August our scorchiug sun and arid at- 
mosphere, together with the insects that prey upon it, op- 
erate so unfavorably that it hardly recovers before it is 
overtaken by frost. While I resided in Lancaster, my 
garden was situated on the banks of a branch of the 
Nashua River. In hot weather, a damp or mist rose from 
the river every night, and gave my Dahlia plants a good 
wetting. I did not have any difiiculty then with the Dah- 
lia; it flowered in great profusion, and I have had nearly one 
hundred blooms upon a plant at one time. The mode of 
cultivation then was : first, a hole excavated two or three 
feet across, and about fifteen inches deep, the poor soil 
taken out, and its place supplied with the adjoining surface 
soil, then about two shovelfuls of strong manure, partly 
decomposed, from the stable, thrown in and well incorporat- 
ed with the soil ; the stake for the support of the plant 
firmly fixed in the ground ; after which the surface level- 
led, and all was ready for planting. If tubers are used 
without being forced, they may be planted any time after 
the middle of May, covering the crown of the tuber about 
two inches, slanting the other end downwards. Plants, 
raised in pots or cuttings, may be turned into the ground 
any time in June. I have succeeded in producing fine 
flowers from dry tubers planted the first of July. As a 
general rule, let the soil be rich and dee]) ; let the plants 
be well attended to by tying up to the stake, — which 
should be strong, and from five to six feet above the sur- 
face. As the plants advance, syringe the foliage every 
night in dry weather ; sift over the plants fine air-slacked 
lime to kill the insects, if you can; mulch the ground 
about them ; give them guano-water twice a week in Au- 
gust ; and, it you are rewarded for your pains, it is more 
than I have been in most seasons. 

184 breck's new book of flowers. 

Dahlias look best when planted in groups, as they hide 
eich other's ugliness, and if they flower^ and a variety of 
colors be combined in the group, they make a very impos- 
ing appearance. 

Taking up and Preserving the Moots. — When the first 
frost strikes the Dahlias so as to blacken the plant, a few 
inches of soil should be added to the crown of the plant, 
to prevent the tubers from being injured by freezing, which 
might hai^pen unexpectedly some cold night. Taking 
some i^leasant day, the last of October or the first of No- 
vember, the tops of the plants should be cut down near 
the ground, and the stakes pulled uj) ; then very carefully 
lift the roots from the earth. This is best done by two 
persons, with spades, operating on each side of the roots, 
as when taken from the ground they are very brittle and 
easily broken off. Let them then be carefully dej^osited 
on the surface, where they should remain during the day, 
exposed to the sun and air. Before night sets in, they 
should be removed to a dry, airy cellar, and deposited on 
shelves raised a few feet from the bottom ; here they will 
remain with perfect safety, provided they can have a little 
air occasionally, in pleasant weather. They should, how- 
ever, be placed singly on the shelves ; as, when packed 
close, or one upon another, they are liable to mould and 
decay. The most danger is to be apprehended from ex- 
cessive dampness ; but sometimes roots, kej^t in a cellar 
where there is a furnace, may be injured by the dryness, 
and the roots become shrivelled and almost worthless, 
especially the very small ones. The rats or mice will do 
no injury to the roots, as they will not touch them. 

Liliputian or JBouquet Dahlias. — This novel variety of 
the Dahlia has been introduced within a few years, and, 
in my opinion, is a great improvement upon the over-grown 
coarse flowers of the old varieties. Formerly, large-sized 
flowers were considered as one of the qualifications for a 


model or show-flower. But since the LiHputian Dahlias 
have been cultivated, the precedence has been given to 
them by amateurs of good taste. The flowers vary in 
size from two to two and one-half inches in diameter, and 
some not much larger than a silver dollar. They are not 
too large for a bouquet of moderate size, while the old va- 
rieties are too ungainly for any, except for giant bouquets 
for tables in large halls. The flowers are compact and 
neat, sporting into the same variety of colors as in the 
large sorts. It is impossible to give a list of the most ap- 
proved varieties of this present time, in either class of 
Dahlias, that would be likely to give satisfaction a few 
years helice. Some of the fine new sorts soon run out. 
The nursery-men, who raise their stock of plants by cut- 
tings, take ofl" a succession of S23routs, the last growth of 
which is slender and weak; and the plants inherit the 
feebleness of the cuttings, and soon deteriorate, fail, and 
are heard of no more. 

Dahlias raised from Seed and the estimated value of 
fine seedlings in 1836. — The following extract of a letter 
from Mr. Widnall, of England, (in January 183G), a 
celebrated cultivator of seedling Dahhas, whose object 
was to obtain fine varieties for sale, will be of some inter- 
est to Dahlia fanciers of the present time ; showing tlie 
extent of the mania for this flower at that period, which 
may be termed the high-tide season of its popularity. 

After describing various fine new seedlings, he says : — 
" These are the very best seedlings, out of 30,000 plants, 
which covered more than three acres of ground, and I 
have about the same quantity of this year's seedlings, 
none of which will be sent out before May, 1836. These 
seedlings, which I now ofler to you, obtained prizes at 
every exhibitfon they have been shown at. I obtained in 
ten days last September for seedlings and named flowers, 
prizes to the amount of £107 (•1535)." 


The following descriptions and prices of some of Wid- 
nall's finest seedlings, will give some idea of the value at- 
tached to them in England at that time : — 

" No. 3, — I have just named Juliet, color a rose, inclining 
to rosy purple ; suj^erior in shape to Widnall's perfection ; 
height three feet; price £7 (or about $35). 

No. 3. — Not named. A bright yellow, tipped witli 
orange-scarlet; fine shape ; lieiglit three feet; price £ 1.10. 

No. |. — Not named. Ground dark-purple, beautifully 
shaded and striped with crimson ; height five feet ; price 

No. 281. — Just named Golden Sovereign, a deep gold 
yellow ; height four to five feet; price £5. 

C. — Not named. A white ground, edged with the 
same color as the Queen of Dahlias, and surpasses every 
Dahlia seen for shape ; three to four feet high ; price £ 10 
(or 150). 

J). — Just named Marchioness of ; fine white 

ground, exquisitely edged with beautiful rose; large 
flowers and very fine shape ; three feet high ; price £ 10. 

JEJ.^. — Not named A white, finely margined, with rosy 
lilac cupped petals ; globular shaped ; very fine ; four 
feet high ; price £ 5." 

These plants, then in Mr. Widnall's possession, were 
not to be sent out by him till the following year in May. 
Probably not one of all his seedHngs are in existence at 
the present time, and if they were, would be dear at $1.50 
]ier dozen plants. 


DATURA.— TiioKN Apple. 

[Name said to be from the Arabic] 

Datura Stramonium. — Thorn apple, so called in allusion 
to the capsule, which is as large as a small hen's egg ; 
ovate, and thickly covered with thorns. The poisonous 
qualities of this plant, as well as its application in medi- 
cine, are well known. As a remedy in asthma, it has ac- 
quired great reputation. In some parts of the country it 
is known by the name of Jamestown or Jimson weed. I 
have heard of a case Avhere a child was poisoned in con- 
sequence of eating one seed. Professor Martyn observes, 
that in the earth brought with plants from any part of 
America, we are sure to have the Thorn-apple come up. 
The whole plant has a disagreeable smell. Every part of 
the plant is poisonous, bringing on delirium tremens^ etc. 
The flowers are funnel shaped, with a long tube, five an- 
gled; either light purple or white. I describe it here as 
a warning to beware of the plant, and not for its beauty, 
as it is a disgusting weed growing abundantly in rubbish. 
Some of the genus are beautiful and worthy a place in the 
flower-garden; but all are poisonous. This species has 
very large handsome flowers, pure white. 

D. quercifolia, is one of the finest. — It has very large 
white flowers, measuring five inches across tlie mouth ; 
the nerves of a fine pink, shaded with purple. The fruit 
contained in a smooth capsule, and the leaf is somewhat 
like the oak ( Qiiercus^) whence its name. The manner of 
growth is very elegant ; and as each succeeding blossom 
burst through its fine calyx, we have thought it more 
beautiful than its predecessor. We can truly recommend 
this as an ornament to the garden. 

D. ceratocaulon, or Horn-stalked Datura. — This is a 
highly ornamental and showy species, with large white 
flowers, shaded with pink, full as large as the last. 

188 breck's xew book of flowers. 

D. meteloidcs, B. Wrightii of the catalogues. This 
species is very sj^lendicl, producing large funnel-shaped 
flowers, pure wliite, delicately shaded with very pale 
blue. Before the buds expand, they are curiously twisted 
or folded, and if cut off in the afternoon and placed in 
Avater in the house, they will begin to unfold early in the 
evening, and by nine o'clock be fully opened, filling the 
room with a delightful fragrance. All the species open 
during the night, remain during the next day, and then 
perish. The plants of Z>. meteloides are two or thi-ee feet 
high, branching, producing a succession of flowers through 
the season. 

There are varieties of double-blue, white, and straw 
color. These double flowers are curious, but do not have 
much claim to beauty. The single flower is filled up with 
other funnel-shaped petals. The double sorts are D. 
fastuosa alba plena^ and purpurea plena. D. humilis 
Jlava is a dwarf species, with yellow flowers. All these 
double varieties are late in flowering. They are all prop- 
agated by seeds, being annuals in the open ground, but 
perennials in the green-house. A plant of J), meteloides., 
which grew on the grape border and securely protected, 
survived the winter and flowered profusely the next year. 

DELPHINIUM.— Larkspur. 

[From a Gieek word signifying a dolphxn, on account of the resemblance be- 
tween tde shape of the flower and the imaghiary figures of the dolphin.] 

The French call it Pied d\douette.,^Y\i\ch. is the same as 
the English, Larkspur, and it is also called Lark's-claws, 
Lark's-heel, on account of the spur shape projection at 
the back of the flower. The species are showy annuals 
or perennials, valuable as border-flowers. The leaves are 
much divided, and the flowers in terminal spikes, blue. 


purple, white or red ; never yellow, or any shade of that 

There are many species and varieties of the perennial 
Larkspur, which are indispensable in a collection of plants ; 
all hardy and easily propagated from seed, or by dividing 
the roots of some of the double varieties which produce 
no seed. The brilliancy of the blue color of some of the 
flowers cannot be surpassed. 

Delphinium Sinensis pleno. — Double Cliinese. — This is 
one of the mosi magniticent of herbaceous plants. It can 
be propagated only by dividing the roots, :is it does not 
produce seed ; it is perfectly hardy, enduring the coldest 
weather without protection ; it is best to give a little, 
however, as it will flower stronger for it. The flowers 
are of a most beautiful li\ely blue, in long open spikes, 
upon graceful, slender, purplish stems, three feet high. 
From June to October it displays its beauty, and is indis- 
pensable in the formation of a perfect bouquet. Foliage 
palmate, many parted. 

D. elatum* — Bee Larkspur. — So called on account of 
the hairy petals, in the centre of the flower, having a fan- 
cied resemblance to a bee. 

This species, from its height, which is from five to seven 
feet, is Avell adapted to the shrubbery ; its long, clustered 
spike of fine blue flowers making a fine appearance in 
that department. It is also suitable for the border, but 
should be planted at the greatest distance from the walk. 
Leaves downy, five-lobed; lobes wedge shape at the base, 
trifid cut. Propagated by seed or divisions of the roots. 

The plant is covered with soft green down. It sports 
into many varieties, from pale-blue to dark, sometimes to 
blue with a white centre, which is very beautiful. 

Dt Baiiovvii. — Barlow's Larkspur. — A garden variety, 
apparently intermediate between the Great-flowered and 

190 BRECK's new book of FLONYEllS. 

Bee Larkspur. It sends np a stem from three to five feet 
high, much branched at the top, covered in June and 
July with innumerable dark-blue flowers, partaking some- 
what of the character of the Bee Larkspur. Proj^agated 
by divisions of the root. 

D, ^randiflorum. — Great-flowered. — One of the most 
showy of the genus, sporting into many varieties. Its 
height is from two to three feet, and continues from June 
to October to give a succession of flowers, which are large, 
of a fine light or dark-blue, purple and white, and often 
spotted or shaded on each petal with copper color on the 
dark varieties, or with green on the white. Leaves 
palmate, (hand-shaped,) many parted. It is propagated by 
dividing the roots in the spring, about the time it begins 
to vegetate ; or it may be divided with success in August. 
By sowing the seed, new varieties may be expected, Avhich, 
j)lanted early, will flower feebly and show the character of 
the flower in autumn. Nothing is more pleasant, than to 
originate a new variety. It must not be supposed, how- 
ever, that there will be much chance of any improvement 
in more than one or two in a hundred plants. It has 
flourished with me in a great variety of soils. It a\ ill, in 
fact, groAv anywhere without difficulty, only requiring to 
l)e divided every few years, when the roots become large. 
This species is a native of Siberia. A seedling of this 
species was raised by the late Wm. E. Carter, of the Bo- 
tanic garden, which was named in honor of him D, Gar- 
terii, and is now in my possession. The flowers are double, 
sky-blue, a very fine variety. I wi^h I could say the same 
of my much admired seedhng D. J^reckii, which I fear is 
lost. It was perfectly hardy for many years, and at one 
time I had a large stock of it; it was also extensively dis- 
seminated, but now I fear, it is numbered among the 
things that were, as mine are all lost, and all in my neigh- 
borhood have died also. Formerly I had large stools of 


it and planted it in masses, producing flowers of a dazzling 
blue color. There was no blue flower that produced so 
brilliant an efiect. It was more dwarfish than D. Sinen- 
sis^ growing about two feet high, the stems not so flexible, 
and color much finer; the flowers being double, I could 
never obtain seed. Another seedling, called Breck's No. 
2, color purplish blue, with semi-double flowers and infe- 
rior to No. 1, I did not care to propagate, and let it die. 
I believe the destruction of this beautiful variety was 
caused by little maggot-like worms, which worked in the 

D. Hendersoni is a beautiful variety, raised by Mr. Hen- 
derson, a nurseryman of England ; probably from J), ela- 
tum^ which it very much resembles in growth and foliage. 
The flowers are sky-blue, with white centre, and are ar- 
ranged in long spikes. 

D. formosiim. — This is a splendid species or hybrid va- 
riety, with large lively blue flowers, with the centre white, 
shaded with reddish-purple ; one of the most desirable 
hardy herbaceous plants in cultivation. It blooms from 
July to November, giving a supply of the most brilliant 
blue throughout the season. A. coelestimmi is a variety 
oi fonnosum^ or a hybrid of elatum^ with sky-blue flow- 
ers, equally hardy. There is also a large number of 
hybrid Delphiniums^ partaking of the habit of elatum^ 
which are beautiful ; but these described, will be sufticient 
to make up a good collection. 

D. cardinalis is found in Southern California. — I should 
doubt its existence, had I not seen specimens of the dried 
l^lant, which were of a brilliant scarlet. I saw it in the 
herbarium of a gentleman, the editor of a paper in Los 
Angelos, who gathered it himself It was advertised by 
some of the English and French nurserymen at about five 
dollars a plant. I ordered one from each place, when, to 
my great disappointment, it turned out to be D.punicewm^ 

192 breck's new book of flowers. 

a plant from Siberia, which has small dull brick-red flow- 
ers; very different from D. cardinalis, which had flowers 
the size of those of Z>. elatum. I also imported seed of it, 
and had a hundred or more plants, which all turned out 
to be the common J), elatum. After this experience, who 
can blame me if I did feel a little waspish. 

The annual L'arkspurs are familiar to almost every one. 
Some of the species and varieties aj-e among the most 
common ornaments of the garden. They are all hardy, 
and flower stronger when self-sown in summer, or planted 
in beds or borders in August or September. There are 
two distinct species of Annual Larkspur : D. Ajacis, or 
Dwarf Rocket, with a variety called the tall German 
Kocket ; and D. consoUda. 

Do COnsolida, or Branching Larkspur. — This species 
grows from two to three feet high, producing its flowers 
in spikes, which are continually pushing out from the main 
stem and branches, affording abundance of bloom through 
the season. The double varieties are the most desirable. 
Masses of the different colors appear to great advantage. 
There are the double white, rose, pale-blue, dark-blue, lilac 
or ash color, striped red and white, blue and white, and 
variously mottled. 

D, Ajacis. — Dwarf Rocket Larkspur. — A bed of the 
double varieties of this species is almost equal in beauty, 
when properly grown, to a bed of Hyacinths ; early sown 
plants are in bloom in June and July, but do not continue 
in bloom so long as those of D. consolida ; grows a foot 
high. We import them in packages of ten to fifteen va- 
rieties. To liave them in the greatest perfection, the seed 
should be sown in autumn. 

D. Ajacis major. — Tall Rocket Larkspur. — Appears 
very much like the last described, except the flower-stems 
are a foot and one-half to two feet high. In flower at the 


same time ; perfectly hardy like the others. This is im- 
ported in about ten varieties ; colors similar to the last, 
viz : pink or rose, Avhite, grey, violet, blue, striped, spot- 
ted, etc. 


[The name of Dianthus is of Greek origin, and signifies the Flower of Jove ; 
which name is, aircoiding to some, bestowed upon the flower for its beauty; 
others say from its fragrance. That distinction is surely just, wiiich exiles a 
doubt only for which of iis good qualities it is conferred. French, (Billet.] 

Most of the species of this genus are highly valued, not 
only for the beauty and fragrance of the flowers, but also 
as being evergreens; tlieir foliage during winter, being as 
abundant and as vivid as in summer. The fragrance of 
some of the species is peculiarly grateful, and no plant in 
this repect surpasses the Clove, and some other varieties 
of the Pink. 

Dianthus Caryophyllus. — Clove Pink and Carnation. — 
There is no flower more desirable in the flower-garden 
than the Carnation. A well-grown, superior variety, can- 
not be surpassed in elegance, beauty, or odor, by any 
other flower ; yet we scarcily ever see it in perfection. 
Its cultivation in our climate is attended with many difii- 
culties, which may account for its rarity. Our winters are 
too severe, and springs too changeable, to keep it in perfec- 
tion in the open ground ; and then our summers are too 
dry and hot for the full development of its beauties. 
Seedlings stand the winter and spring without difficulty, 
with a light covering of leaves and evergreen boughs, and 
flower very well ; but then not one plant in a hundred will 
be considered worth saving by the florist, although they 
will all be interesting as single, semi-double, or irregular 
flowers, and richly repay all the labor. Valuable varieties 
are generally propagated from layers, which often keep 


very well in the open ground by letting them remain with 
the parent plant, and covering them with leaves and pine 
boughs ; but the most certain w^ay is, when the layers 
have taken root, to pot them, and at the approach of win- 
ter put them in a frame where they may be kept with per- 
fect safety, j^rovided air is given them in mild weather, 
and they are not exposed to the sun Avhen in a frozen 
state. The mice are very destructive to all Pinks ; there- 
fore the frame must be tight. 

Carnations are arranged by florists into three classes, 
viz : Flakes^ Bizarres^ and Picotees. Flakes have two 
colors only; their stripes are large, going quite through 
the petals. Bizarres are variegated, in irregular spots and 
stripes, with not less than three colors. Picotees have a 
white ground, spotted or pounced with scarlet, red, pur- 
ple, or other colors. The finer sorts are regularly edged 
with these colors, on a clear white or yellow ground. 
The petals of a jDerfect flower should be rose-leaved, or 
with entire edges ; the flower should be filled up in a reg- 
ular manner with petals of this description. It flowers 
in July. On a strong plant the stem will be three feet 

The propagation of the Carnation by layers is a very 
simple operation. When the plant is in perfection of 
bloom, lay around it one and one-half or two inches of 
compost, first gently stirring the surface so that it may 
mix well ; remove the lower leaves of the shoots selected ; 
pass the pen-knife, slanting upwards, half through the 
joint; fasten the shoot, where so cut, about two inches 
under the surface, with a small hooked peg, bending 
carefully so as not to break it at the incision ; then fix it 
firmly by gently pressing the earth around with the fin- 
gers, and finish by cutting oft' about half an inch of the 
upper extremities of the leaves Avith scissors. The sap 
soon begins to granulate at the wound, and throw out 


roots. In about a month or six weeks, if the soil has been 
kept moderately moist ^ the layers may be severed from 
the parent plant and established for themselves ; or they 
may remain where they are, if the stem to which they are 
attached be carefully cut off. 

The Carnation requires a rich, generous, deep soil. A 
compost of three parts of good, strong garden loam, 
three parts hot-bed manure, two years old, three parts of 
coarse river sand, two parts dry manure from a hen-house, 
sifted, and two j)arts of soot fi'om a wood fire, has been 
recommended for the Carnation. 

Clove Pink is more hardy tlian the Carnation, of 
which it is the parent ; the petals are more fringed, and 
the fragrance more powerful, resembling that of the 
Clove. In France it is called the Clove Gilly-flower. 
" Some suppose this latter name to have been corrupted 
from July-fiower, July being its flowering time. Drayton 
so names it." 

" The curious choice July flower. 
Whose kinds iiight the Carnation, 
For sweetness of most sovereign power 
Shall help my wreath to fashion ; 
Whose sundry colors of one kind, 
First from one root derived, 
Them in their several suits I'll bind, 
My garland so.contrived." 

Perpetual Carnation Pink — Tree Carnation, or Win- 
ter-flowering. — The great improvement in this tribe 
has added an invaluable feature to the section of winter- 
blooming plants for the drawing-room, conservatory, or 
green-house. The delicately rich and grateful odor, in 
connection with the brilliant color and good outline of the 
flowers now oflered, will secure for them a prominent 
place in the forcing department, and, ere long, be regarded 
as an indisj^ensable requisite in the portable drawing-room 
flower vase. 

196 breck's new book op floaa^eijs. 

The flowering period of these plants may be prolonged 
beyond the winter by retaining the terminal, or upper 
growth, but to ensure a fine early autumn or winter 
bloom, the upper growth should be shortened or pruned 
back (where requisite), in the spring or early summer 
months, and the plants placed in a cool, airy green-liouse, 
or cool east or south pit throughout the summer, to ma- 
ture the requisite vigor of growth for bloom. During the 
warm summer months, the plants should not be placed in 
any position where a free ventilation of air cannot be af- 
forded by day and night ; and wiien the requisite growth 
is obtained, they may be exposed in the open air until au- 
tumn, with the usual daily attention given to plants in 

D. hort^nsis. — Garden Pink. — This species is in perfec- 
tion about the last of June. The foliage is more grass- 
like, and the plant much hardier, than the Carnation. 
The double varieties are very desirable, not only for their 
beauty, but also for their fragrance. They may be prop- 
agated by dividing the roots, by layers, and by pipings. 
The surest mode of propagation is by layers, but piping 
is generally resorted to for Pinks. These are shoots cut 
from the plant at the second or third joint, according as 
they are more or less woody or juicy, and inserted, close 
to each other, in a bed of well pulverized proper compost; 
w^ater moderately, so that the earth may adhere closely 
about the shoots ; when the moisture has somewhat 
evaporated from the leaves, cover them up with a hand 
glass, which must be forced a little depth into the ground 
so as to confine the air. This need hardly be removed 
until the plants have taken root ; they must be shaded, 
liowever, the first fourteen days, with mats over the glas- 
ses, when the sun is very hot. If properly managed, not 
one in twenty will miss, and between one and two hun- 
dred may ]>e planted under one glass ; in a month or six 


weeks they will be sufficiently rooted to move. Carna- 
tions are sometimes raised from pipings, but they are not 
so sure as Pinks to take root. This variety is often called 
the Paisley Pink, on account of its having been raised in 
the highest perfection among the weavers near Paisley, in 
England. A good Pink should have a strong, elastic, and 
erect stem, not less than one foot high. The petals should 
be large and broad, Avith very fine-fringed edges, the 
nearer rose-leaved the better. The ground- work of the 
flower should be pure white, or rose-colored, with a dark, 
rich crimson, or purple eye, resembling velvet ; if nearly 
black, so mnch the richer. A delicate margin, or lacing, 
romid the entire petal, if of the color of the eye, increases 
its beauty. The flower should be from two to two and a 
half inches in diameter. 

D. Chinensis* — China Pink. — This S2)ecies is a biennial 
of dwarf habits ; of great beauty, but without fragrance. 
The foliage is of a yellowish green. It flowers from seed 
the first year ; it is perfectly hardy, and flowers strong the 
second year. The colors are exceedingly rich ; crimson, 
and dark shades of that color approaching to black, are 
often combined in the same flower, with edgings of white, 
pink, or other colors. Seed, saved from double flowers, 
will produce a great portion of double varieties. In beds 
where there may be a hundred plants, scarcely two will 
be found alike. They are in flower a number of months. 
Of this species a number of fine dwarf varieties, not more 
than six inches high, have been obtained. D. latifolius. 
Broad-leaved Pink, is a variety of D. Chinensis^ very or- 
namental; it has oblong-lanceolate leaves; flowers crimson 
and various shades of red ; in bloom all the season ; an 
imperfect perennial. A Pink, called CooJc's mule^ is a 
beautiful hybrid, somewhat like the Broad-leaved Pink. 
The flowers are of the deepest crimson, very double, and 
appear in succession through the season. 


D. barMtuS. — Sweet William. — Is an old inhabitant of 
the flower-garden, and was much esteemed in Gerarde's 
time, "for its beauty to deck up the bosoms of the beau- 
tiful, and garlands and crowns for pleasure." It is an im- 
perfect perennial, but fine vai-ieties are perpetuated by 
dividing the roots, soon after flowering in June and July. 
It is easily raised from seeds. A bed of fine sorts presents 
a rich sight ; it sports into endless varieties, viz. : white, 
pink, pui-ple, crimson, scarlet and variously edged, eyed, 
and spotted. There are also double varieties, but in my 
opinion, no improvement over the single. 

D. hybridus.— There is a large class of these beautiful 
flowers, produced from crossing the difl*erent species of 
China, Broad-leaved, Imperial, Sweet William, and other 
species, which are worthy of cultivation ; the seed can be 
obtained at some of the seed stores. The greatest novel- 
ties that have appeared in the Pink line for many years 
are the celebrated Heddewigii varieties raised from seeds 
obtained from Japan. The following description is from 
a seedsman, in Erfurt, Prussia : — 

D. Chin^nsis-Hcddewi^il, B. Chinensis giganteus^ — 

(Heddewig). These superb pinks are splendid beyond ex- 
pectation. The raiser, Mr. Heddewig, ' received the golden 
medal,' in Petersburgh, in 1858, and besides there was a 
prize set on them by the Horticultural Society and by the 
Botanical Society in Kegent's Park. The plant is very 
proliferous (free flowering,) and of a dwarf compact size. 
The flowers are very large, and have a diameter of nearly 
three inches; they are of difl*eren't colors and shades; 
rose-colored, crimson, brown, dark-brown and white, mar- 
bled-flamed, etc. An excellent acquisition." 

D«€hm<^nsis-laciniatllS (Heddewig).— Described by the 
raiser, Mr. Heddewig, as follows: — "I had the fortune to 
raise from Japan seed, a new splendid Pink, which Dr. 


Kornicke describes already in Kegels Gartenflora as Dian- 
thus laciniatus. I raised last year 800 seeds from it, 
which I sowed early ; and already at the end of May they 
commenced to display their most magnificent flowers, of 
a diameter of four inches. I was greatly rejoiced to see 
a part of them of splendid, dense, double flowers, in the 
greatest variety of colors, viz. : pure white, rose, lilac, 
carmine, crimson, purple-violet, the darkest black-brown, 
spotted and striped ; a splendid sight, far beyond descrip- 
tion. August 3, 1859, I exhibited 18 plants in as many 
difterent varieties, and received the highest reward for 
novelties, ' the Golden Medal,' from the Imperial Horti- 
cultural Society. This Pink grows two feet high ; the 
small leaves have a length of four inches, and the double 
varieties, from their dense double form, and the laciniate 
petals, somewhat resemble t\mfLo\\ ev Papaver 2yceoniflorum. 
Some plants endured our last Russian winter without be- 
ing covered." I have had the pleasure of cultivating 
these novelties since 1861, and find them to correspond 
nearly with these descriptions. I have not had any that 
attained a greater height than a foot, or foot and one-half, 
but have had all the shades of color mentioned by Mr. 
Heddewig. The foliage is somewhat glaucous and lance- 
olate. Both varieties produce double flowers. To ascer- 
tain whether they would survive over winters, I protected 
a large bed of them with leaves in the autumn of 1864, 
and they came out bright in the spring of 1865 and flow- 
ered superbly during the summer. If they are not hardy 
enough to stand the winter without covering, they are very 
valuable acquisitions to the flower-garden as annuals. 
Like the China Pinks, they are destitute of fragrance. 

D. Verschaff(^itii. — Verschaffelt's Hybrid Pink. — A 
remarkably novel and beautiful hardy flower-garden plant, 
from M. Ambroise Verschafl'elt, nurseryman, Glient. It 
has a neat and compact half-shrubby, densely-branched 

200 breck's new book of flowers. 

habit of growth, from nine to twelve inches in height. 
The flowers, in their general aspect of growth, resemble a 
large specimen of the Florist varieties of Pinks, as grown 
for competition, but differ in showing a single expansion 
of flower-lobes, rather than of double petal series, and 
each entire blossom being from two to three inches in di- 
ameter, whilst the entire series of petals, instead of all 
combining to form a single blossom, with tlie usual dark 
ray or center, as is the case in the varieties above quoted, 
in the present example range themselves into a series of 
distinct inner flower circles, or rays, each marked Avith its 
own beautiful series of colored spots at the base, converg- 
ing to a crimson belt or zone, and together forming a large 
aggregate cluster or flower-head. The arrangement of 
these concentric series of picturesque petal-rays within one 
simple base or crown, forms one of the most novel and 
singular combinations yet known in gardens. 

D, SliperbllS. — This is one of the most fragrant of the 
Pink family; the petals of the flower are very much cut 
or fringed ; one foot and a half high ; flowers in July and 
August ; white or rose color. 

D. alpinus.— Alpine or Dwarf Pink. — A pretty little 
perennial, suitable for rock-work, with creeping roots ; 
although not aspiring (not exceeding 3 or 4 inches in 
height) it soon takes possession of all the ground in the 
neighborhood. The flowers are small, white, or flesh col- 
ored, variegated with a circle of red or purple. D. are- 
narius, or Sand Pink ; D. plumarius, D. diminutus^ and 
some other dwarf species are also 2)roper for rock- work. 



[From the Greek, meaning twice and spur, on account of the two spurs or 
sacs at the base of tlie flowers.] 

This genus has had a hard time with regard to its name. 
When first published, it was by a typographical error, 
printed Diclytra / it was next called Dielytra^ a name by 
which it goes in many of the catalogues. Several species 
which the older botanists grouped under Corydalis are 
included in this genus. 

Dic^ntra spectabilis. — Showy Dicentra, Bleeding 
Heart. — This, one of the finest hardy herbaceous peren- 
nials in cultivation, was brought from China, by Mr. For- 
tune. It is a plant of neat dwarf habit, when grown in 
pots, and two to three feet high, when grown in rich soil 
in the garden. The branches of the plant are most grace- 
fully curved. It is one of the most striking objects in the 
whole range of floral attraction. The foliage is of a light 
transparent green ; the flowers, which are produced on 
stems in sprays, are of a bright rose pink, about the size 
of a lozenge, and are heart shaped ; the corolla pearly 
white, set in frosted silver ; the stalks are literally gem- 
med, with these beautiful flowers, by hundreds. To cul- 
tivate it in perfection, it must have a season of frost ; let 
those for blooming in winter, be taken up early in Octo- 
ber and potted, then place them in a cold frame, and let 
the weather act on them till after Christmas ; remove them 
in-doors, and they will flower in March. It is well to fill 
the frame, in autumn, with decayed leaves, in which 
plunge the pots to the rims. For out-door culture, for 
which it is eminently calculated, it needs not the slightest 
protection ; will endure the cold of Canada, and come up 
in April, and flower splendidly in May ; can be divided 
either in fall or spring. Grown in clumps, in a favored 
part of. the garden, it shows to a great advantage. 

D. eximea. — Red-flowered Dicentra. — A handsome in- 

202 breck's new book of flowers. 

digenoiis perennial, with flesli-colored or reddish flowers, 
from May to July ; from six to ten inches high. This is 
the Corydalls forniosa of the former edition. 

D. Cucullaria* — Dutchman's Breeches. — An indigenous 
perennial, with elegant, finely-divided leaves, of a pale 
and dehcate green : from the midst of the cluster of leaves 
arises a scape bearing a one-sided, simple raceme of white, 
singular-looking, pendulous flowers. It is popularly called 
Dutchman's Breeches, on account of the resemblance of 
the corolla to that article of dress. Flowers in May. 

D. Canadensis. — Squirrel-corn. — Also indigenous, and 
resembles the preceeding in habit and foliage, but the 
flowers have rounded spurs, are slightly tinged with red, 
and have a pleasant fragrance. The root has tubers as 
large as peas, hence the popular name. 

DICTAMNUS.— Fraxinella. 

[An ancient name adopted from Virgil. Fraxinella is in allusion to tiie simi- 
larity wiiicii exists between the leaves of the plant ami Fraxinus, the Ash.] 

Dictamnus Fraxinella. — Fraxinella. — The whole plant, 
especially when gently rubbed, emits an odor like that 
of the lemon-peel; but when bruised, has something of a 
balsamic scent. This odor is the strongest in the pedi- 
cels of the flowers, which are covered with glands of a rusty 
red color, exuding a vicous juice, or resin, which exhales 
a vapor, which may be set on fire. The root was formerly 
used as medicine. There are two varieties known in 
flower-gardens ; one with purplish-brown, the other with 
white flowers, which are produced in June and July. They 
are hardy perennials, natives of Germany, and should 
find a place in every good collection. The height of the 
plants, from two to three feet, in rich soil. They may be 
propagated by dividing the roots, which requires some 


care if the stools are large, as they are very tough, re- 
quiring a strong, sliarp knife to divide them ; each por- 
tion of the root must have an eye, as it will not grow 
without. The time to separate thej-oots is very early in 
the spring, or after it has done flowering in August. It 
may also be propagated by sowing the seeds as soon as 
they are ripe. The seeds are very hard, and do not vege- 
tate freely. If sowed in the spring, boiling water should 
be poured upon them. The plants will flower the second 
year from the seed. 


Didiscus ccerulea. — Sky-blue Didiscus. — This is a hand- 
some annual ; stem very much branched, producing its 
fine sky-blue flowers in numerous umbels, or hemispheri- 
cal heads, of the size and shape of a large quilled Aster ; 
two feet high ; in flower July and August. Sow the seed 
in the open ground in May. Plants, forwarded iu a hot- 
bed, will begin to flower in June. 


[So named by Fuclis, from digitalis, a finger of a glove, in all'ision to Ihe 
form of the flowers.] 

Digitalis purpurea, with purple flowers; also a variety 
D. alha^ with white flowers. Ornamental plants of great 
beauty, producing dense spikes of flowers on stems, three, 
four, or five feet high, in June and July, and straggling 
spikes most of the season. It is a biennial, propagated 
by sowing the seeds ; flowers the second year. It may be 
perpetuated by dividing the roots every year, and is 
sometimes called an imperfect perennial. 

It is suitable for the border, and may be introduced in- 

204 beeck's new book of flowers. 

to the shrubbery with fine effect, as its tall, spire-like 
spikes, crowned with its large thimble or bell-shaped pur- 
ple or white flowers, will finely contrast with the green 
foliage of the shrubs. 

D. ferril^inea, or Iron-colored Foxglove ; a hardy per- 
ennial, with brown flowers, from July to August ; four 
feet high. 

D. lutea^ or Small Yellow Foxglove ; a hardy peren- 
nial, with light yellow flowers, from July to August; 
two feet high. 

D. OChroleuca. — Great Yellow Foxglove.— A hardy 
perennial, with large light yellow flowers, from July to 
August ; four feet high. 

D. lanata* — Woolly-flowered Foxglove, with white and 
brown flowers, from July to August ; two feet liigh. All 
the species are poisonous when taken into the system, and 
the leaves are used medicinally. 

" It is a pity this plant is poisonous, for it is extremely 
beautiful, particularly those kinds which are of a deep- 
rose color. They are all speckled within the bell, which 
adds still more to their richness. Mrs. C. Smith invites 
the bee to 

" Explore the Foxglove's freckled bell." 

Brown uses a similar epithet when he describes Pan as 
seeking gloves for his mistress, a curious conceit : 

" To keep her slender fingers from the sunne, 
Pan through the pastures oftentimes hath runne, 
To plucke the speckled Fox-Gloves from their stem 
And on those fingers neatly placed them." 

" The bee apjjears regardless of its poisonous qualities : 

'* Bees that soar for bloom 

High as the highest peak of Furnace Fells, 

Will murmur by the hour in Fox-Glove heUs.''^—Wadswortk''s Sonnet." 
" The Fox-Glove, in whose drooping bells the bee 
Makes her sweet music."— B. CornwalL 
" Let me thy vigils keep 
'Mongst boughs pavilioned, where the deer's swift leap 
Startles the wild bee from the Fox-Glove heW."— Keats, 


" But it is not the bee alone that braves this powerful 
poison ; women of the poorer class, in Derbyshire, drink 
large draughts of Fox-glove tea, as a cheap means of ob- 
taining the pleasures, or forgetfulness, of intoxication. It 
is said to produce a great exhilaration of spirits. Well 
may the word intoxicate originate in poison." 

It is a native of England, Germany, and other parts of 

DODECATHEON.— American Cowslip. 

[A fanciful name, signifying the twelve gods or divinities.] 

Dodecatheon Meadia. — American Cowslip, Shooting 
Star. — A highly ornamental plant, displaying its flowers 
in May and June; throwing up stems a foot high, with a 
large, umbel-like cluster of singularly beautiful pale-pur- 
ple flowers. The petals are reflexed, or thrown back 
from the centre, like the Cyclamen. There is a variety 
with white flowers. Soon after flowering, the foliage dies 
down, and the plant is dormant during the summer, when 
it may be propagated by parting the roots, leaving a bud, 
or the rudiments of one, on the crown of each. It is a 
native of the West and South, and perfectly hardy. 

DOLICHOS.— Htacenth Bean. 

[A name under which Dioscorides describes a plant supposed to have been 
the kidney bean of tlie moderns.] 

Dolichos Lablab. — Purple Hyacinth Bean. — A fine 
tender annual climber, with flowers in clustered spikes ; 
purple, with a white variety. It grows from ten to twen- 
ty feet in a season ; treatment very much like that of the 
common bean. A native of Egypt. 

206 beeck's new book of flowers. 


[Dedicated by Doct. Toirey, to the late A. J. Downing.] 

Downingia ^legans. — Elegant Downingia. — A beautiful 
tender annual, a\ ith delicate foliage, and rich blue flowers 
in great profusion ; six inches high ; in July and August. 

D. pulchella. — Pretty Downingia. — It is a pretty flow- 
ering, tender annual, of very humble growth, only rising 
a few inches high. The flowers are rather larger than D. 
elegans^ blue, with a broad white spot at the centre, 
stained with a rich yellow. The flower is about half an 
inch across. Its delicacy of growth will prevent its 
spreading raj^idly through the country. 

When grown in pots in the green-honse, both are very 

The Downingias are natives of California and are gen- 
erally called Glintonia^ by florists ; a name given by 
Douglas, who did not know that it had already been ap- 
plied to another genus. 

DRACOCEPHALUM— Dragon's Head. 

[From Greek words, signifying a dragon's head, because the flowers are fan- 
cied to resemble one.] 

Dracoc^phalum speciosum. — Showy Dragon's Head. — 
Is a native of Siberia ; j^erennial ; three feet high, with 
pink flowers ; in July and August. 

D. Sibiricum. — Siberian Dragon's Head. — From Siberia, 
perennial ; one foot high, with light blue flowers ; in July 
and August. Some of the annual species are handsome 

D. Moldavica. — Moldavian Balm. — An annual from 
Moldavia with blue, and a variety -with white flowers; in 
July and August ; two feet high. 


D. Canari^nse. — Balm of Gilead. — This plant smells 
of citron, especially when rubbed between the fingers. 
Sown on a hot-bed early in spring, it may be planted out 
in the borders like other tender annuals. Flowers pale- 
blue or purple ; from July to September ; three feet high ; 
From the Canaries. 


[From the Greek words meaning suspended fruit.] 

Eccremocarpus SCaber. — Rough Eccremocarpus. — 
This, which is sometimes called Calampelis^ is a beautiful 
climber, a tender perennial, which flowers the first year. 
The flowers are produced in panicles or racemes, are of a 
bright orange color ; it flowers profusely the latter part 
of the summer, but it is necessary to start the plants very 
early in a hot-bed, and when the plants have five or six 
leaves, they should be transplanted into pots, and turned 
into the ground in June. The seeds are diflicult to vege- 
tate. Properly speaking, it is a green-house plant. 

ECHINACEA.— Cone-Flower. 

[Name from the Greeli for Hedgeboy, in allusion tlie spiny chaff of the disk.] 

Echinacea purpurea. — Purple Cone-flower. — A native 
of Ohio and other western States, and formerly called 
Rudbeckia purpurea. It grows from three to four feet 
high, and has a rough stem and leaves. The disk of the 
flower is very rich, appearing in the sun of a golden 
crimson ; the rays are purple, in some varieties whitish, 
and one to two inches long. A hardy perennial, easily 
propagated by division of the root. 

208 breck's new book of flowers. 

EPILOBITJM.— Willow-Herb. 

[From Greek word?, signifying a flower growing upon a poc7.] 

Epilobium angustifolium. — Valuable in shrubberies, as 
thriving under the drip of trees, and succeeds every where, 
even in the smoke of cities, and in parks. It is a good 
plant to adorn pieces of water, being hardy, and of rapid 
increase, and very showy when in flower. It produces 
dense spikes of purplish-red flowers ; three or four feet 
high, in July and August. It is handsome when grow- 
ing in the field or garden, but the flowers are not suit- 
able for bouquets, as they immediately wither upon gath- 
ering. At a short distance, the flowers resemble those 
of Purple Phlox in color, and persons not acquainted 
with botany, take it for a plant of that family ; but it be- 
longs to an entirely different one. It is easily propagated 
from cuttings of its long straggling roots. 

ERYSIMUM.— Treacle-Mustard. 

[From a Greek word, signifying to draw blisters.'] 

Erysimum Peroffskianum. — Palestine Mustard. — This 
is a hardy annual, having some resemblance to the Wall- 
flower. The plant is erect ; one to two feet high ; bear- 
ing racemes or sj^ikes of deep-orange blossoms ; from 
June to September ; a mass of it is quite showy. 

E. Arkansannm. — Western Wall-flower. — A native of 
Arkansas, very similar to the other species; two feet 
liigh ; with yellow flowers most of the season. 


ERYTHIIONITJM.— Dog's-tooth Violet. 

[From a Greek word signifying red, in allusion to the color of tlie Euiopean 

Erythronium Dens-canis. — Dog's-tooth Violet is the 
common name in England, where it is a favorite. It is 
not at all related to the Violet, bat belongs to the Lily 
Family. It is a bulbous rooted vernal plant, with purple 
flowers ; one-half foot high ; there is also a variety with 
white flowers. 

E. Americanum. — Yellow Adder' s-tongue. — This is a 
beautiful vernal plant with bulbous roots, situated deep 
in the ground. The whole plant is smooth and glossy. 
Flowers yellow, solitary, drooping; leaves two, nearly 
equal, lanceolate, veinless, of a dark brownish-green, 
clouded with irregular spots. Flowers in May ; three to 
four inches high. This pretty indigenous plant should 
be transferred to the garden ; it may be taken in July, 
after flowering. It will require a leaf-mould soil for its 
successful cultivation. 

ESCHSCHOLTZIA.— California Poppy. 

[Named after Doct. Eschscholtz, a botanist of the last century.] 

Eschscholtzia Californica. — California Poppy. — A na- 
tive of the State, the name of which it bears, where it 
abounds, and is found in large patches or masses, enliven- 
ing the i^lains with its brilliant shining yellow blossoms. 
< Scarcely any plant produces a greater degree of splen- 
dor than this ; when the full sun is upon it, it makes a 
complete blaze of color. It is a most suitable plant for 
producing a distant eflfect. When it is planted out in a 
bed, it requires a considerabe number of sticks for sup- 
port, or the weak branches will be liable to lie close to 
ground, and then the bloom is not so fine. If planted in 

210 bueck's new book of FLO we us. 

single patches, they should have several sticks placed 
around, and a string fastened, so as to keep the flower- 
stalks tolerably erect ; by this attention a neat and hand- 
some effect Avill be given. I adopt the use of cross- 
strings, as well as a circular one, by which means I have 
the shoots regularly disposed. E. crocea^ Saffron-colored 
California Poppy, of a dark, bright saffron-color ; and M 
alha^ White California Poppy, with white flowers, are 
only varieties of E. Californica^ and require the same 

E. tenuifolia^ is a species with very slender grass-like 
leaves ; color of the flowers, pale whitish-yellow. All 
are easily propagated by seeds, and where the plants 
have scattered their seed upon the ground, a plentiful 
supply of young plants may be found in the following 
S23ring ; they should be thinned out one foot apart. It is 
useless to attempt to transplant them, as it is very diffi- 
cult to make them live. 

The name of this genus has been altered to Ghryseis^ 
in disregard of the established custom among botanists. 
Although it is a more elegant word than Eschscholtzia^ 
yet that being the older name, must have the preference. 


[Name from Eiipator, King of Poiitiis, who first u.'-ed it in medicine.] 

Eupatorium piirpurciim. — Purple Thoroughwort, Joe- 
Pye Weed. — Purple flowers, in August ; perennial ; four 
to six feet high ; indigenous ; leaves in fours and fives. 
This plant cannot be said to be elegant, yet it is not des- 
titute of beauty, and will be a valuable acquisition to the 
shrubbery. Its tall stem terminates in large corymbs of 
small sliining purple flowers. 

E. pcrfoliatum* — Bone-set or Thorough wort. — Is a plant 


held in high estimation medicinally ; but it has no claim 
to beauty. The medicinal virtues of the plant reside 
chiefly in the leaves, and the most efficient mode of 
exhibiting it, is by means of a simple decoction ; its pow- 
ers are those of a tonic. The reputation of it was, in old 
times, so great, that there were those who believed it 
would set bones ; hence the common name. That it is a 
very bitter dose to take, I very well know by experience. 

EUPHORBIA.— Spurge. 

[Named after Euphorbus, who was a physician to Juba, King of Maurita- 
nia, anJ first used this plant in medicine.] 

This is a very extensive genus of curious, grotesque 
plants, many of them j^oisonous. Among them are some 
splendid hot-house plants. They are all milky, mostly 
herbaceous ; some are leafless, some are armed with 

Euphorbia COrollata, — Flowering Spurge. — This is one 
of the most elegant species peculiar to the United States ; 
a perennial, with subdivided umbels of conspicuous 
white flowers, and narrowish, oblong obtuse leaves. 
This plant is not uncommon in the sandy fields of the 
Middle States, and is in flower in June and July. Prop- 
agated by divisions of the root. 

E. Lathyris. — Caper Spurge. — A half-hardy biennial, 
from England, of handsome appearance, with inconspic- 
uous flowers ; from May to September. From three to 
four feet high. The plants will stand the winter without 
protection, but are oftentimes entirely destroyed. A few 
plants should be taken up and placed in a dry cellar, and 
planted out in the spring. It has seed pods about the 
size and color of Caper buds, and are said to be some- 
times substituted for that pickle. Eaten in any quantity, 
they must prove highly deleterious. 


E. variegata. — Variegated Spurge. — A most elegant 
species ; a native of Missouri and Arkansas Territory ; 
an annual much cultivated now in gardens, and highly 
esteemed ; flowering late in autumn, and remarkable for 
its abundant variegated bracts or floral leaves. Leaves 
oval entire ; wavy, edged with white ; capsules smooth ; 
stems hairy. The seed must be sown early in April ; it 

FRITILLARY. — Fritillary. 

[From Fritillus, the Latin for dice-box, probably in allusion to the shape of the 

A genus with showy and singular looking flowers. The 
plants all require a deep loamy soil, and aie readily in- 
creased by offsets or by seeds. They grow readily in the 
shade of trees, and do not require to be taken up oftener 
than once in three years. 

Fritillaria impcrialis. — Crown Imperial— A native of 
Persia. There are many varieties ; all handsome, varying 
in color ; viz. : bright yellow, scarlet, orange-scarlet, 
double red, double yellow, gold-striped-leaved, silver-strip- 
ed-leaved, etc. This species is less esteemed than its 
beauty merits, on account of its strong, and, to some, its 
disagreeable scent. It flowers in April ; the bulb throws 
up a strong, vigorous stem, three or four feet high, pro- 
ducing near the top a crown of beautiful, drooping, bell- 
shaped flowers, making a very conspicuous object at a 
season when but few flowers grace the garden. Above 
the crown of flowers the stem terminates in a tuft of its 
glossy green foliage. The nectaries are very curious ; each 
cell, six in number, contains a large drop, which looks like 
a brilliant pearl. When the flower decays, the seed-vessels 
take a position the reverse of that of the flower, and stand 


erect. The bulbs are large and fleshy, somewhat solid ; 
they do not keep well long out of the ground. When 
the Stem dies down, the root should be taken up and re- 
planted, if necessary ; but this need not be done oftener 
than once in four or five years. They should be planted 
four inches deep, in a rich, deep garden soil. It is by 
some botanists called Petiliuryi imperialis. 

F. P^rsicai — The Persian Fritillary or Persian Lily, 
bears a spike of brownish-purple flowers, growing at the 
top of the stem in the form of a pyramid ; they open in 
May ; stems three feet high ; bulb similar to the last, ex- 
cept it is more elongated. To be treated in every way 
like the Crown Imperial. 

F. meleagris. — The Common Fritillary, or Chequered 
Lily. — Is sometimes called the Guinea Hen Flower, on ac- 
count of its chequered or spotted flowers. There are 
many varieties , the colors, various shades of brown, pur- 
ple, and yellow, curiously mottled, spotted or chequered. 
The bulbs are about the size of those of the crocus-, of the 
character of the other Fritillary bulbs, but more flatten- 
ed ; stems eight or ten inches high, with one or more 
gracefully-drooping, bell-shaped flowers, in April or May ; 
to be planted in groups in good garden soil, two inches 
dee]3. They should not be kept long out of the ground. 

It is a native of England and the South of Europe. 
It is most probably of the Crown Imperial, that Moore 
speaks in the following lines ; not the Persian Lily, com- 
monly so called, since he describes the color as golden : — 

" Once Emir I thy unheeding child, 
'Mid all tins havoc, bloomed and smiled,— 
Tranquil on some battle plain 
The Persian Lily siiines and towers, 
Before Ihe combats reddening strain 
Hath fallen upon her golden flowers." — Fire Worshippers. 

214 breck's new book of feowers. 

FUCHSIA— Lady^s Ear Drop. 

[So named in honor of Leonard Fucha, a noted German botanist.] 

Fuchsia COCCinea is one of the most elegant of decidu- 
ous green-house shrubs ; the young wood and nerves of 
the leaves are tinged with purplish-red; the pendant 
blossoms produced from the axils of the leaves, as the 
shoots grow, continue the greater part of the growing 
season, and are succeeded as they fade by a purple berry. 
It is a native of Chili. This species, with F. fidgens^ F. 
microphylla^ and others, have been crossed to produce 
the numerous varieties in cultivation. 

Fuchsias succeed admirably when planted in the flow- 
er garden. The following directions will give the young 
cultivator some hints relative to their propagation and 
culture : 

" Fuchsias are readily propagated by cuttings, in sand, 
with a mixture of peat ; to grow the plants for a bloom 
all summer, they should be started in February, in the 
green-house, first in small pots, and shifted, when the 
roots completely fill it, into a mixture of fresh loam, peat- 
leaf mould from the woods, well rotted manure, and a 
little sand ; mix thoroughly, and break finely {not sifted), 
with the spade or trowel ; give the roots good drainage, 
place them in the Avarmest part of the green-house, and 
water frequently ; as the warmth of summer approaches, 
and the green-house, or conservatory, becomes empty of 
plants, place your Fuchsias in the most favored position, 
shading them, with a mat or cotton awning, from the sun, 
after ten o'clock in the morning, which remove at five P. 
M., unless the sun is off sooner. This treatment, with a 
gentle syringing of the foliage twice a day, — which, if 
carefully done, does not materially injure the flo^vers, — 
will produce an abundant bloom all summer and au- 
tumn, and will well reward your care. No class of plants 
is more graceful and elegant. The striking contrast of 


white, carmine, rose, find purple, renders the tout ensemble 
perfectly charming. Gradually lessen watering after the 
1st of October, and by November merely keep in mois- 
ture enough to ])reserve vitality ; place them in the out- 
of-the-way part of the green-house, on a dry shelf, and at- 
tend to merely keeping in life till February, and then com- 
mence to sart them." 

For a summer conservatory they are unequalled, occu- 
pying an otherwise nearly empty house, and delighting 
you with their graceful flowers all the season. 

Young plants turned out into the flower-garden in 
June, will continue to blossom until October; but they 
must be placed in the coolest spot in the garden, where 
they will receive t^ie benefit of the shnde during the mid- 
dle of the day or the hot sun will injure the bloom. 
Some of the new varieties are splendid. 

FUNKIA.-Day Lily. 

[A genus dedicated to a German botanist, named Funk.] 

Funkia OVata. — Blue Day Lily. — Is a plant with broad 
ovate leaves ; flowers blue, in June and July ; two feet 

F. SUbcordata* — Formerly Hemerocaliis or iunhiaJa- 
ponica. — White Day Lily, — has large, pure white, frag- 
rant flowers, which open daily in the month of August, 
on stems one and a half to two feet high ; leaves broad 
ovate, nerved. 

These and other Day Lilies are hardy, easily propagated 
by division of the roots, and require little or no protec- 

A variety of Funhia has elegant variegated leaves, 
highly ornamental, and well worthy of a place in the 
garden. The flowers are in one-sided racemes, about one 

216 breck's new book of flowers. 

and one-half foot high ; a bluish pearl color, not re- 
markable for their beauty ; July and August ; a hardy 


[Dedicated to M. Gaillard, an amateur Frencli botanist.] 

Gaillardia picta* — Painted Gaillardia. — A very hand- 
some plant, naturally perennial, but produces its flowers 
the first year from seed, if started early. It has large, 
beautiful crimson flowers, two inches across ; each petal 
being tipped with yellow. The disk is dark-colored, 
something like Coreopsis tinctoria ; one to two feet high. 

G. bicolor. — Two-colored Gaillardia. — This variety ap- 
pears identical with Gaillardia picta^ excepting that the 
leaves are entire. The fine large blossoms, more than 
two inches across, the large crimson disk, surrounded by 
a ray of fine yellow, produce a very showy appearance, 
and render the plant well deserving a place in the flow- 
er-garden. They are natives of Mexico, and too tender 
to endure our winter, consequently must be protected by 
frames. They are readily propagated by cuttmgs in the 
green-house or hot-bed ; but more easily raised from 
seeds, which, if started in heat, will flower profusely in 
the garden through the season. 

GALANTHUS.-Snow Drop. 

[From Greek words, signifying milk and a fluwvr, on account of the milky 
whiteness of the blossoms.] 

It is rather singular, and also to be regretted, that no 
variation, except a double variety, and no hybrids have 


been produced from this easily raised and pretty little 

" Already now the Snow-drop dares appear. 
Tlie first pale blossom of the unripened year ; 
And Flora's breath, by some transforming power, 
Had changed an icicle into a flower. — Mrs. Barbauld. 

Galanthus niyalis. — The Snow-drop is a native of Aus- 
tria, Switzerland, Silesia, and England ; in meadows and 
orchards. It is the earliest flower of all the garden tribe, 
and will even show her head above the snow, as if to 
prove her rivalry with whiteness. 

'• Lone flower, liemmed in with snows, and white as they."'— Won/su'or//i. 

Every third year the roots should be taken up, in June or 
July, when the leaves are decayed, and kept in a dry 
place until August, when they should be replanted. The 
bulbs are very small ; to make them look well, and to 
produce a pretty effect when in bloom, about twenty 
should be planted together in a clump, one and one-half 
or two inches deep. There is a variety with double flow- 
ers, both sorts are desirable ; about six inches high, in 
March and April. 

" The Snow-drop, who, in iiabit white and plain, 
Comes on, the herald of fair Flora's train ; 
The Cox-comb crocus, flower of simple note 
Who by her side struts in a lierald's coat." — Churchill. 

There is a flower called the JLeucojum^ or Great Snow- 
drop, very similar to this, but much larger in the bulb, 
foliage, and flower. Of this there are three kinds, the 
spring, summer, and autumnal. These should be planted 
four or five inches deep. 

" We look upon the Snow-drop as a friend in adversity, 
Sure to appear when most needed." 


218 breck's new book of flowers. 

GALIUM-Bed Straw. 

[Name from a Greek woid, signifying milk, because one sort is used for the 
purpose of curdling milk.] 

The stems of all the species are four-cornered, and the 
leaves in whorls ; the flowers generally axillary, hut 
sometimes panicled. 

Galium V^riim, JPetit Muget in French, is called Bed 
Straw, from the verb to strew, strow, or straw ; beini^ 
one among a variety of odoriferous herbs, which were 
frequently used to strew beds with. The genus contains 
many indigenous species, but none are worthy of cultiva- 
tion, except G. boreale, which is upright, growing aboiit 
two feet high, bearing innumerable minute Avhite flow- 
ers, in terminal panicles ; the stems are very much 
branched, leaves delicate and small ; perennial ; in flower 
in July, August, and September. It is valuable only in 
the composition of bouquets. 


fName from the Greek, for superb.] 

Gaura Lindheimeri. — This plant, which is from Texas, 
is one of the finest that we have received for many years. 
Tlie flowers are formed by a calyx, in four divisions, col- 
ored with red, petals of a flesh-colored white, which con- 
trast agreeably with the lively color of the calyx ; there 
are eight light stamens, with purple anthers. 

It flowers on numerous branches, which form a large 
panicle, and continue in blossom from June until the frost 
comes. The stems are straight, growing from two to 
three feet in height, furnished with linear leaves, forming 
an elegant, although rather a slender plant ; large lanceo- 
late leaves clustered in a tuft at tlie base of the plant. 

It is a perennial, and should be sown in May or June, 


like other plants of this class, so as to flower the follow- 
ing year. It seems to be hardy, having stood in the open 
ground, with a little protection, through the winter ; it 
may also be cultivated as an annual, for, if sown in 
April, it will begin to flower in July. 

The Gaura Lindheimeri^ will probably soon become 
very common in our gardens ; it can be grown in beauti- 
ful masses ; its flowers are very fine for bouquets, and, 
above all, it commends itself to us for its long continued 


[Supposed to have been so called from a Greek word signifying riches, in al- 
lusion to the splendor of the flowers.] 

Gazania spl^ndens. — A native of the Cape of Good 
Hope. A very beautiful summer and autumn-flowering 
evergreen bedding plant of a neat, dwarf, shrubby, trail- 
ing, yet compact habit, with oblong-spathulate leaves, 
deep glossy green on the upper side, and almost pure 
white on the lower side, with a rich green mid-rib running 
the whole length of the leaf; and numerous large, golden 
yellow, Aster-like flowers, three to four inches in diame- 
ter, picturesquely marked at the base of each petal with 
converging cloud-like spots of a rich, dark-brown, choco- 
late tint upon a black base, and these are again marked 
with white si)ots upon their disk or surface. 

The union of these rich colors produces a highly orna- 
mental eflfect ; the blossoms, when fully expanded, are so 
brilliant, that tlic most accurate description fails to con- 
vey an adequate impression of their beauty. It is well 
adapted for large groups or medium sized beds, or for 
pot culture in vases, as portable specimens in flower- 
garden decoration, thriving in all ordinary rich garden 

220 breck's new book of flowers. 

soils, not subject to the attacks of mildew, tlirip, or spi- 
der, and yielding a succession of bloom from June until 

GENTIANA— Gentian. 

[So called from Gentius. King of lUyiia.] 

The Gentians are very numerous ; they are very diffi- 
cult to preserve in gardens, and the European varieties 
are not much known in this country, although there are 
some beautiful alpine species cultivated in Europe. 

Gentiana Saponaria. — Soap-wort Gentian. — A very 
fine indigenous plant, distinguished by its large purple 
flowers, which are so nearly closed at the top as to re- 
semble buds ; sometimes the flowers are white and vari- 
egated. It is found in moist woods and by the margin 
of streams. It may be transplanted to the garden with- 
out difficulty ; it grows one and one-half to two feet high ; 
in flower in September and October. 

Gentiana crinita. — Fringed Gentian. — This Gentian is 
exceeded by few native plants, in the delicacy and beau- 
ty of its flowers. The stems are divided toward the top 
into several erect brandies. The leaves are opposite, 
ovate-lanceolate, smaller than in G. Saponaria. Flowers 
erect on the ends of the branches. Segments of the co- 
rolla of a deep fine jourple, fringed at the end, expanded 
in the sun, erect and twisted at other times; one foot 
high. Found in bloom in moist places in Seiitcmber and 
October. This is a very difficult plant to remove success- 
fully ; probably the only way to propagate it, is by seed, 
but it flowers so late I have never found tlie seed ripe 
enough to vegetate. It is a great pity that it cannot be 
cultivated, for it is one of our handsomest indigenous 

descriptive list of flowers. 221 


[The name from the Greek word for crane, as tlie long beaked fruit lias some 
resemblance to the bill of that bird,] 

Most of the plants, popularly called Geraniums, belong 
to the genus Pelargonium, and will be found under that 
head. Geranium proper, has regular flowers with ten 
stamens, all with perfect anthers, while the flower of Pe- 
largonium is somewhat irregular by having a spur at the 
base of the calyx, and though it has ten stamens, a por- 
tion of them, usually three, have imperfect anthers. The 
Geraniums are all herbaceous, while Pelargoniums are 
for the most part shrubby. 

Geranium maculatum. — Cranes-bill. — This is a hand- 
some indigenous plant, growing about fences and the 
edges of woods, 2:)referring a soil that is somewhat moist. 
Stems erect, hairy, dividing by forks, or more numerous 
branches ; one to two feet high. Leaves large, spread- 
ing, hairy, divided in a palmate manner into five or seven 
lobes, which are variously cut and toothed at their ex- 
tremities ; the lower ones petioled, the upper ones nearly 
sessile. As the leaves grow old, they are usually marked 
with pale spots about the sinuses ; hence the specific 
name maculatum — spotted. Petals rounded, purple ; 
May, June. 

Gt pratense, — Crow-foot leaved. — A native of Britain. 
It is said that "its flower partakes of a delicacy by which 
it greatly surpasses in efiect its more common blue con- 
gener. Its flowers vary much in the portion of color they 
display, some being nearly all blue, whilst others are pro- 
duced completely white." One and one-half foot high ; 
May to July. 

Gi Lancastri^nse. — A native of Lancastershire, Eng- 
land. This has purple flowers ; dwarf-creeping habit ; 
an elegant species ; June to September. Probably only 
a variety of Q. sanguineum. 

222 breck's new book of flowers. 

G. ans^lllatlim. — Angular-stalked Cranes-bill. — This spe- 
cies is a native of Europe, and has been cultivated since 
1789. A plant of easy culture, eighteen inches high, 
with a profusion of pink flowers, in Jun-e and July. It 
is highly ornamental. It may be appropriately planted 
among low shrubs, or strong herbaceous plants ; it will 
succeed in rather shady j^laces, which renders it oftentimes 
a desirable ]olant. 

AH these species are hardy perennials, and deserve a 
place in large collections, as do a number of other species 
not described. 


[Named from a Spanish botanist, Gilie or Gileo.] 

This genus has been much divided up, and the syno- 
nyms are numerous ; the plants called by various botan- 
ists and florists : Jpomopsis, Cantua, Fenzlia, Leptosi- 
phon, and Leptodactylon^ all belong under Gilia. 

Gilia COronopifolia, Ipomopsis. — Standing Cypress. — 
First introduced into England about the year 1720, from 
seeds collected by Catesby, in the upper districts of 
Georgia and Carolina ; but as the seeds are seldom per- 
fected in England, it was at one time lost from the Eng- 
lish gardens ; we do not think that its beauty will 
allow it to share this fate again, while the attention to 
horticulture remains in its present state. 

It is a biennial, of most elegant appearance, but is very 
subject to damp oif, and difficult to keep through the win- 
ter. Much j^rotection is sure to kill the plants. It has gen- 
erally been considered a tender plant, and treated as such. 
At one time having many fijie plants, I distributed them in 
various exposures, in hopes to save some. About half of 
the whole number were in fine condition in the spring. 


The driest soil, in the sliacle of a fence, seems to be the 
most favorable situation for them. If the ground is in- 
clining to moisture, there is but little chance for them. 
So fine a plant as this Gilia well deserves a place in the 
garden. I should recommend, for experiment, to sow the 
seed in August, as, perhaps, the small plants would en- 
dure the winter better than large ones. 

The plant grows from four to five feet high. The foliage is 
superb, similar to that of the Cypress Vine, with numerous 
scarlet-spotted flowers, that continue in bloom a num- 
ber of months. 

The plants may be potted and kept in the house, or 
green-house, through the winter, and then planted out in 
the open border. 

G. tricolor, — Three-colored Gilia.— This pretty annual, 
originally from California, has found its way into most 
of our gardens. Scarcely anything can be prettier than 
this plant, when thickly filling a bed a few feet in length, 
and breadth. It is quite hardy, and grows about one foot 
high, with an erect stem and foliage much resembling the 
well-known G. capitata ; but the flowers are much longer, 
and instead of being collected into globose heads, are 
widely spread at the head of long j^eduncles, which, being 
numerous, form a large and rather dense panicle, and thus 
show oflf to great advantage. The flowers have a yellow 
eye, surrounded by a purple ring, bordered by pale-blue 
or white. " From its humble stature and neat growth, it 
is peculiarly suited for culture in masses, a style of plant- 
ing showy flowers, which produces a striking eflfect, when 
it can be pursued on a tolerably extensive scale." 

G. tenuiflora* — Slender-flowered. — A hardy annual from 
California. The flowers are produced upon slender, branch- 
ing stems, which rise about two feet high; each flower is 
about a quarter of an inch across, of a pale rose color, 
slightly streaked with red on the outside, and of a fine 

224 breck's new book of flowers 

violet inside. The flowers do not produce much show 
where a single plant is grown, but it should be grown 
in' masses like the last described species. 

G. capitata. — Headed Gilia. — A pi'etty, iiardy annual, 
with blue, and a variety with white, flowers in clustered 
heads. From June to August, two feet high. 

G, androsacea. — Leptosiphon androsaccus. — This is a 
very pretty, hardy annual, of humble growth, six or 
eight inches high ; varying in the color of its flowers, 
from white to pale-pink, red, or purple. It is a valuable 
little plant for flowering early in the summer, from au- 
tumn-sown seeds. The leaves of this plant are deeply 
divided into segments, always consisting of an even num- 
ber, as four, six, eight, etc. 

In addition to these there are G. achillicefolia^ gera- 
nicefoUa^ nmlticaulis^ nivalis^ and others, all pretty an- 


[From the Latin gladius, a sworJ, in allusion to the shape of the leaves.] 

This is called Sword-Lily, Corn-Flag, Corn-Sedge, etc., 
etc. ; in French, le Glaieul. The genus embraces a num- 
ber of species, some of which are planted in autumn and 
others in the spring. G. Byzantinus^ from Turkey, and 
G. communis^ from the South of Europe, with few vari- 
eties, have been in cultivation for more than two hun- 
dred years ; they are raised by the Dutch Florists and 
sent out annually to their customers with Tulips, Hya- 
cinths, and other bulbs. They are planted in autumn and 
flower the next June ; the colors are purple, red, and 
white. All the other species liave bulbous roots, and re- 
quire to be taken up in autumn and dried, or kept in pots 
in the green-house 


Within a few years the Ghidiolus has been wonderfully 
improved by hybridizing ; the beautiful varieties, which 
have been produced by this process, have excited the ad- 
miration of the floral world, and now constitute a class < 
of flowers most beautiful, attractive, and popular. Twen- 
ty-five years ago, G. cardinalis was considered one of 
the finest species, and is beautiful and showy, with scarlet 
and white flowers; but it is a weak growing plant, and 
too tender for cultivation, except in pots in the green- 
house. It did not, therefore, receive much attention in tliis 
country, although in Europe, where it was planted deep in 
the open ground, and protected by frames in the winter, it 
succeeded very well and was much admired. This species 
is now cast in the shade and neglected for the more hardy 
and showy hybrids. When G.^psiUachius was first introduc- 
ed, about the year 1835, it was considered a great acquisi- 
tion. It was originally called G. N'atalensis^ from Xatal, its 
native country, and was then one of our most popular and 
admired species. Its colors are red, green, and yellow ; 
shaded, striped, or mottled, but very inferior to any of 
the hybrids. It is a hardy species, and flourishes in almost 
any good soil, and is very prolific in forming new bulbs. 
The directions for planting this, will answer for all the hy- 
brid varieties of G. Gandavenis^ G. florihimdus^ and G. 
ramosus. All are of the simplest culture. The soil 
should be trenched eighteen inches deep, having been 
made rich by good decomposed manure, and if the soil is 
stiflT, some sand may be added. The Gladiolus shoAvs to 
the best advantage when planted in beds four feet 
wide. The bulbs may be planted any time in May. 
Seven inches each way is rather too near, although I have 
planted with good success at that distance ; probably a foot 
apart would be more proper, as some of the plants attain 
the height of three, four, and even five feet in rich ground. 
The bulbs should be covered two and one-half inches deep. 

226 breck's new book of flowers. 

Eacli plant should be supported hy a stick or rod, and 
neatly tied with Lass strings, so tliat it may retain a 
perpendicular position ; the leaves should not be mutilated 
or cut. In cultivating these varieties and all other bulb- 
ous plants, the fact must never be lost sight of, that the 
bulb is, during the summer, a species of underground con- 
tinuation of the leaf, while in the winter it is analogous to 
the bud of a plant ; therefore any injury to the leaves, 
during their growth in summer and autumn, is an injury to 
the bulb. When the leaves have performed their functions 
of preparing and elaborating the juices for this subterra- 
nean bud or bulb, they die aAvay naturally ; leaves of 
bulbous plants should therefore never be trimmed or cut 
off, with a view of making them look more sightly, unless 
they have turned brown. On the other hand, forming and 
ripening the seed, withdraws considerable nourishment 
from the bulb ; it is, therefore, rather a benefit than an in- 
jury to cut the flower, and prevent the seed from coming 
to maturity ; the juices are then diverted from this opera- 
tion to that of increasing and improving the bulb. These 
hybrids will commence showing their flowers about the 
first of August, and continue to bloom until near the mid- 
dle of September, depending somewhat upon the time 
they were planted. If planted before the last of May, 
the flowers will appear in the strongest heat of the sum- 
mer, and therefore be more liable to be burnt by the sun. 
An awning erected over the bed, the same as practiced by 
florists for Tulips and other flowers, will preserve the col- 
ors and bloom much longer. About the first of Novem- 
ber, I take up the bulbs in the morning of a i)leasant day 
and leave them on the ground, exposed to the sun through 
the day, leaving the leaves on; I then take them into a 
dry airy room, where tliere is no danger of frost, and 
spread them on the floor oi- on benches, and let them 
dry. As soon as tliey appear to be cured, the tops are 


twisted out, the roots pulled apart, the old fibres removed, 
and the different varieties placed in separate paper bags, 
where they remain a few days until thoroughly dried ; 
they are then put in boxes and removed to a dry cellar, 
where they will remain in perfect safety until wanted for 
planting in the spring. Each variety should have a neat 
label, with the name, stuck in the ground by the side of 
the bulb, at the time of planting, and carefully kept with 
the bulbs when taken up, and placed with them in the 
bag ; there w^ill then be no mistake. 

Gladiolus Gandav^nis.— It is not more than twenty 
years since this very striking variety was introduced into 
this country from England. We imported two bulbs, 
for w^iiich we paid one guinea ; color, superb orange, scar- 
let, and yellow. This variety was raised as a seedling by 
Van Houtte, and derives its name from the town of Gand. 
It is a hybrid between G. psittacmus and some other spe- 
cies, not certainly known. 

G. floribundus, is a beautiful variety or species ; color 
shaded-rose, pink, or white. The flow^ers are very deli- 
cate, and produced in long crowded spikes. The growth 
is strong, and the bulb smaller than in any of the describ- 
ed species, except G. cardinalis. 

G. ramosilS. — Beautiful rose, marked with white and 
carmine. The bulbs are small, and if planted the last of 
May, will bloom well. The growth is much stronger 
than that of G. cardinalis. 

From these different species have sprang the grand col- 
lection of hybrid Gladiolus, now so highly esteemed, 
which have been produced by amateurs and cultivators 
in Europe and imported into this country, many of the 
varieties at great expense. But w^e shall no longer be de- 
pendent on foreign cultivators for the production of 
splendid new varieties, for within the last two years 

228 breck's new book of flowers. 

Messrs. Strong, Spooner, and otlier gentlemen have ex- 
hibited new seedling varieties, some of them fully equal 
to any imported. These hybrids have often very valua- 
ble qualities, besides their beauty ; they are frequently 
more hardy, and very often are more prolific in flowers 
than the originals, though in some cases they do not pro- 
duce seeds. As the art of hybridizing is not generally 
known, it may be interesting to the reader to be made 
acquainted with the process, and I cannot present the sub- 
ject in any clearer light than to adopt the description 
given by my late friend J. E. Teschemacker, in an article 
published in the Horticultural Register, in 1835, on the 
Gladiolus. He says: — "My Avay has been, when the 
flower just commenced opening, I open it very carefully, 
and then extract the anthers with a pair of tweezers or 
pincers, before they can have opened and shed their pol- 
len on the pistil, which will then be found with the trifid 
divisions closed. As soon as the flower, thus deprived 
of its anthers, has opened and the styles have separated, 
take the ripened pollen from the anthers of the flower 
you wish to mix and impregnate with, either with a small 
j^iece of cotton, a camel's hair pencil, or the fine point of 
a penknife, and shed it on the styles so that it remains 
sticking there ; this will impregnate the seed. 

It is now, however, necessary to prevent this flower re- 
ceiving, by the means of insects or the air, pollen from 
any other flowers of the same species, either of its own 
spike or from others ; for this purpose, I have generally 
tied a piece of very fine gauze or India muslin over the 
flower, so as entirely to protect it from further impreg- 

When the petals are fading, it will be perceived, by the 
swelling of the seed vessel, whether the purpose in view 
has answered. Should it have been successful, I remove 
the muslin, and ucencrallv allow somc^ of the other flowers 


of the spike to proceed in growing, to draw up the juices 
from the earth, but remove their seed vessels as they ap- 
pear, in order to throAV the wdiole strength of the phmt 
into the hybridized seed; observing that the first and 
second flowers of a spike,* if perfect, are more Ukely to 
succeed in this operation than those of later bloom. 

It is probable that many varieties of the same floA^er, 
DOW considered a species, have been thus produced natur- 
ally ; certainly very many beautiful additions to the flow- 
er-garden have been thus artificially brought into being. 
It may be readily imagined how amusing this employment 
is to the man of leisure, and to the gardener it has been 
for some years a source of large profits." 

The Gladiolus is propagated by seed, or by offsets of 
the bulbs. Large ones maybe taken out of the earth and 
kept in a dry place, but seedlings and small oflTsets should 
be left in the pots of earth if possible, they being more 
apt to dry up if removed ; they must, however, be kept 
out of the reach of frost. 

The seed should be sown, as soon as ripened, in boxes or 
pots, and placed in the green-house in a peaty soil, or it 
may be sown in March or April, in a hot-bed, with mod- 
erate heat ; the seeds should be scarcely covered. When 
the plants appear, and the rays of the sun are strong in 
May, they should be shaded with mats. When the grass 
of the plants is two inches high, they may be repotted 
and plunged in the ground in June, so that the first year 
they may make the greatest possible growth. When the 
grass begins to grow yellow in autumn, the j^ots should be 
taken up and put in a dry warm place, and the earth re- 
main upon the roots dry, during the winter; they mny 
be planted out in the ground in May, after taking them 
from the pots. The third year the greater part of them 
will show flowers. 

I had prepared a descriptive list of about one hundred 

230 biieck's new book of flowers. 

varieties of Hybrid Gladiolus, which were cultivated by 
me this present year, but as new varieties are produced 
annually, some of them are superseding the old sorts, it 
would not be a perfect guide for years to come, and 
I therefore leave it out. 

I find that most of the varieties that have been planted 
for a number of years retain their distinctive characters ; 
but in consequence of the severe drought, or some other 
cause, some of the varieties sported more or less. Some 
of the yellow sorts were inclined to be mottled or vari- 
egated with red. The variety, Marie, which, according 
to the description, should have a ground of pure white, 
was very much striped with red, so that it was difficult to 
recognize it without looking at the label. Some other 
varieties slightly departed from the description. 

GLATICIUM.— Horned Poppy. 

[The name derived from its glaucous foliage.] 

Glaucium luteum. — Sea Celandine, or Yellow Horned 
Poppy. — This is a flower common to every part of Eu- 
rope, growing on sandy soils, chiefly by the sea shore. 
The flowers fall the second day after they are blown, but 
they are large, form a fine contrast with the leaves, 
which are of a sea-green color, glaucous, with a dew-be- 
spangled appearance. It is biennial ; the whole plant 
abounds in a yellow juice, is foetid, of a poisonous quali- 
ty, and said to produce madness. Ben Johnson mentions 
the Horned Poppies among the plants used by the witches 
in their incantations. Probably, that however handsome 
the plant may be, it will not be sought after with great 



fNamed in honor of Chas. Godel, a Swiss botanist.] 

This is properly only a section of the genus CEnothera ; 
but, as the distinction is usually kept up in works on 
floriculture, they are retained here under a separate head. 
They are generally beautiful, hardy annual plants of easy 
cultivation in any good garden soil. The species are 
natives of California, and some improved varieties have 
been obtained from them. 

God^tia rilbicimda. — Ruddy Flowered, introduced by 
Mr. Douglas from California. It grows nearly two feet 
high, with large rosy-lilac flowers, which have an orange 
colored eye in the center, the base of each petal ending 
with that color ; in flower from July to September. 

G. rubicitnda splendens^ is a variety raised by Vilmorin, 
who says : — 

" The Godetia ruMciinda is one of our best annuals 
and a general favorite with amateurs of fine flowers, the 
new variety we ofler, and which has been raised in our 
gardens, difiers from its senior by its purple stain in the 
center, which is larger and of a mnch brighter color, being 
thus more showy, and producing a much greater efiect. 

" We do not doubt that the new variety which has 
proved during two years cultivation quite permanent, 
will supersede the old one as soon as it is sufiiciently 

G. l^pida. — The flowers are of a pale-purple, with a 
light center, each petal marked at the upper part with a 
large patch of crimson-purple color, which gives the flow- 
ers a pretty appearance; it merits a place in the garden. 

G. vinosa. — Wine-stained. — Another pretty hardy an- 
nual plant. The flowers have much the appearance of 
CEnothera rosea alba / they are near two inches across, 
nearly white, slightly sufliised with rosy-purj^le. They 
are produced in profusion from July to September. 


G. Lindleyanai — Lindley's Godetia. — This species is 
one of the prettiest of the genus. The flowers are either 
white or bhish, with a rich purple blotch on each petal ; 
in flower all summer. G. rosea alba. — Tom Thumb. — 
The color of the flower is pure white, with a brilliant rose 
blotch, at the base of each petal ; height one foot, and 
blooms in profusion. Godetia. the Bride. — This com- 
paratively new variety is one of the most elegant of the 
genus. Flowers pure white with a faint blush, large and 
showy ; in bloom most of the season ; height one and 
one-half foot. 

GOMPHRENA.— Globe Amaranth. 

[From a Greek word for chxb, probably in allusion to the shape of the flowers.] 

"Amaranths ?uch as crown tiie maids 
Tliat wander through Zamara's siiades." 

Gomphr^na ^lobosa, is a popular tender annual, vaUied 
for its heads of flowers, which, if tliey are gathered be- 
fore they are too fir advanced, will retain their beauty 
for several years. There are three common varieties ; the 
purple, white, and striped. The seed is difficult to vege- 
tate in the open ground ; soaking the seed twelve hours 
in warm milk is recommended ; scalding, perhaps, would 
do better. A powerful heat in the hot-bed will start it 
quickly, and destroy tlie plant also, unless care is taken. 

A new species of tliis desirable Amarantli has been dis- 
covered in Mexico, which makes quite an important addi- 
tion to this class of "immortelles," so universally culti- 
. ated in our gardens. It has reddish-orange flowers, in 
heads more oval than the common Amaranth. Like the 
other Amaranths, it should be starte<l in a hot-bed. The 
flowers should be gathered before they are fully mature, 
and hung up with heads down, to dry. 


HELIANTHTJS -Sunflower. 

[From Greek words, signifying Ihe sun and a^ot<;er.] 

" Great Helianthus climbs the upland lawn, 
And bows in homage to the rising dawn ; 
Imbibes with eagle eye the golden ray, 
And watches, as it moves, the orb of day." 

Nothing can be a more complete ideal representative 
of the sun than the gigantic Sunflower, with its golden 
rays ; it is dedicated with great propriety to the sun, 
which it never ceases to adore Avhile the earth is illumi- 
nated by his light. The whole plant, and particularly the 
flower, exudes a thin pellucid odorous rosin, resembling 
Venice turpentine. From the seeds edible oil has been ex- 
pressed, and they are also excellent food for domestic poul- 
try." That the flower turns with the sun, is a popular 
error. It is not true that, when the sun sinks into the 
west, the flowers of the Helianthus are turned towards 
him ; or, that when he rises from the east, the flowers are 
again ready to be cherished by the first influence of his 
beams. It is a pity to spoil this poetry, but it is all 

Helianthus annuus. — Common Sunflower. — This lordly 
phmt is too well known to need a description, a plantation 
of them in some locality, not particularly desirable for any 
thing else, may be tolerated ; but it should be remembered, 
that they are great exhausters of the soil. 

The dwarf double varieties are more to be desired ; 
they grow from two to four feet high, and have very 
large double flowers ; the tubular florets of the disk being 
changed into ligular ones, like those in the ray. There 
are a number of perennial Sunflowers which are indige- 
nous, tall coarse growing plants, which look pretty in the 
borders of woods Avhere they are to be found, but not to 
be tolerated in the garden. 

234 breck's new book of floweus. 

H. multiflora. — Many-flowered. — Tlie double-flowered 
variety of this plant has large deep-yellow flowers, in 
August and September, of tlie size and form of the Dah- 
lia ; so much so, that many persons not acquainted with 
plants, have taken the flowers to be Dahlias. It is a per- 
ennial, with thick fleshy roots, every piece of which will 
make a strong plant when planted in the spring. I have 
found it tender in moist ground, but in dry soil, with a 
little protection, it stands the winter ; four or five feet high. 

HELIGHE.YSTJM. — Everlasting or Immortal Flower. 

[From Greek words, signifying the sim and gold, in allusion to the brilliant 
yellow color of the flowers.] 

The species are much admired for the brilliancy of their 
colors in a dried state. If gathered when they first open, 
and carefully dried in the shade, the flowers retain their 
color and shape for many years, and with Amaranths and 
other immortals, are highly prized for winter mantel bou- 
quets, wreaths, and ornaments for vases, etc. Annuals 
of easy culture, in any rich garden soil. Plants forwarded 
in frames, and planted out in June, will be in flower from 
July to November. With the exception of a few Dwarfs, 
they are all about two feet high. 

Helichrysum bracteatum. — Golden Eternal Flower, 
with golden yellow, and a variety with white flowers, 
were first cultivated among us. 

II. macranthrum* — Large Everlasting Flower. — Has 
flowers much larger than the last, with varieties of yellow, 
white, white tipped with red, and yellow tipped in the 
same Avay. 

H. COIupositlini monstrosiim.— This variety has very 
large full double flowers of various shades and colors. 


viz. : brown, orange and brown, white-yellow, purple, 
carmine, and rich rose, variously shaded and tipped. 

H. naimm atrosan^llineum. — A beautiful everlasting- 
plant, with brilliant deep crimson flowers, very constant ; 
one and one-half foot hio-h. 


[The name was given by Linnaeus, from Helios, Ihe sun, and trope, a invn ; 
in allusion to tiie flower? being turned to tlie sun.| 

Heliotropium Periivianum. — Peruvian or Sweet Helio- 
trope, Peruvian Turnsole. — A native of Peru, whence it 
was introduced in 1757. It is an elegant and delicate 
plant, but not showy ; it is chiefly admired for its fra- 
grance. The blossom is very small, of a pale blue, often 
inclining to white ; with varieties of a dark-purplish blue. 
It sheds an almond-like perfume, which has gained great 
favor. It will not stand severe weather, and must be housed 
as soon as there is an appearance of frost. Notwith- 
standing the tenderness of the plant, it is valuable for mas- 
sing in beds. It produces an abundance of bloom through 
the summer months, and will repay any care that may be 
requisite for its treatment. Plants may be obtained from 
nurserymen in the spring, and may be jDreserved through 
the winter to plant out the following summer. When 
they have done flowering, the plants should be taken up 
and potted, and placed in the house, in a cool room, trim- 
ming ofi* the young soft wood ; before freezing weather, 
they must be removed to the sitting room where they will 
soon begin to throw out new leaves, and by February or 
March, produce flowers. When planted out in June, they 
should be cut down again, so as to form thick bushy 
plants. Young plants may be easily raised from cuttings, 
but as a general rule, it will be found more economical to 

236 breck's new book op flowers. 

purchase new plants for summer planting, than tf) attempt 
it, unless you have a person in your employ who under- 
stands the process. 

The name Heliotrope is sometimes given to the Sun- 
flower, commonly so called: {Helianthus) ^ as in the fol- 
lowing j^assage — 

" These lovely flowers profuse 
Appear as viviii stars ; 
The snowy rose is there 
A silver moon, the Heliotrope the sun." 


[From Greek words, for swi and wing.] 

Helipterum Sanfordii. — This very pretty and distinct 
everlasting is of dwarf tufted habit, growing in ordinary 
soil about nine inches high, with neat oblong-lanceolate 
entire foliage, and large globular clusters of bright golden 
yellow flowers. It is not only a valuable addition to our 
summer flowers, but is also an excellent plant for winter 
bouquets, its flowers remaining long in perfection. 

HELLEBOETJS.— Hellebohe. 

[From Greek words, signifying to injure., and food, on account of its dan- 
gerous qualities.] 

Leathery leaved-plants, most of which are evergi-een, 
and flower in winter and early in spring. 

Ilcll^borus niger. — Christmas Rose. — So called because 
it is in bloom about that time in England. The leaves 
are deeply divided, evergreen, and of a leathery texture. 
Tlie flowers are handsome, pinkish-white, tinged with 
green, as large as a small single rose. With us it com- 
mences flowering the last of Noveml)er, and continues all 


winter to throw up flower-stems, if the season is open and 
mild ; cold does not seem to aflfect it. Propagated by di- 
viding the roots in the spring. 


[Name derived from Greek v\ ords, signifying beautiful and day.] 

It is an ornamental genus of hardy perennials of tlie 
easiest cultivation, and suitable for the borders. 

Hemerocallis flava. — Yellow Day Lily. — Has a brilliant 
yellow lily-shaped flower, in June, two feet high ; leaves 
long, linear, keeled. 

H. flllva. — Copper-colored Day Lily. — An old inhabi- 
tant of the flower-garden ; in flower most of the season ; 
four feet high ; flower, yellowish copper-color; leaves like 
the last, but much larger. 


[Hepatica—ivora Greek words, signifying belonging to the liver, tiie three 
lobes of the leaves having been compared to tiie lobes of tlie liver.] 

Hepatica triloba* — This is a great favorite in the flow- 
er-border, on account of its abundant blossoms and great 
variety of colors and shades. It is a hardy perennial, 
with varieties of double-red, blue, and white. This 
charming early flower is found in its single state both red, 
blue, and wliite, in great abundance in old woods and 
copses, where it embellishes the ground Avith its clumps 
of numerous flowers. About the latter end of April and 
beginning of May they appear before the new leaves, 
which show themselves only when the flower is gone, but 
the old leaves remain through the winter. The leaves are 
divided into three lobes {triloba) of a brownish-green 
color, by which the plant may be known in the summer. 



Another species, H. acutiloha^ is less common than S. 
triloba^ has more pointed lobes to the leaves, but is similar 
in other respects. 

The double flowers are extremely handsome, colors very- 
bright ; they are quite hardy here, and will thrive well if 


not planted in too damp a soil. I have seen the red in per- 
fection at a garden in Roxbury, where it had endured the 
winter in the open air. 


If required to grow in tliick clumps, tbcy should not be 
often moved, and then with great care, pressing the earth 
close to their roots ; a strong, rich, loamy soil is best for 
them ; seed for varieties and double flowers should be 
sown in July or August, or as soon as ripe — some say the 
transplanting should take place in August ; I am of a dif- 
ferent opinion, and think it should take place as soon as 
the flowering is over; in August the blossoms for the en- 
suing spring are forming at the base of the foliage, and to 
check this operation would destroy the flowers, whereas, 
moving in May only endangers the ripening of the seed 
which is not wanted. 

Double Sepaticas in pots are sold in large quantities 
by the gardeners in England, and fiom the absence of 
foliage the pot apj^ears entirely filled with flowers. 

The double white variety is considered rare. 

HESPERIS.— Gakden Rocket. 

{Hesperis—hom a Greek word, signifying evening. The flower is more 
Iragiant towards evening, than at any otlier period of the day.] 

H^speris matronalis, Dame's Yiolet— Sweet Rocket. — 
The single varieties of this fragrant flower are common in 
most gardens. It is a biennial or imperfect perennial, 
three to four feet high, easily raised from seeds, producing 
the second year flowers of various shades, from pure white 
to purple, on long spikes ; in May and June. Fine va- 
rieties may be perpetuated by divisions of the root, or by 
cuttings. The double vaiieties of this flower are superb, 
and highly esteemed for their fragrance and beauty. 
There is a purple and white variety, both very double, 
forming a spike about one foot high. It was known in 
Gerarde's time, and cultivated by him in 1597. He re- 
marks : *' By the industry of some of our florists, within 



these two or three years, hath Inn brought unto our 
knowledge a very beautiful kind of these Dame Violets, 
having very fair, double, white lloures." These double 
varieties are very difficult to preserve, consequently 
rarely to be seen. 

HIBISCUS.— Rose-Mallow. 
HibiscilS mllitaris. — Halbert-leaved Rose-Mallow. — 
This is a fine species, growing six to eight feet high, pro- 
ducing very large 
white flowers, 
with a deep-red 
center. A native 
of the middle and 
southern States 
blooming August 
and September. 

H. Moscheutos, 
formerly H. pa- 
lustris. — Marsh 
Rose-Mallow. — Is 
found growing by 
the margins of 
streams, and in 
marshes near the 
Atlantic coast. It 
has large pink 
flowers, about five 
inches in diame- 
ter. Numerous 
stems about five 
feet higli ; and 
leaves with a soft down on the underside. It is easily 
propagated from seeds or divisions of the root, and suc- 



ceeds in any good garden soil ; but better in a moist low 
ground. It is well adaj^ted forplantiiig in the shrubbery. 
H. vesicarius. — African Hibiscus. — This is a plant of 
extremely easy culture; should be planted early in the 
spring. The petals are large and showy, of a straw color, 
the centre a deep rich brown or purple, finely contrasted 
with the brilliant gold color of the anthers. The flowers 
quickly perish, but, to compensate for their frailty, it con- 
tinues to bloom from June to September. 


[A name from ancient Mythology.] 

"Hyacinth, with sappliire bell 
Curling backwards." 

" The youths whose locks divinely spreading. 
Like vernal Hyacinths in sullen hue." 

Hyacinthus Olientsilis.— The Garden Hyacinth. — Is a 
highly esteemed florist's flower, of easy culture, of which 
more than one thousand varieties are cultivated in Holland, 
forming quite an important item in the exports of that 
country, and from whence. Great Britain, the United 
States, and all Europe, and, in f ict, all parts of the world, 
receive their annual supplies. Hyacinths are double and 
single ; of various colors, embracing every shade of red, 
from a deep crimson pink, down to white; of blue, from 
Avhite to almost black, and some few yellow and salmon 
color ; but the shades of yellow are not very brilliant, and 
appear yellow only in contrast with the white. Some of 
the white, and other light varieties, have red, blue, j^ur- 
ple or yellow eyes, which add much to the beauty of the 
flower; and others are more or less striped or shaded; 
and some are tipped with green. The double varieties 
are generally considered the finest, but many of the single 

242 breck's new book of flowers. 

sorts are equally desirable, as what is deficient in the size 
of the bells, is made up in the greater number of them; 
some of the single sorts are the richest in color. 

The stem of a fine double Hyacinth should be strong, 
tall, and erect, supporting numerous large bells, each sus- 
pended by a short and strong pedicel, or foot-stalk, in a 
horizontal position, so that the whole may have a compact 
pyramidal form, with the crowning, or uppermost bell, 
jjerfectly erect. 

The bells should be large and very double ; that is, well 
filled with broad petals, appearing to the eye rather con- 
vex, than flat or hollow ; they should occupy about one- 
half the length of the stem. 

The colors should be clear and bright, whether plain 
red, white, or blue, or variously intermixed, or diversified 
in the eye ; the latter, when it occurs, gives additional 
lustre and elegance to this beautiful flower. 

Strong bright colors are, in general, preferred to such as 
are pale ; there are, however, many rose-colored, pure 
white, and light blue Hyacinths, in high estimation. Hy- 
acinths begin to flower the last of April in this climate, 
and, if shaded by an awning from hot suns, may be kept 
in jjerfection the greater j^art of a month. They never 
require watering at any season. Keep them free from 
weeds, and as the stems advance in height, they should be 
supported by having small sticks, or wires, painted green, 
stuck into the ground back of the bulb, to which they 
should be neatly tied ; otherwise, they are liable to fall 
down by the weight of the bells, and, as the stem is very 
brittle, it is sometimes broken ofl" when exposed to 

The most suitable time to plant Hyacinths is in October 
and November. The finer sorts will appear to the best 
advantage in beds, while the more common varieties may 
be distributed about the borders where most convenient. 


Tlie dimensions of the bed should be marked out, and the 
soil taken entirely away to the depth of two feet; the 
earth on the bottom should then be dug and well pulver- 
ized, and the space above filled with the following com- 
post : — 

" Four parts of river sand ; four of fresh, sound earth ; 
three of rotten cow dung, at least two years old ; and 
one of decayed leaves, or decayed peat. The fresh, sound 
earth of the compost should be of the best quality of 
what is called virgin soil, or that obtained from pastures 
or "the roadside ; or, if that is not attainable, the best gar- 
den mould, free from noxious vermin of every description. 
These ingredients should be well mixed and incorporated 
a considerable time before wanted. About ten days be- 
fore planting, the bed should be filled up with the com- 
post, even with the path, or so as to be even Avhen the 
roots are set. The surface of the bed should be raked 
perfectly smooth before planting, and the exact situation 
for every bulb marked on it as follows : — 

E B W E B W R B W 

W R B W R B W R B 

R B W R B W R B W 

W R B W R B W R B 

R B W R B W R B W 

W R B W R B W R B 

The letters e, b, w, denote the color of the flower to be 
planted there, viz. : red, blue, or white ; under these 
heads, all Hyacinths may be conij^rehended, excej^t a few 
yellow sorts, which may be classed with the white." The 
bed should be four feet wide ; the bulbs to be planted 
eight inches distant from each other in the rows, and to 
be covered four inches deep. First, place about one inch 

244 breck's xew book of flowers. 

of fine sand where each root is to be placed, then press 
the bulb into the soil nearly its whole thickness, and 
cover it completely with fine clean sand. Having com- 
pleted the planting, the whole may be covered with sound, 
fresh, sandy earth, four inches deep. Before winter sets 
in, Hyacinths should be covered a few inches deep with 
leaves, straw, meadow hay, or any other light substance ; 
they are, however, perfectly hardy, but the bloom is more 
perfect when thus covered. In selecting bulbs, be careful 
to procure good sound roots ; for an imperfect root is not 
worth planting, and there are many sold every year, by 
thousands, at auction, which are generally the refuse of 
the Dutch gardens. A good root is perfectly hard, and 
bright, without specks of rot upon it, and one that has not 
pushed a bud. Roots of the finest varieties can be pur- 
chased for fifteen to twenty dollars per hundred, with 
their names and colors ; and very fair sorts for less ; and 
mixed sorts, with colors distinct, from six to ten dollars a 

In about one month after the bloom is over, and the 
foliage begins to turn yellow, the bulbs may be taken up ; 
then cut oif the flower stems, but not the foliage, and, hav- 
ing prepared a sloping bed of light earth, the bulbs may 
be laid upon it, so as not to touch, with the foliage down- 
wards, covering the roots and fibres with earth. Here 
they remain till the bulbs are sufl[iciently ripened, which 
^yill be in about a fortnight, when they may be taken up, 
and, after they have been dried, cleared from the fibres, 
soil, etc., they are wrapped up in papers, dry sand, or dry 
sawdust, and kept in a dry place until wanted for use. 
Or the roots may remain in the bed until the foliage has 
completely died down, and then taken up, dried and 
cleaned, as before stated. 


HYPERICUM— St. John's Wort. 

[A n;iiiie of unknown meaning-] 

Hypericum calyciniim. — Laige-calyxed St. John's 
Wort. — Bears a very large yellow flower, and its numer- 
ous stamens form a beautiful appearance ; it creeps over 
the ground and prefers the shade of trees, which makes 
it a valuable ornament for shnibberies ; the foliage is 
broad, thick and shining. A native of Ireland. I imag- 
ine it to be sufficiently hardy to bear our climate, but do 
not know that it has been tried. 

H. andr6S£emum, also called AndrosGemum officinale^ is 
a shrub about three or four feet high, flowers yellow, 
showy. The juice expressed from the foliage is claret 
colored. The leaves were formerly applied to fresh 
wounds, hence the French name, toute saine (all heal) 
from which it obtained its common English appellation 
Tutsan. Flowers in July. There are several wild species, 
one of which, H. perforatum^ is a troublesome weed. 

IBERIS.— Candy-Tuft. 

[Named from Iberia, the country now c;illed Spain.] 

The species are generally pretty plants, and some of 
them cultivated in gardens as hardy annuals, under the 
name of Candy-Tuft, — a name which was originally ap- 
plied to the I. umhellata only, which was first discovered 
in Canclia. All the species and varieties of the Candy- 
Tuft are very hardy, and easy to cultivate. The fall-sown 
seeds flower early, those sown in April, from July to 
September ; and some of the sj^ecies until the frost in 
October. All the varieties look best in beds, or masses. 

Iberis amara. — White Candy-Tuft. — Has numerous 
white flowers, in umbel-like clusters. A hardy annual, of 
no little beauty, from England, and worthy of cultiva- 

246 breck's new book of flowers. 

tion. The seed should be sown early in April ; height 
about one foot. 

I. COronarla. — Rocket Candy-Tuft. — This hardy annual 
is of considerable beauty, being very showy, with pure 
white flowers. The clusters or racemes are numerous and 
very large, being three or four inches long. At a dis- 
tance, the fine flowers very much resemble the Double 
White Rocket. It blooms for several months during the 
summer. It well deserves a place in every flower-garden. 

I. odoratai — Fragrant Candy-Tuft. — Is white, the foli- 
age delicate and pretty. 

Ii umbellata. — Purple Candy-Tuft. — Is very showy and 
bright, particularly when the rays of the setting sun are 
on it. Independently of its own beauty, we always culti- 
vate this flower for the sake of seeing the most beautiful 
color the vegetable kingdom ofi*ers ; this is produced by 
placing the lighted end of a cigar under the petals, when 
their color instantaneously changes to a brilliant green ; 
this alteration is produced with many other flowers, but in 
none have we witnessed a color at all approaching to this. 

I. SCmp^rvirens. — Perennial Candy-Tuft. — This plant is 
deserving a place in the garden ; it is half shrubby at the 
base, with delicate linear evergreen foliage, covered with 
a profusion of its pure white blossoms in June and July. 
The stems are rather decumbent and spreading ; about six 
or eight inches high. It is propagated by layers and cut- 
tings. As it does not produce seeds, it is not inclined to 
make itself too common, like some plants; for, unless spe- 
cial spains are taken, it will not increase. It wdll require 
a little 2:)rotection in the winter so as to have it come out 
in the spring, bright and green. I. Tenoreana is similar 
to this, and the two are much confused in collections. 

descriptive list of flowers. 247 


[A name given lo these plants on account of the elastic force with wliich their 
capsules burst, and scalier their seeds upon the slightest toucii ] 

Impatieas Balsamina. — Garden Balsam. — This is one 
of the most beautiful of popular annuals, forming a showy 
cone of finely variegated Carnation-like flowers. The pre- 
vailing colors of the petals are red and white, the former 
extending to every shade of purple, crimson^ scarlet, rose, 
lilac, carnation or flesh color, and white ; but some of the 
most superb sorts are elegantly spotted with white. The 
spotted varieties form a class by themselves, and are justly 
regarded as the most brilliant ornaments of the garden. 
There are the crimson, scarlet, rose, purple, and violet 
spotted ; another class is striped after the manner of car- 
nations with pur.ple, crimson, rose, scarlet on pure white 
grounds, some with one color, others with two or more 
colors, some are curiously mottled and striped. The most 
improved varieties are very double, and styled Camellia- 
flowered by the French ; some of the flowers are almost 
as perfect and as double as those of the Camellia, and 
nearly as regular in shape. The Germans call them Rose- 
flowered, as many of tliem approach the j^erfection of that 
flower in shape and fullness. There is a class of Dwarf 
Balsams, that do not grow over a foot high, but very full 
and bushy in habit ; they do not produce flowers so dou- 
ble as the Camellia or rose-flowered varieties, but are de- 
sirable for the garden. They should not be planted with 
the tall varieties, which attain the height of two or three 
feet, when properly cultivated. The only way to prop- 
agate the Balsam, is from seed, which does not always 
produce kinds exactly the same as the parent, but ap- 
proaches very near, \vhen great care has been taken to 
keep the difl'^'rent varieties by themselves, as is now prac- 
ticed by those who make a business of raising the seed. 
We procure the best seed from France, which, after many 


years' experience, I have found to produce flowers accord- 
ing to the label. The very double varieties produce seed 
very sparingly ; sometimes, from a large plant, hardly a 
single capsule with perfect seed can be gathered. The 
seed of the Balsam will germinate when four or five years 
old, and perhaps when much older. Gardeners prefer old 
seed, believing that more double flowers can be raised 
from it. To have fine plants, the seed should be sown in 
the hot-bed in March. As soon as the plants are furnished 
Avith two to four leaves, they should be transplanted into 
small pots ; and, if there is a good bottom heat, they will 
soon fill the pots with roots, when they should be shifted 
into those a size larger, and thus shifted from time to time 
into larger pots. By the first of June, they will generally 
begin to show the character of their flowers ; the best be- 
ing selected, they should be planted out in rich garden 
soil, in beds, or in the border, at least two feet apart. If 
the soil is rich and rather moist, the plants will attain a 
monstrous size, flowering from the middle of June to the 
middle of September. The Balsam is a general favorite 
for the number, beauty, and sweetness of its flowers, and 
the uprightness and transparency of its stem : — 

" Balsiim, with its shaft of amber " 

says the poet. 

The Balsam is a native of the East. The Japanese are 
said to use the juice prepared with alum to dye their nails 
red. By cultivation this beautiful flower has been much 
enlarged, and the numerous varieties have been jjroduced, 
which form a striking contrast with the very inferior 
single ones formerly seen in our gardens. 

Mr. Martyn, in his edition of Miller's Dictionary, speaks 
of having seen one, " the stem of which was seven inches 
in circumference, and all the parts large in proportion, 
branched from top to bottom, loaded with its party-col- 


oiired flowers, and thus formiDg a most beautiful bush." 
Loudon sj^eaks of a gardener who, by transplanting only 
from three to four times from No. 48 pots to those of 
eight inches in diameter, produced Balsams four feet high, 
and fifteen feet in circumference, with strong thick stems, 
furnished with side branches from bottom to top, and 
these covered with large double flowers.'' This is a pretty 
large story, to those who have only seen the Balsam as it 
is generally cultivated, huddled together in a bunch with- 
out any space for enlargement. It must be remembered^ 
however, that in England they are raised in pots upon 
bottom heat, and cultivated with great care. I think, if 
Balsams can be started in February, and shifted from time 
to time into pots of the richest mould, then transplanted 
into the garden in equally rich soil by the middle of June, 
four feet apart, astonishing results would be attained, 
even if not so extraordinary as those mentioned. 

IPOMiEA.— Morning-Glory. 

[The name s:iid to indicate its resemblance to Bindweed,] 

Iponisea purpurea* — Morning-Glory. — This popular 
flower is too well known to need any description, it being 
found in almost every garden. It is a native of Tropical 
America, and has sported into a number of beautiful va- 
rieties, viz. : indigo-blue, crimson, rose, white, pale-blue, 
striped, etc. This plant is highly ornamental when trained 
to a trellis, or supported on poles. Nothing is more de- 
lightful in the morning walk than the sight of these showy 
flowers, which were seen curiously twisted in the bud the 
night previous ; 

" but with fair morning's touch 

Rise on tlieir stems, all open and upright." 

I. pandurata. — Virginian Convolvulus. — This is a beau- 

250 breck's new book op floweks. 

tiful perennial from Virginia, with large white flowers, 
with purple centre ; in bloom from June to September. 
It is a climbing plant, and grows about twelve feet high. 
It has large tuberous fleshy roots, similar to the Sweet 
Potato. There is a variety with double flowers, but it is 
not so handsome as the single. 

I* lacilIiOSa* — Starry Morning-Glory. — A handsome 
North American species, with delicate blue flowers, ap- 
pearing from July to September ; grows ten feet high. 
There is a variety with white flowers. The seed should 
be scalded before sowdng, or not be put into the ground 
until it is thoroughly warmed. 

L IVil. — Indigo Morning-Glory. — This highly beautiful 
species which is found growing wild in the Southern 
States, but it is supposed to have been introduced from 
Tropical America. It attains the same height as the last, 
flowers at the same time, and the seeds require the same 
treatment. The flowers are usually of a clear blue color, 
and its name is said to be from Anil, one of the names 
for the Indigo-plant. 

I. hederacea. — Ivy-leaved Morning-Glory. — Of this 
species there are a number of splendid varieties. I. gran- 
diflora superha, superha alha^ atro-violacea^ lilacea^ and 
others. The flowers of all these varieties are much larger 
than other Morning-Glories, Avith flowers of the most del- 
icate light-blue, blue Avith a white edge, blue with a pur- 
ple center, white with pink center, and those with blue 
and white flowers, shaded with purplish-red. It must be 
treated in the same way as I. lacunosa^ to produce satis- 
factory effects ; but, when w^ell established, they will af- 
ford a fund of pleasure through the season. I. violacea 
vera^ I. rubro cmrula^ I. limhata elegantlssama^ with beau- 
tiful blue and white flowers, and many other varieties and 
hybrids, are splendid ; eight to ten feet high. 


IRIS. —Flo WER-DE-LucE. 

[The Greek name for the rainbow, applied to this genus on account of its 
varied colors.] 

*' The Flowers-de-Luce, and the round sparks of dew- 
That hung upon their azure leaves did show 
Like twinkling stars, that sparkle in the evening dew." 

According to Plutarch, the \vord Iris is signified in the 
ancient Egyptian language, eye ; the eye of heaven. This 
beautiful genus abounds in Euroj^e, but is rare in America. 
Some are bulbous, but the gi-eater part tuberous rooted, 
of easy culture, and propagated by seed or division of 
the root. 

IrisSusiana. — Chalcedonian Iris. — In French, X'^>^s de 
Suse^ or de Constantinople^ is one of the most beautiful 
of the genus ; it is not a bulbous root, but tuberous, im- 
ported with bulbous roots from Holland, and planted at 
tlie same time, and manner, except that the soil should be 
of a more loamy character. It has the largest flowers of 
any of the species, and is the most magnificent of them all. 
The colors of the flowers are of various shades of the 
richest purplish-brown, beautifully mottled and spotted, 
so as to give it a very rich and unique appearance. It 
produces its flowers in June, on stems a foot high. It 
may be increased by parting the roots in autumn. Tliis 
splendid flower is reputed to be tender ; but I have planted 
it in October and November and even in December, with 
success, giving the same protection as to Tulips or Hya- 
cinths ; but, if the roots are sufiered to remain in the 
ground after flowering, it is not so likely to flower again, 
and will probably perish. If left in the ground through 
tlie summer, it commences growing in autumn, forms its 
flower-buds before winter sets in, and dies. Observing 
this, I have taken up the roots the first of August, and 
kept them out of the ground till the time of planting 
in autumn, with perfect success. After drying, the roots 
should be kept in a cool place in dry moss or sand. 


One of the most esteemed of the bulbous rooted Irises, 
is the Persian, on account of the beauty and fragrance of 
its flowers. It is also very early but not perfectly hardy. 
It is valued for flowering in the green-house, or sitting- 
room. A few of its flowers will scent a whole room ; the 
colors are pale sky-blue, purple, yellow, and white. 

I. Xiphium. — The Spanish Iris, is a handsome border- 
flower, with bulbous roots, perfectly hardy, embracing the 
most delicate shades of light and dark-blue, brown, pur- 
ple, yellow, and white, and variously colored, striped and 
spotted; the bulbs are small, tooth-like, sending forth 
rush-like foliage, flowering in June ; stems about eighteen 
inches high. The bulbs of this and the English Iris should 
be planted in autumn, about two and one-half inches 
deep in any good garden soil. The bulbs need not be 
taken up oftener than once in three years. 

I. xyphioides. — The English Iris, is somewhat similar 
to the last, but more robust in growth; the bulbs are 
larger ; the stem two feet high, producing its flowers in 
June ; colors as various as in the Spanish, and as desirable 
for the border. 

L Sambucina. — Elder-scented Iris.— A very beautiful 
species, with brilliant, 23ale-blue, variegated flowers, on 
stems four feet high, with many flowers, standing 
above the foliage; the foliage is long and narrow, or 
more grass-like than the common tuberous sorts. The 
roots of it are of a more fibrous character than in most 
of the genus, and mat together so hard, that they are 
with difficulty separated. A clump of tliis, with its nu- 
merous rich flowers and graceful foliage, makes as much 
show as any other plant of the season ; last of June. 

I. pseudacorus. — The Yellow Iris of England, has 
handsome yellow flowers; in June; two to three feet 
in height. 


I. ceelestina.— Sky-blue Iris. — This is a magnificent spe- 
cies, with long broad leaves and very large light-blue 
flowers, on stems three feet high. 

I. versicolor. — Blue Flag. — This is a fine indigenous 
species, a showy ornament of our meadows in the early 
part of summer. It succeeds well in the garden. 

I. Vir^inica. — Slender Blue Flag. — This is another na- 
tive species, but not very common. It has grass-like fo- 
liage, with flower-stems one foot higli ; its flowers are 
purple, veined with yellow, and not so large as any of the 
other species or varieties. A very pretty plant for the 

I. Germanica. — German Iris. — This is the common 
Flower-de-Luce of the gardens, well known to all. Flow- 
ers large, dark purple, and light-blue, or three-colored ; in 
May and June, two feet high. I. Florentina. — Floren- 
tine Iris, has large white flowers ; flowering at the same 
time with the last, of the same height and habit. 

The series of Hybrid Iris is very extensive, at least one 
hundred varieties are cultivated by some florists, many of 
them however, have, so near a resemblance, that tliere are 
but very few cultivators that would be desirous of encum- 
bering their grounds with all the sorts. They are of all col- 
ors and shades of blue, purple, yellow, and brown; some 
are beautifully spotted, variegated, striped, parti-colored, 
etc. A bed of the many varieties makes a fine show. 
The roots increase so fast, that it is necessary to make new 
beds of them every three or four years. Although the 
Iris is not considered as a Lily, the French have given it 
the name of one ; it is the Fleur-de-Lys, which figures in 
the arms of France. The following conjectural origin of 
this name is given by the Abbe la Pluche, a French 
writer : — 

" The upper part of the Lily, when fully expanded, and 
the two contiguous leaves beheld in profile, have," he ob- 


serves " a faint likeness to the top of the Flower-de-Luc e, 
which often appears on the crowns and sceptres in the mon- 
uments of the first and second race of kings, and which 
was most probably a composition of these three leaves. 
Lewis the Second, engaged in the second crusade, distin- 
guished himself, as was customary in those times, by a par- 
ticular blazon, and took this figure for his coat of arms ; 
and as the common people generally contracted the name 
of Lewis into Luce, it is natural to imagine that this 
flower was, by corruption, distinguished in process of 
time by the name of Flower-de-Luce." Shakespeare ap- 
pears to consider this flower as a Lily only by courtesy : 

" Lilies of all kinds 

The Flower-de-Luce being one." 


[Lamium was a celebrated sea-monster. The flowers of Ihis genus are sup- 
posed to resemble the grotesque figure of some beast.] 

Lamium rugOSum, or Rough-leaved Lamium, produces 
clusters of its curious white flowers all the season ; there 
is a variety with light-purple flowers ; they are suitable 
plants for rock-work. The odor of the plants is rather 
unpleasant. Most of the species are coarse weeds. 


[One of llie ancient names of the Viburnum, which this resembles a little in 

The species are rapid grovvers and free flowerers, and 
readily increased by cuttings. They form small bushes, 
with heads of flowers of brilliant changeable colors, and 
of a peculiar aromatic odor. 

Lant^na Camara^ formerly L. aculeata. — Changeable- 
colored, is a native of the West Indies and South Ameri- 


ca, and is probably the species from which so many beau- 
tiful varieties, that now decorate our green-houses and 
gardens, have originated. The plant is tender, but flow- 
ers in great profusion from June to October, when 
jjlanted out in the garden, and will .^attain the height of 
two or three feet from small plants ; but, when old plants 
are turned out, they form quite large shrubs, from four to 
eight feet high, "with bushy heads two or three feet thick. 
It presents a pleasing appearance when the different 
varieties are planted in groups on the back side of the 
flow^er-border, on the lawn, or in front of the shrubbery. 
The flowers are arranged in numerous hemispherical com- 
pact heads, an inch or more in diameter ; the varieties now 
in cultivation are : those with scarlet flowers in the outer 
rows of the head, with orange ones in the center ; purple, 
delicately edged with straw outside, orange center ; pure 
Avhite, with yellow eye; yellow and white; purple and 
violet-red, etc. ; the colors changeable. The heads of 
flowers are j^roduced in pairs from the axils of the leaves. 
The stems are angular and somewhat prickly. The foli- 
age is elegant, of a deep shining green ; leaves in pairs, 
opposite, ovate-acuminate, roughish, deeply veined, edges 
finely serrate. The flowers are succeeded by clusters of 
green drupes or berries, which turn to a deep-blue when 
ripe. The flowers and foliage wilt so readily and the flow- 
ers drop so soon, that I could not recommend them for 
bouquets, even if the odor were more agreeable. 

Lasth^nia ^labrata. — A dwarf annual plant from Cal- 
ifornia, ten to twelve inches high, bearing a profusion of 
small yellow flowers, in the style of a Sunflower. Not 
likely to become very popular. 


LATHYRTJS.— Sweet Pea. 

[A name employed by Theophrastus, to designate a legiiminous plant.] 

Lathyrus latifolius, or Everlasting Pea, is a most beau- 
tiful, large, diffuse perennial, producing a long succession 
of large light-purple or pink flowers, in clusters of eight 
or ten each. The j)lant is suitable for the shrubbery, ar- 
bors, or for training to a trellis. When supported, it at- 
tains the height of six feet. " It attaches and supports it- 
self, like many scandent plants, by means of the branching 
tendrils terminating its single pair of broad leaflets." 

A variety has white flowers. It may be propagated by 
dividing the roots, or more extensively by sowing the 
seeds. Young plants will flower the second year feebly, 
but the third and fourth year they produce a profusion of 
foliage and flowers. It has been suggested that it might 
be applied to agricultural purposes with profit, on account 
of its yielding so great a quantity of fodder and seed. 

L. grandiflorus. — Great-flowered Everlasting Pea. — 
The flowers are very large, rose-colored, and appear two 
or three together ; the foliage and stems light and elegant ; 
not in common cultivation. The roots of the JSver-hloom- 
ing or Everlasting Peas are very long and fleshy, and in a 
loamy soil send down a tap root, three or four feet into the 
ground, and will remain for many years without injury 
from the severest winter. 

Lt odor^tus* — Sweet Pea, is one of the most beautiful and 
fi-agrant of the genus, and is deservedly one of the most 
popular annuals that enrich the flower-garden. The va- 
rieties are white, rose, red, crimson, purple, black, and 
striped. One style of planting is, to place them in circles, 
two feet in diameter and four feet apart, each variety by 
itself. When the young plants commence growing and 
require support, a neat stake should be firmly placed in 
the center of the circle, to which they should be trained, 
on strong strings to the top of the stake, which should be 


at least five feet high, if the ground is rich ; others clioose 
to plant them in rows and support them with brush — or 
with strong: twine runninor the rows, fastened to stakes set 
among the j^lants. The seed should be sown as early as 
possible in the spring. They will then produce a profu- 
sion of flowers from July to October. 


[In memory of the two Lavaters, pliysicians of Zurich.] 

Lavatera trim^Stris. — Common Lavatera. — A popular 
hardy annual, of easy culture and handsome appearance, 
with large, Hollyhock-shaped, red flowers. There is a va- 
riety with white flowers. Two feet high, in bloom from 
July to October. Cultivated the same as the Mallows, to 
wliich it is closely related. 

LILITJM.— The Lily. 

[The classical Latin name.] 

" Have you seen but a bright Lily grow, 
Before rude hands iiave touched it ? " 

" Queen of the field, in milk-white mantle drest. 
The lovely Lily waved her curling crest." 

All the species of this splendid genus with which we 
are acquainted, may be considered worthy of a place in 
every good collection of plants. Many of them are well 
known, while a greater number are not often seen in our 
gardens. The Lily is an interesting flower to the young 
florist as well as to the botanist, on account of the simpli- 
city of its structure, and the size and distinct character 
of its difi*erent parts or organs. The root of the Lily, or 

258 breck's new book op elowees. 

what is generally denominated the root, is a scaly bulb, 
the scales being laid over each other in an imbricate form, 
inclosmg the bud. The bulb is not a root, strictly speak- 
ing, but a bud containing the embryo of the future plant. 
The roots are thrown out from very short stems at the 
bottom of these bulbs, or buds, and, unlike the fibres of 
the Tulip, are perennial ; and on their strength depends, 
in a great measure, the vigor of the future plant. Bulbs, 
long kept out of ground, are very much weakened, and a 
number of years will elaj^se before they recover strength 
to bloom in great perfection. After the flowering of the 
Lily, in August, the foliage of many species decays ; the 
bulbs then are in the most perfect state for transplanting. 
If they are permitted to remain long after this, and the 
foliage begins to start again, they will not bloom so strong 
the next year. The Lily should not be moved any oftener 
than is necessary. It is not like the Tulip and many other 
bulbs, which are not injured, but rather improved, by tak- 
ing them up annually after flowering. The Lily will flour- 
ish in any well prepared border or bed. To have them 
in perfection, excavate the soil eighteen inches deep, 
and fill up with a compost of peat, or swamp muck, 
undecayed manure, or leaf mould, a foot deep; the re- 
maining six inches may be peat and rich mould. The 
bulbs of strong-growing Lilies may be planted from four 
to five inches deep ; and weaker sorts from three to four 
inches. In the borders, three bulbs, of the stronger-grow- 
ing varieties, are enough fi)r one group, or five, of the 
weaker sorts. They have a pleasing effect when in mas- 
ses ; or they may be planted in beds. Most of the species 
are quite hardy ; but they will all be benefitted, and bloom 
more strongly, provided they receive a covering of rotten 
manure before winter sets in. 

Lilium candidum. — The Wliite Lily. — This species has 
always been considered the emblem of ])urity, and is too 


well known to require any description. A mass of White 
Lilies is always beheld with admiration, and they perfume 
the air with their delicious fragrance. The White Lily is, 
therefore, indispensable, and should be found in every 
garden. It sometimes attains the height of three or 
four feet, and is in flower about the first of July. L. can- 
didum jiore pleno. — The Double White Lily. — A variety 
of the double white ; it is curious, but not beautiful. 
The inflorescence appears to be a coutinuation of the fo- 
liage, which, as it terminates the stem, gradually assumes 
the character of petals, with the whiteness of the single 
flower. It is a monster, and for that reason may be fan- 
cied by some. The Variegated White Lily is another va- 
riety, and not very desirable. The purity of the white is 
destroyed by the dull purple stripes that mark the petals, 
and give it a dingy appearance. L. candidmn folia vari- 
egata. — The Gold-striped Lily. — There are two varieties 
of the White Lily with striped leaves, one haviug yellow, 
the other white-striped foliage ; both jjretty in a collection. 

L. lon;^ifl6rum. — The Long-flowered White Lily. — 
This is a very beautiful and fragrant species, not quite so 
hardy as the common White Lily, but stands the winter 
well, when protected. The flowers, pure white, very 
long and large ; produced in July. 

Lt MartagOllt— Turk's-Cap Lily. — There are many va- 
rieties of this species ; some with pure white, others with 
purple, spotted, or variegated flowers. The petals are 
very much reflexed, giving them the appearance of caps. 
In strong soil, and the roots well established, the stems 
are sometimes thrown up from three to five feet, produc- 
ing twenty or thirty flowers ; flowering in July. 

Li croceum. — The Umbel-flowered Orange Lily, a va- 
riety of which is called L. umhellattim^ is a strong- 
growing species, producing quite a number of large, up- 
right orange flowers, with rough interior. In contrast 


with the White Lily, it makes an imposing appearance. 
It flowers about the first of July. 

L. Thunbergianum. — The Dwarf Orange Lily. — More 
dwarfish than the last ; about two feet high, with three 
or four upright orange flowers on a stem ; in flower in 
July. This is the X. aurantiacum of the catalogues. 

L. tigrinum. — Tiger-spotted Lily. — A quite common, 
strong-growing species ; but very showy, having fine, re- 
flexed, orange flowers, with black spots. It has the pecu- 
liarity of producing small bulbs in the axils of the leaves. 
It grows from four to six feet high, flowering in August, 
and is a suitable plant for the shrubbery as well as the 
border. It is very easily j^ropagated, as all the axillary 
bulbs, Avhen planted in the ground, soon produce flower- 
ing plants. 

L. Pomponium. — Scarlet Pompone Lily. — This is a 
beautiful species, with scarlet reflexed petals, flowering in 
June and July. It is rather a shy flowerer, and has not 
flourished so well with us as some other sorts. 

L. Chalcedonicum. — Chalcedonian Lily. — This is an- 
other fine Scarlet Lily, with reflexed petals, growing three 
or four feet high, and flowering in July. L. pyrenaiGum^ 
with reflexed yellow flowers, with scarlet anthers, we 
have in our collection; very pretty, but producing only 
from one to three flowers in each stem. Among other 
beautiful species, are L. Cateshcei^ a native of the South, 
with orange-colored flowers, and dwarf in its habit. X. 
TYionadelphuni^ a species from Caucasus ; and many others 
which may be obtained from the Dutch florists. Lily 
bulbs, when transported from Holland, are so much weak- 
ened, from being kept so long out of ground, that more 
than one-lialf of them perish ; and the few that vegetate 
frequently stand a number of years before they get 
strength to bloom. 


L. speciosum. — The Japan Lily, also called Z. lancifo- 
liicm. — This magnificent species of Lily, and its varieties, 
have been introduced but a few years, and, until lately, 
treated as green-house plants. They are found to be as 
hardy as our common Lilies, and do prove a great acquisi- 
tion to the garden. The species, X. speciosum, has a pink 
and white frosted ground, finely spotted with deep crimson ; 
JL. lancifoliumj album is pure white ; each variety with re- 
flexed petals. These Lilies emit an exquisite odor. I have 
seen plants five and six feet high ; they were, however, 
grown in pots in the green-house. Tliesc bulbs have form- 
erly commanded extravagant prices ; but as the i:)rice is 
now greatly reduced, we hope soon to see them more com- 
mon. The following account is from an English paper; 
and, as the directions for their culture will be applicable 
to us, we insert it, with some omissions : — 

" Few plants of recent introduction are more handsome 
or attractive than the Japan Lilies. They j^i'oduce a 
gorgeous display, either in-doors or out ; and, as they are 
quite hardy, they may be liberally planted in the open 
border, and thus constitute one of our best autumnal 
flower-garden plants. 

*' Their proj^agation is simple and certain. The bulbs 
may be separated, and each scale will eventually form a 
new bulb. This separation should be effected when the 
flower-stems are withered. The scales should be stuck in- 
to pans of silver sand, and placed in a cold frame or pit. 
After remaining one season in this position, they should 
be planted in a separate bed of peat soil, and a little sil- 
ver sand intermixed with it ; thus treated, the bulbs will 
soon grow large enough to flower. 

" The cultivation of them in pots is by no means diffi- 
cult. I shall detail the practice I have pursued with suc- 
cess for some years. Immediately when the bulbs go to 
rest, in the autumn, is the proper time to repot them. 

262 breck's new book of flowers. 

By no means destroy the old roots, but carefully place 
them amongst the fresh soil. If large examples, for par- 
ticular display, are required, large pots may be employed, 
and half a dozen flowering bulbs placed in each pot. The 
soil I use is rough peat. The pots should be well drained, 
and the crown of the bulb just covered with the soil ; 
when potted, they should be placed in a cold pit or frame, 
in order to prevent the soil from freezing, 'although frost 
will not injure the bulb. Where room imder glass is an 
object in winter, they may be phmged in the open air in 
coal ashes, in a manner similar to potted Hyacinths. I 
liave at this time a large number coming into flower, 
which have never been under glass until within these few 
days ; they have sustained no iujury from exposure, and 
they present every appearance of making a grand display. 
There is scarcely any plant which is so much benefited by 
•liquid manure as the Lily If used in a clear state, and 
considerably diluted, this water alone may be apphed for 
at least a month before it comes into flower. 

"If the object should be out-door cultivation entirely, 
I should recommend them to be planted in beds ; their ef- 
fect is exceedingly grand. Excavate the soil eighteen 
inches deep, and fill in the bottom, a foot deep, with very 
coarse peat, intermixed with one-fifth of decayed manure 
or leaf mould. The remaining six inches may be en- 
tirely peat. If the bulbs are large enough to bloom, 
2:>lant them twelve inches apart every way ; and if beds 
of each kind are brought into contact with one another, 
tlie effect will be magnificent." 

Among the varieties sold by the florists are ruhrum^ 
white with critnson spots ; alburn^ pure Avhitc ; roseum^ 
white with rose-colored spots. Melpomene^ with very 
dark spots. Monstrosum^ a curious variety in which sev- 
eral stems seem to l)e soldered together and produce a 
magnificent head, of from thirty to fifty flowers. 


All our native Lilies arc beautiful, and very much im- 
proved by cultivation. While we are bringing together, 
from the ends of the earth, the treasures of Flora, let not 
our own be neglected. These may be taken from our 
fields and meadows, when in bloom, by carefully taking 
them up with a ball of earth, and in a few years will 
richly repay the trouble. 

L, Siip^rblim. — Superb Lily. — One of the most magni- 
ficent of our native plants ; not common in the vicinity 
of Boston, but in many parts of the State, and in New 
York, is abundant. Stem erect, straight, from three to 
six feet high, bearing a large pyramid of orange-colored 
flowers, not unfrequently numbering, when cultivated, 
thirty or forty. The flowers are much reflexed. They 
are found in many varieties, with flowers from a yellow 
to an orange scarlet ; in bloom in July. 

L. Canad^nse. — i^odding Meadow Lily. — This fine 
Lily may be found embellishing our meadows in June, 
when it rarely produces more than from ono to five mod- 
est, nodding, but showy flowers, on stems one to three 
feet high. It is very much improved by cultivation, and, 
when planted in rich ground, has been known to grow 
five feet high, with a pyramid of at least twenty of its 
pendulous flowers ; color from yellow to deep orange 
scarlet. The flowers are profusely spotted with brown, 
on the inside, and are but little reflexed. 

L. PlliLadelphicum. — The Common Ked Lily of our 
pastures and dry fields ; equal, if not superior, in beauty, 
to Zi. Canadense^ but of a difierent habit. Its height 
rarely exceeds two feet, with one to three flowers, the pe- 
tals of which are supported on a long claw ; upright, of 
a dark vermillion color, richly spotted with black. The 
flowers are bell-shaped; in bloom in July. This species 
may, no doubt, be as greatly improved by cultivation as 
L. Canadense. It would then form one of the most 


showy ornaments of the garden, as the color of the flower 
is rich and brilliant. If ten or fifteen flowers could be 
produced on one stem, the effect of a group of plants 
would be surpassingly rich. 

L. testaceum. — A splendid species, introduced within a 
few years under the name of L. excelsum. The plants 
grow four or five feet high, forming a regular pyramid of 
lanceolate leaves, upon a stout thick stem, crowned with 
six or eight large nodding Lilies, of a delicate straw or 
nankin color, finely set off by their prominent scarlet 
anthers ; the bulbs are very large ; perfectly hardy. 

L. auratum* — Golden Strij^ed Lily. — This new and 
magnificent species of Lily lately introduced from Jaj^an, 
is thus described by Dr. Lindley : — 

" If ever a flower merited the name of glorious, it is 
this, which stands far above all other Lilies, whether we 
regard its size, its sweetness, or its exquisite arrangement 
of color. Imagine, upon the end of a purple stem, not 
thicker than a ramrod, and not above two feet higii, a 
saucer-shajjed flower at least ten inches in diameter, com- 
posed of six spreading, somewhat crisp parts, rolled back 
at their points, and having an ivory-white skin, thinly 
strewn with purple points or studs, and oval or roundish 
prominent purple stains. To this add, in the middle of 
each of the six parts, a broad stripe of light satin-yellow, 
loosing itself gradually in the ivory skin. Place the 
flower in a situation where side-light is cut off, and no di- 
rect light can reach it except from above, when the stripes 
acquire the appearance of gentle streamlets of Australian 
gold, and the reader who has not seen it, may form some 
feeble notion of what it is. Fortunately ten thousand 
eyes beheld it at South Kensington, and they can fill up 
the details of the picture. From this delicious flower, 
there arises the perfume of orange blossoms suflicient t > 
fill a large room, but so delicate as to resjiect the weakest 


nerves. It is botanically allied to L. speciosum on the 
one hand, and to the orange-red X. Thunbergianum on 
the other ; but it is wholly different from either." 

At the present time this splendid Lily is scarce, selling 
for $5 per bulb. 


[Name from tlie Greek, meaning marsh-Jlower.'\ 

Limnanthes Dou^lasii. — Mr. Douglas' Limnanthes. — A 
native of California, from whence it was sent by Mr. Doug- 
las. The plant is annual, quite hardy, decumbent, stems 
growing ten or twelve inches long. The stems are 
crowned with numerous fragant flowers, each about an inch 
across, much resembling in size and form the Nemophila 
insignis, A large portion of the flower is a deep yellow, 
the extremities of the petals being white. It blooms from 
June to August, 


[The plant, out of flower, is very similar to Linum, Flax.] 

The species are for the most part pretty annual plants, 
and some of them, as Linaria Cymbalaria^ well adapted 
for growing in pots or for rock-work ; L. triphylla is a 
popular border annual ; L. triornithophora is remarkable 
for the form of its flowers, which resemble three little 
birds seated in the spur. L. vulgaris^ known as Butter 
and Eggs, Toad-Flax, and Ranstead-weed, is a very showy 
plant, but a bad weed. L. hipartita lutea^ alba and splen- 
dida^ and L. macroura^ are also pretty plants. 


266 breck's new book of flowers. 


[Linum, in Celtic, signifies thread ] 

Linum perenne. — Perennial Flax. — A native of the far 
West with bright blue flowers, which, though they fade 
soon, are produced so abundantly that the plant is for a 
long time in flower. 

Lt grandiflorum. — Large-flowered Flax. — A handsome 
annual from Algiers. It has large, brilliant, crimson 
flowers, and but seldom produces seed. L. luteum is sird- 
ilar, with yellow flowers. L, usitcitisslmum, is the culti- 
vated Flax ; it is an annual species with handsome blue 
flowers, the proper place of which is the field rather than 
the erarden. 


[A. name of unknown meaning.] 

A curious genus, mostly annuals, remarkable for the 
beauty of their singular flowers, but the j^lants possess one 
quality which must forever banish them from the pleasure 
garden ; the whole plant is covered with hairs, which, on 
being even slightly touched, eject a poison into the flesh, 
causing a painful blister, the eflfect of which does not pass 
oflf for several days. 

Lo4sa lateritia* — Brick-red Loasa. — It is a native of 
South America ; a climber, growing twelve to twenty feet 
in a season. The seed should be sown in a warm border, 
early in May. The flowers are prettily colored, between a 
l>rick-red and orange shade, and produced in profusion 
through the summer and autumn. It is very ornamental, 
when properly trained upon a trellis ; but it will be best 
not to come within touching distance of the plant without 
a good pair of gloves. X. Pentlandii is another beauti- 
ful species, of later introduction than the last, and said to 
be more tender ; this is also a climbing plant. 



[Name in honor of M. Label, physician and botanist to James I.] 

The genus is very large, containing more than eighty- 
species. The predominant color in the species is blue, and 
many are highly ornamental. 

Lobelia cardinalis.— Scarlet Cardinal Flower. — This 
splendid native plant embellishes the borders of our 
brooks and rivulets, in the months of July and August, 
with its unrivalled scarlet blossoms. It is a mistaken no- 
tion that it will flourish only in wet ground. I have 
taken it up, when growing in water, and planted it in a 
soil that was far from being moist, Av^ith good success. 
It was introduced into England in 1629, and, to this day, 
is duly appreciated. Justice, who published a work on 
gardening, in 1754, in describing it, says : — " It is a flower 
of most handsome appearance, which should not be want- 
ing in curious gardens, as it excels all other flowers I ever 
knew in the richness of its color." It has an erect stem, 
two to three feet high, with broad lanceolate, serrate 
leaves ; flowers in terminal spikes, pointing one way. 

L. fulgens. — ^The Fulgent Lobelia. — Is a native of Mex- 
ico, and was introduced into England in 1809. Leaves 
narrow lanceolate, toothed, revolute at the edge ; stem 
jmbescent, (downy,) three feet high; perennial; its 
bright scarlet flowers in terminal racemes. 

L. splendens. — The Splendid Lobelia. — Is also a native 
of Mexico, introduced into England in 1814. Leaves 
narrow lanceolate ; stem quite smooth, three feet high ; 
flowers brilliant scarlet, in terminal racemes ; perennial. 

L, syphilitica, — The Blue or Great Lobelia. — Is a com- 
mon plant, and introduced into England in 1665. It has 
its specific name from its supposed efticacy in the cure of 
the syphilis, among the North American Indians. Sir 
William Johnson purchased the secret from them, but 



Woodville says its virtues have not been confirmed by 
any instance of European practice." Stem erect, two 
feet high ; raceme leafy, with flowers of a bright sky- 
blue. L. speciosa^ of the gardens, is either a variety of 
this, or a hybrid between this and another species. 

The treatment for those above enumerated is the same. 
I once had L. cardinalis^ fulgens^ and speciosa^ in great 
perfection, having a soil and situation well adaj^ted to 
their growth, with a little preparation. The soil, natur- 
ally, was a black, heavy loam, upon a clay and gravel 
subsoil, a little sj)ringy, and never very dry. Upon the 
spots designed for their location, I threw four or five 
shovelfuls of river-sand, and two of partly decomposed 
night-soil compost, and had it thoroughly incorporated 
with the soil, for two feet around, Avhich made it quite 
light, and placed the j^lants in the center. They began 
to flower in Jnly, and continued to throw up vigorous 
stems, with an abundance of flowers, until October. 
Their growth was so luxuriant, that it was necessary to 
tie them up to slender rods, stuck into the ground, a num- 
ber of times, to prevent them from being broken by the 
wind. L. cardinalis and L.fulgens were more than three 
feet high ; the others between two and three feet. They 
may be easily propagated, by laying the stems in July 
and August, or dividing the roots in the spring, or by 

"Van Mons observes that L. cardinalis perishes in 
sandy soil, but becomes strong and multiplies in loam, 
while, at the same time, it produces the most brilliant 
colors in the former. 

" The sanie thing may doubtless be predicted of the 
other species, it being a well-known law of nature, as to 
living beings, that their energies are concentrated in pro- 
portion to the obstacles thrown in the way of their ex- 

270 breck's new book of flowers. 

Li spicata* — Spiked Lobelia. — A beautiful indigenous 
species;, common in most pastures and by the road sides, 
with lively jjale-blue flowers, in long terminal spikes ; in 
July. Stem upright, smooth, a little hairy, one and one- 
half foot high. I have never seen this species cultivated, 
but have no doubt but what it would be very much im- 
proved, and prove a valuable acquisition to the border. 
There are a number of annual Lobelias which are much 
admired for their innumerable dark-blue flowers, which 
are produced through the season. They are humble trail- 
ing plants, very suitable for the front of the flower-bed, 
or for ornamental rock-work, until the perennials have 
spread. Among the varieties recommended are, L. ramo- 
sa, gracilis, coelestina, triqueter, and others. They are 
good plants for hanging pots, as they are always covered 
with their delicate blue, light and dark, rose, or white 
flowers, which, trailing over the pots, present an interest- 
ing appearance. X. Paxtoniana. — Flowers fine azure 
blue, shading ofl" to a white margin ; growth compact. 
A novel and desirable variety for pot culture, or for plant- 
ing out in the border, Avhere it succeeds best if partially 
shaded. All Lobelias are poisonous, though some have 
been used medicinally. I make this remark as a Avarning 
to inexperienced persons, against putting any of the spe- 
cies into the mouth. All the species are increased by 
sowing the se<jd ; most of the perennials by cuttings or 
division of the roots. 

L. inflata.— Indian Tobacco. — Is probably familiar to 
every one, at least by name. Its virtues are so prized by 
some, that we are almost led to suppose that it is a sover- 
eign remedy for all diseases that flesh and blood are heir 
to. The plant is an annual, of not much interest, with 
small blue flowers, and inflated pods or seed-vessels, com- 
mon in dry pastures and road sides. The whole plant is 
a violent emetic. . 


LXJN ARIA.— Honesty. 

[From luna, the moon, in allusion to the broad, round, silvery pods or silicles.] 

Lunaria biennis. — Honesty. — Is an old-fashioned plant, 
flowering the second year from seed, and then dying. It 
produces large purple flowers, in May and June, that are 
succeeded by broad elliptical pods, which, when dry, are 
rather ornamental. 


[Said to be derived from lupus, a wolf, because this plant devours, as it were, 
all the fertility of the soil.] 

The species are border-flowers, in much esteem for their 
velvet-like leaves and fine large flowers. They are all 
vigorous growing plants some annual, but mostly peren- 

Lupinus per^nnis. — Wild Lupin, — Is a well-known spe- 
cies, indigenous all over the country ; found, frequently, 
in large masses, from a yard to two rods in circumference, 
occupying the very poorest sandy or gravelly arid soil ; in 
bloom about the first of June. It is very difiicult, or 
even impossible, to transplant, with success, this fine per- 
ennial. The only sure way to propagate it is by seed, 
which should be gathered before it is entirely ripe, as it is 
scattered, as soon as mature, by the sudden bursting of 
the pod, by which the seed is thrown to a considerable 
distance. Nor will it succeed on rich ground ; but when- 
ever the seeds are to be sown, the soil should, in the first 
place, be removed, or a greater part of it, from a circle 
the diameter of which is three or four feet, and the hole be 
filled up with a poor, gravelly or sandy soil, and the seed 
sown in the center. 

The flowers are found, in the wild state, of various 
colors and shades, from pure white (which is rare) through 

272 breck's new book op flowers. 

all the shades of light to dark-blue, inclining to purple ; 
the margin of the flowers is frequently copper color, some- 
times inclining to red. One variety has flowers of a dull 
pink. Stem erect, hairy. The digitate leaves are com- 
posed of about eight or ten leaflets, which are lanceolate, 
wedge-shaped, arranged like rays around the end of the 
petiole ; hairy and pale underneath. 

Many beautiful Lupins have, Avithin a few years, been 
added to the list of herbaceous plants, from California 
and the North-west coast, which part of the world seems 
to be the central position, or head-quarters, of this genus 
of plants. 

L« polyphyllus. — Many-leaved Lupin. — Is a splendid 
plant, from the North-west coast of North America. 
When I first received the seed of this fine Lupin many 
years since, only one of them vegetated. It produced 
radical leaves, only, the first year, Avhich were multifoliat- 
ed, and borne on long petioles. The second year, it was 
transplanted, with much care, into rich soil, having been 
exposed, through the winter, to all the rigors of the sea- 
son, without protection. In the month of May the flow- 
er-stalks began to be developed, and produced, in June, 
spikes of flowers, which were two feet in length, and from 
three to four feet in height from the ground. The flowers 
of a beautiful azure blue, with a reddish border, are dis- 
posed in long terminal clusters, forming whorls, very near 
each other, around the stem. The leaves are composed of 
from twelve to fifteen green, lanceolate leaflets, hairy on 
the under side. The third year it flowered abundantly, 
throwing up numerous flower-stems, so luxuriant that 
many were broken by the wind before they were secured 
to sticks. The third year the roots should bo divided, as 
they become large in rich ground; the central part first 
decays, and finally the whole root perishes, unless this 
operation is j)erformed. There is also a white variety. 


There are a number of annual Lupins, of vigorous 
growth and easy to cultivate, and well adapted for children 
to make their first attempts in floriculture. The old vari- 
eties are, L. albus^ white ; L. pilosus^ large blue ; and L. 
luteus^ with fine yellow flowers. The seeds may be 
planted in April or May. 

Lt varius, is a more delicate species, Avith smaller foli- 
age and fine blue flowers. 

L. HartW^gii. — Ilartweg's Lupin. — This is a beautiful 
species, with delicate foliage and numerous dense spikes 
of rich, blue flowers; one to one and one-half foot high; 
from July to September ; suitable for planting in masses. 

L* Cruikshankii* — This is an elegant species, growing 
from two to three feet high, with large spikes of white 
flowers, shaded with yellow, purple, or blue. 


[Name from the Greek for lamp, the cottony leaves of a related plant having 
been used as a substitute for wicks.] 

Lychnis Chalcedonica. — Scarlet Lychnis. — A common 
border perennial from Russia, of easy cultivation. The 
flowers are brilliant scarlet, which makes it valuable, as 
tliere are but few floAvers of that color among our hardy 
herbaceous plants. The double variety is one of tlie most 
splendid decorations of the border ; it is propagated oidy 
by divisions of the root or by cuttings of the flower 
stem. Tlie cuttings are taken ofl" at any time when the 
shoots are tender, and planted in a sandy loam, in a warm 
situation, but covered with a hand-glass and shaded from 
the sun. When well established, they may be trans- 
planted into the bed or border where they are to remain, 
and will flower strongly next year. There is also a single 
and double white variety. Tlie single kinds are easily 

274 breck's new book of flowers. 

raised from seed. All the varieties do best in a light, 
rich, loamy soil. It is necessary to take up and divide 
the roots every other year, early in the spring. A light 
protection is necessary to the double varieties, to insure a 
vigorous bloom. The flowers are fascicled, (collected in 
bundles,) level-topped or convex; two feet high; in June 
and July. The double varieties continue to give flowers 
until autumn. 

L. fulgens. — Splendid. — Is a hardy species from Sibe- 
ria, with scarlet flowers ; one and one-half foot high ; not 
common with us. 

L. ^randiflora, sometimes called X. coronata^ is a 
showy species from China. The flowers are large, soli- 
tary, terminal, and axillary, red, the petals torn ; one and 
one-half foot high. Unfortunately, this beautiful plant 
will not stand our winter in open ground; it therefore re- 
quires to be taken up and potted in autumn, and pro- 
tected in the house or a frame. It thrives and flowers 
abundantly most of the season, if planted out in the 
spring. It may be raised from seeds or cuttings. 

L. Flos-Cliculi. — Ragged Robin.— This is an old inhab- 
itant of the flower-garden, a native of Britain. The dou- 
ble variety is deservedly esteemed, is very ornamental, 
easy to cultivate, and flourishes in any common garden 
soil. It is propagated by divisions of the root. Flowers 
fine deep pink. 

L, Flos-CUCUli plena alba. — Double White Ragged 
Robin. — This is a scarce but very beautiful variety, its 
pure white, full, double, solitary flowers are produced in 
continual succession through the summer. Perennial, but 
requires protection. 

L. llaa.l^cina. — Ilaage's Lychnis. — This is an elegant 
perennial. It flowers the first year, producing large scar- 
let flowers, Avith jagged petals; one foot high. It will 
require protection through the winter. There are also a 


number of other species and varieties, Avhich are beautiful, 
but not yet in general cultivation. 

Lyclinis COronaria.— Rose Campion or Mullien Pink, 
is a common showy border-floAver ; not a perfect peren- 
nial, but can be kept by dividing the roots when large. 
It is also easily propagated from seed, which flowers the 
second year. The common variety has deep-red flowers, 
another with white, and still another with white with a 
rose center; one and one-half foot high; m flower in 
June and July. 

Li Flos- Jovis, is another perennial variety with smaller 
red flowers in umbels, Avith soft downy leaves ; one and 
one-half foot high. L. cceli-rosa is an annual, with rose- 
colored flowers, very pretty, but not showy ; one foot high. 

LYSIMACHIA.— Loose-Strife. 

[Name said to be in honor of King Lysimachus.] 

Lysimachia nummularia. — Moneywort. — Is an orna- 
mental creeping perennial, with yellow flowers all the 
season, suitable for lock-work, or hanging from a pot in a 
northern exposure ; a number of the indigenous species 
are worth cultivatino-. 

LYTHRUM.— Willow-Hekb. 

[From tiie Greek for blood, in allusion to the flowers.] 

Lythrum salicariai — ^Is a British perennial, and is con- 
sidered a handsome border-flower; three or four feet 
high, with purple flowers in July and August ; leaves op- 
posite, cordate, lanceolate ; flowers in spikes. 

L. roseum super bum. — This is a hardy perennial, and 
a great improvement over L. sallcaria. The plant is from 

276 breck's new book of flowers. 

two to three feet high, producing numerous spikes of 
bright, rosy-red flowers through the season ; propagated 
by dividing the roots. 

Madia elegans. — Elegant Madia. — A pretty annual 
from the Pacific coast. The seeds should be planted in 
the border in May. If the plants can have a shady lo- 
cation, it will be much the best, as the bright sunshine 
causes the petals of the flower to curl up, thus destroying 
much of their beauty. The flowers are large, Avith yel- 
low rays and brown disk. Early in the morning, or just 
at night, the blossoms appear splendid ; about two feet 
high. The plant emits an agreeable fragrance ; it stands 
the early frosts, and the only objection to it is, that it 
fades in the sun, and almost immediately after gathering. 
It is not fit therefore for bouquets. 


iMatope, a name given to Tree Mallows.] 

Malope S^raudiflora. — Grand-flowering Malope. — This 
very showy plant is of the Mallow tribe ; grows from 
two feet to two feet and six inches high. The flowers are 
produced in great abundance, and, being of a fine rosy 
crimson, make a very gay appearance, rendering it a de- 
sirable plant for giving a distant attracting efiect. It 
blooms from June to the end of October, unless cut off 
by frost. Seed should be sown in pots early in March, 
and be raised in a hot-bed ; or may be sown upon a hot- 
bed, under a frame or hand-glass. The plants maybe set 
out in the o])en border by the middle of May. M. gran- 
difiora alba^ is a variety with white flcnvers, but rather 


more delicate in its habits. Both of the varieties are Let- 
ter grown in the green-house, but are perfectly hardy. 
The plant blooms more profusely in a good loamy soil, 
mixed with a little manure or leaf-mould. If the soil be 
very rich, the plant will be liable to grow too vigorously, 
and produce a vast profusion of foliage, which will rather 
conceal the flowers ; but, if moderately enriched, it will 
produce one mass of bloom. I find it profitable to give 
all my flower-beds an addition of fresh soil every winter, 
generally adding about two or three mches deep. If the 
Malope grandiflora is not desired to come into bloom he- 
fore the begi?inmg of August, the seed may be sown in 
April or May, in the open border where it is desired that 
the plants shall blossom. The plant produces seed in 
abundance, which ripen well from plants that bloom early 
in the summer. 

MALVA.— Mallows. 

[An old Latin name from the Greek, for soft.J 

Malva alcea. — A pretty, hardy perennial, from Ger- 
many, with purple flowers from July to October ; three 
feet high ; easily propagated by seed or divisions of the 

Varieties of the same, have pink and white flowers ; 
lower leaves angular ; upper, five-parted, cut ; stems and 
calyxes velvety. 

Mt crispa. — The Syrian or Curled Mallow. — Has white 
flowers, veined, with red or purple, with elegant curled 
leaves ; annual ; flowers in June, July, and August. 

A species of Mallow Avas used among the Romans as an 
esculent vegetable. Horace mentions it as one of his or- 
dinary dishes. 

"Olives, succory, and white Mallows are tny food." 

Job speaks of them as being eaten in times of famine : 

278 breck's new book of flowees. 

" For want and famine they were solitary, fleeing with 
the wilderness in former time desolate and waste ; who 
cut up Mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their 

The Mallow was formerly planted, with some other 
flowers, the Asphodel in particular, around the graves of 
departed friends. It was probably this circumstance 
which led to the following reflections, in the epitaph on 
Bion, by Moschus : — 

*' Raise, raise the dirge, Muses of Sicily J 
Alas ! when Mallows in ti.-e garden die, 
Green parsley, or the crisp luxuriant dill, 
They live again and flower another year ; 
But we, how great soe'er, or strong, or wise. 
When once we die, sleep in the senseless earth, 
A long, an endless, unwakeable sleep." 

Such a sentiment will do for a heathen, perhaps, but not 
for the Christian. 

MARTYNIA.— Unicorn-Plant. 

[Named in honor of John Martyn, professor of botany, at Cambridge, England.] 

Martynia proboscidea. — Common Martynia. — This is 
an annual, as are the other species, from sub-tropical Amer- 
ica. It is often cultivated in vegetable gardens for its 
capsules, which, when green and tender, make a flne 
pickle. It is also a curious plant for the border, on ac- 
count of its large flowers ; but more particularly for its 
singularly curious seed-vessels. 

M. fraj^rans. — Fragrant Martynia. — Tliis is a beautiful 
annual, that succeeds very well wlien sown in the open 
border the tenth of May. Ii is undoubtedly one of the 
finest species of the genus ; no other one will compare with 
it for beauty. It is robust in habit, throwing out large 
lateral branches ; tlie plant attains the height of three 



feet, producing an immense profusion of flowers from the 
first of August, until destroyed by frost. The flowers are 
large, resembling the Gloxinia ; tliickly set in spike-like 
racemes ; delicate rosy-lilac, blotched and shaded with 
bright crimson, with an agreeable odor. The foliage is 


thick, more soft and velvety than the above described 
species. The capsules add much to the handsome appear- 
ance of the plant. The flowers, however, are not suitable 
for bouquets, and, unless there is much room in the flow- 
er-garden, this plant is not recommended. 


MATHIOLA. — Stock. — Gilliflower. 

[Named after Mathwli, an Italian physician.] 

Matlliola incana. — Common Stock. — Brompton Stock. 
— A perennial or biennial. The stem becoming woody at the 
base, and branching above ; leaves smooth or downy. This 
species has produced many varieties, with diiferent colored 
flowers, more or less double. The colors vary from straw 
color to pure white, and from rose to deep-purple and vio- 
let. It flowers in the winter or spring after sowing the 
seed, which if good will produce plants one-half of which 
or more will have double flowers. A variety is called M. 
2^erennis^ the Perennial Stock. This species and its varie- 
ties will not endure our severe Avinters and are cultivated 
only as green-house or parlor plants. 

M. annua. — Ten Weeks' Stock. — Intermediate Stock. — 
This is an annual, and has produced a great number of 
varieties, some of which are even biennials, diftering in 
habit, time of blooming and character of the leaf, while 
in color there is a great range of shades. Some of the 
German florists devote great attention to the Gilliflower, 
and have produced several distinct groups, the seeds of 
which are sold in collections of ten to thirty-six varieties. 
In the larger collections there are so many shades so 
nearly resembling one anotlier, that the smaller packages 
with distinct colors are preferable. 

The Pyramidal-flowering Stocks are among the fin- 
est of the annual sorts ; of these there are : the Large- 
flowered Pyramidal Ten-week Stock ; Large-flowered 
Branching ditto ; New Dwarf Large-flowered ditto. 
Other varieties of the Ten-week Stock are; New Dwnrf 
Bouquet, New Large-flowered Lavender-leaved, New Gi- 
:int. Dwarf Early-flowered, Brandling Loose-spiked, Wall 
flower-leaved. Miniature, which is two or three inches 
high, and others. 

The Em[)eror or Perpetual-llowering, Hybrid Giant 


Cape or Corcacleau Stock, with all their variety of colors, 
are suitable only for the green-house or sitting-room; 
they do not flower the first season, and cannot be kept 
through our winters in the open ground. 

William Cobbett, a celebrated English politician, in 
opposition to the government, left his country in disgust 
and settled on Long Island, N". Y., and amused himself in 
the cultivation of the soil. He was quite an enthusiast in 
this line, and published a book of some interest on the 
cultivation of vegetables, flowers, etc. In speaking of 
the cultivation of flowers, he says : " If I were to choose, 
amongst all the biennials and annuals, I should certainly 
choose the Stock. Elegant leaf, elegant plant, beautiful, 
showy, and most fragrant flower ; and with suitable at- 
tention, blooms, even in the natural ground, from May to 
November in England, and from June to N'ovember here. 
The annuals are called the Ten-week Stocks, and of all 
these, there are, with a pea-green leaf, the red, white, 
purple, and scarlet ; and then, there are of the same col- 
ors, with a Wall-flower, or sea-green leaf 

" Of the biennials there are the Brompton, of which 
there are the scarlet and the white , and the Twickenham, 
which is white. As to propagation, it is of course by 
seed only. If there be nothing but the natural ground to 
rely on, the sowing must be early ; the earth very fine 
and rich. The seed is small and thin, and does not easily 
come up in coarse earth. If the plants come up thick, thin 
them when very young, and do not leave them nearer to- 
gether than six inches. They, however, transplant very 
well ; and those that have not place to blow in, may be 
removed, and a succession of bloom thus secured. 

" If you have a green-house, glass-frame, or hand-glass, 
you get flowers six weeks earlier. The biennials are sown 
at the same time, and treated in the same way. 

" They blow the second year ; but if there be great dif- 


ficulty in preserving them in the natural ground, through 
the winter, in England, what must it be here ? Indeed, 
it cannot be done ; and yet they are so fine, so lofty, and 
such masses of beautiful and fragrant flowers, and they 
continue so long in bloom, that they are worth any care 
and any trouble. There is but one way ; the plants, 
when they get ten or a dozen leaves, must be put into 

"These may be sunk in the earth, in the open ground, 
till November, [Long Island,] and when the sharp frosts 
come, the pots must be taken up and placed out of the 
reach of hard frosts, and where there is, however, sun and 
air. When the spring comes, the pots may be put out in- 
to the natural ground again ; or, which is better, the balls 
of earth may be put into a hole made for the purpose ; 
and thus the plants will be in the natural ground, to blow. 

" In this country, they should be placed in the shade 
Avhen put out again, for a very hot sun is apt to tarnish 
the bloom.'' 

Thus much for Mr. Cobbet, but since his day the va- 
rieties have multijDlied amazingly, many more varieties 
than any one would be likely to cultivate. 

The double varieties of rich, distinct colors and pure 
white, greatly ornament the garden when grown in beds 
or masses. All the summer Stocks, except the early Ten- 
Aveek, will be much stronger and flower much earlier if 
forwarded in hot-beds, transplanted into pots, and turned 
out into the ground in June. 


fNamed in honor of Dr. Maurandij, the botanical professor at Caitliagena.] 

Maurandia Barclayana, is an elegant green-house, 
climbing perennial, Ijut may be raised from seed, and 
brought forward in a frame, so as to flower profusely 


from August to October, or till severe frosts later in the 
season. Plants may be had at most green-houses, at 
small expense, which, put out in the border with a little 
frame to which to attach their twining leaf-stalks, will be 
loaded with its rich j^^^i'P^^? white, rose, etc., foxglove- 
shaped flowers, every day, through the season. There 
are a number of other varieties, all handsome. The plants 
will grow from five to ten feet high. 

MEDICAGO.— Medick. 

[A name applied to Lucerne, because it came from Greece to Media.] 

The Lucerne, Medicago sativa^ is cultivated as a forage 
plant. M. hqntlina^ or Nonsuch, is not rare as a weed, 
and a few are cultivated on account of the curious forms 
of their curved seed-pods. The flowers are not showy. 
Those enumerated here are annuals of easy culture. 

Medicago SCUtellata. — Snails. — The seed-pod is neatly 
curled so as to resemble a small snail. 

M. circinata* — Caterpillar. — Has its pod clothed with 
short stifi" hairs, and it appears very much like a green 
caterpillar. M. intertexta^ having the pod covered with 
spines, is called Hedgehog. The pods of these are some- 
times placed in dishes of salad to cause surprise to those 
who are unacquainted with them. 


[Named in honor of Mentzel, a botanist of Bradenburgli.] 

Mentzelia Lindleyana. — ^This is generally and incor- 
rectly called Bartonia aurea in the catalogues. The name 
Bartonia, in honor of the late Doct. B. S. Barton, of Phil- 
adelphia, properly belongs to a small native annual of 

284 breck's new book of flowers. 

the Gentian Family. A very pretty flowering annual 
from California, one foot high. The plant produces a 
profusion of showy flowers, of a fine golden-yellow color. 
Each bloom about two and one-half inches across. It de- 
liglits in a sheltered sunny situation, and, if grown in a 
rich light soil, will bloom profusely. The plant requires 
to be raised as a frame annual, and to be planted in the 
border in June. 

MERTENSIA.— Smooth Lungwort. 

[Named for a German botanist, Prof. Mertens.'] 

Mertensia Vir^inica. — Virginian Cowslip or Lung- 
wort. — An indigenous, hardy perennial, which occurs 
pretty commonly in the shady woods of Pennsylvania, 
and most of the southern and western States. Its flow- 
ers, which appear early in May, look like so many small, 
bright blue, pendulous funnels, each springing out of a 
prismatic, pentagonal, five-tooth calyx ; flower-stems from 
one to one and one-half foot high. After flowering, the 
plant to appearance dies, and it is not seen until the fol- 
lowing spring. This is one of the most elegant orna- 
ments of the flower-garden in May. It is propagated by 
divisions of the roots, which are thick, fleshy, or tuberous. 
M. maritima and M. Slhirica^ are elegant perennials, 
greatly resembling each other and considered by some as 
only varieties. They are among the most elegant orna- 
ments of the flower-garden, in dry springs ; but they re- 
quire some care in keeping, unless in a soil almost entirely 
of sand. These species are sometimes placed under Pul- 
monaria^ to which they are closely related. Pulmonaria 
officindlis — the Medicinal Lungwort — is sometimes cul- 
tivated. It is a native of Euro])e, in bloom from April to 
June, with clusters of red and blueish purple flowers, 
with spotted leaves ; six inches high. 

descriptive list op flowers. 285 


[From the Greek, meaning flowering at mid-day.] 

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. — Ice Plant. — Is 
about the only one of the many species cultivated in the 

" With pellucid stutls, the Ice-flower gems 
His rimy foliage, and his candied stems." 

This is a singular and very curious annual, with thick 
fleshy leaves, that have the appearance of being covered 
with ice-crystals. The stems of the plant are also stud- 
ded with crystal gems, and have the appearance of rock- 
candy. The whole plant is peculiarly brilliant in the sun- 
shine. It succeeds Avell in the border when forwarded in 
small pots, in light sandy soil, in a hot-bed. When the 
young jilants have filled the pots with roots, they must 
be shifted into those of a larger size. They may be 
turned out into the border the first of July, or before, if 
the weather is very warm ; they will continue to increase 
in size and beauty all the season. The plant is highly 
ornamental and curious, but there is not much beauty in 
the flower. Few green-houses, however small, are with- 
out the Ice-plant ; from its glittering surface, it is some- 
times called the Diamond-plant, Diamond ficoides^ and 
Spangled-beau : — 

" G.eraninm boasts 

Her crimson honours, and tlie Spangled-beau, 

Ficoides. glitters bright the winter long. 

All plants of every leaf, that can endure 

The winter's frown, if screened from his shrewd bite, 

Live tliere and prosper."— Coif;?er. 

MIMOSA. — Sensitive Plant. 

[From the Greek, for mimic, as the irritable leaves imitate the sensibility of 

Mimosa pudica. — Sensitive Plant. — A native of Brazil, 
and well-known for the extreme irritability of the leaves, 
which, when touched, immediatelv fold themselves to- 


breck's xew book of flowers. 

gether, and the petiole at the same time droops. The 
cause of this motion has been the subject of many curi- 
ous speculations. " The most irritable part of the plant 
is in the foot-stalk, between the stem and the leaflets. 


l)uring the night, they remain in the same state as when 
touched in the day-time ; yet, if touched then, will fold 
their leaves still closer." 

*' Miller, in one of tlie earlier editions of his Diction- 
ary, speaks of a Calabrian philosopher, who was driven 
mad by considering the mysterious nature of this plant ; 
'just,' continues he, ' as Aristotle is said to have flung 
himself into the sea, because he could not comprehend the 
ebbing and flowing thereof.' " 

"When any of the upper leaves are touched, if in falling 


they touch those below them, these also will contract 
and fall, so that by touching one another, they will con- 
tinue to fall for some time. 

Many years since I was greatly interested in a bed of 
Sensitive Plants, which filled a frame four feet by ten. I 
set out the young plants in a hot-bed, where the heat was 
nearly spent, some time in May, about eight inches apart. 
The glass was kept on till the middle of June, when the 
plants were fully ex]30sed. They continued to flourish 
until the bed was completely filled. It was a source of 
great amusement to myself and visitors to irritate this 
mass of plants, which was easily done, by giving the 
frame a gentle kick. The eflfect would be to cause every 
plant to drop its foot-stalks and close its leaves. If it 
was very warm, the foot-stalks would gradually rise, and 
the leaflets resume their expanded state ; the plant is 
most irritable in the greatest heat. Dr. Darwin thus 
characterizes it : — 

" Weak with nice sense the chaste Mimosa stands, 
From each rude toticli withdraws her tender hands; 
Oft as liglit clouds o'erpass ttie summer glade, 
Alarmed, she trembles at the moving shade, 
And feels alive through all her tender form, 
The whispered murmurs of the gathering storm ; 
Shuts her sweet eye-lids to approaching night 
And hails with freshened charms the rising light." 

In cloudy damp weather, or on the approach of storms, 
or in the damp of the evening and through the night, the 
foot-stalks fall, the leaflets close, and the plant appears to 
be in a state of repose. It is an annual, which, if started 
in a hot-bed, will flourish in the borders during the sum- 
mer, but looses its sensitiveness in a great measure as cold 
weather spproaches. 

288 breck's new book of flowers. 

MIMTJLTIS. —Monkey-flower. 

fFiom the Greek for ape, in allusion to the gaping corolla.] 

The species are showy plants of the easiest culture in 
almost any soil or situation. They are perennials in the 
green-house, where they are easily propagated from cut- 
tings or from seed. In the open ground they are annu- 
als, flowering profusely from seed the same season. I 
have known them to stand through the winter, when cov- 
ered with ice and snow most of the season. The seeds 
are very small, and require considerable attention to get 
them to vegetate. I have known seeds, self-sown in au- 
tumn, to come up freely in the spring, commencing to 
flower in June, and continumg in bloom till October. 
They succeed best in a moist soil, partially shaded. 

MimulllS lliteilS. — From this species, sometimes called 
31. rividaris, a great number of beautiful varieties have 
been produced. The flowers are tubular, with wide- 
spreading segments ; the ground color, all shades of yel- 
low, from light straw to deep-orange, beautifully spotted 
or blotched with crimson or scarlet. On some varieties 
there is a large blotch or spot on each segment of the 
corolla, while the throat of the plant is beautifully spot- 
ted or mottled. It is a flower very much given to sport- 
ing. The following remarkable account of the success in 
the cultivation of this plant is detailed in an English 
paper : — 

"This plant delights in a rich, moist soil, mixed with 
sand, and if it be a little shady it is beneficial ; the colors 
of the flower are better, and the plant more vigorous. A 
free supply of water is necessary, in order to grow it suc- 
cessfully. I have had a single plant grow three feet aiid 
one-half high, and be six feet in circumference, producing 
a vast profusion of flowers, most amj^ly repaying the 
little extra attention paid to its culture. When I obtained 
this plant at first, I was instructed to grow it in a small, 


shallow 1)011(1, keeping the roots immersed in water. I 
was told it would there succeed far better than by any- 
other method ; but in this particular I find it very much 
to the contrary. A soil as above described, and a good 
supply of water in dry weather, are all that is required. 
I had a j^lant grown in a pot this summer, the size above 
particularized. The species and all its A^arieties are 
readily increased by taking off rooted shoots, or by cut- 
tings. Seed sown in spring, and the plants pricked out 
into a bed of rich soil, will flower by July, and continue 
through the season. The impregnation of these kinds, 
with any or all of the others, produces a pleasing and in- 
teresting variation of flowers." A variety of this, called 
M. variegatus^ is a delicate flowering one, and other va- 
rieties have been called species under the names of 3f. 
pimctatus^ M. speciosits^ M. ruhimis^ etc. 

M. cardinalis. — This is another A^ery ornamental spe- 
cies, with brilliant scarlet flowers, with varieties having 
rose or orange-colored blossoms. It requires the same 
treatment as the other species, and is equally rapid in 
its growth. I have not, however, ever raised plants as 
large as have been described. 

M. moschatUS. — Musk Plant. — Tliis Avell-known Ifimu- 
lus is cultivated on account of the musky odor of the 
plant, rather than for its flowers, which are yellow and 
much smaller than in most of the species. It delights in 
a rich spil, and if the summer proves dry, the plant re- 
quires a free supply of water; if deprived of tliis, it will 
be weakly, and produce but few flowers. AVhen grown 
in such a soil, and well attended with water, a plant has 
been knoAvn to grow two feet high. To effect this, the 
suckers, as fast as they appeared, were pinched ofl*, so 
that the strength of the plant was thrown into a single 
stem; the result was, an upright pyramidal plant, two 
feet high, clothed with blossoms from bottom to top. 
1 o 

290 breck's new book of flowers. 

The general habit of the plant when left to itself, is weak 
and trailing. It is, therefore, a very pretty plant for a 
hanging vase. The slioots will push rapidly, and hanging 
gracefully down the sides with its numerous yellow flow- 
ers, presents a very pleasing appearance, perfuming the 
air to a considerable distance. 

All the varieties and species require the same care in 
cultivation as has been described; always remembering 
that in our climate the mid-summer's sun is most too pow- 
erful for them if fully exposed to its influence. A situa- 
tion, therefore, should be selected where the plants will 
have sun only in the morning a few hours, and in the af- 
ternoon the same. 

MIRABILIS.— Marvel of Peru 

[Latin word, signifying wonderful .] 

Mirabilis Jalapa^ or common Four-o'clock of the gar- 
dens, is a very ornamental plant for borders. AVhen cul- 
tivated it sports into many agreeable varieties. It is con- 
sidered and treated as a tender annual. It may, how- 
ever be planted the last of April, and bears a profusion 
of flowers in August and September. Although treated 
as an annual, it is, in its native country, a perennial, with 
the rest of the genus. Its large tuberous roots, which, if 
taken up and preserved during winter, like the Dahlia, will 
flower perennially. The flowers are red in its native 
country, the West Indies ; but in the garden are to be 
found white, yellow, various shades of red, and variegat- 
ed, in the same flower. Stem from two to three feet high. 

M. lonj^iflora, like the last, is handsome and fi-agrant. 
The flowers are pure white, with purple below, standing 
on long tubes; in July and August. This species is not 
so common as M. Jalapa. The hybridization of these 
two specios lias brought forth new varieties most remark- 


ably and singularly colored. The same plant and even 
the same branch produces very different flowers, some- 
times of one color only, and others striped or parti-color- 
ed. In some of the rarer varieties, that are distinguished 
by the elongated tube of the flower, are recognized the 
traits of M. longiflora. These produce but very few 
seeds, and yet they give us too perfectly distinct kinds, 
which are very remarkable, and, perhaps, an exceptional 
example of the fruitful j^roducts obtained by hybridization. 
Among other names for this admirable flower, it is known 
as World's Wonder, Evening Beauty, Afternoon Ladies, 
and Four-o'clock, because the flowers open about that 
time in the afternoon. The French call it Belle de nui% 
or the Beauty of the Night. The flowers continue 
through the night and perish before noon, the next day, 
if very warm. This is an old-fashioned border-plant, but 
none the less beautiful on that account. If planted three 
feet apart, they will grow into quite a bush before cold 
weather ; but, if huddled together, as we often see them, 
into a small sjjace, they loose half their beauty. 


[From mordeo, to bite ; its seeds having the appearance of having been bit- 

Momordica Balsamina, or Balsam Apple, is cultivated 
as an object of curiosity, and for its fruit, which is some- 
times used for curing wounds. It has fleshy, ovate fruit, 
remotely tubercled in longitudinal rows ; smooth in the 
other parts ; red when ripe, bursting irregularly, and dis- 
persing the seeds with a s^jring. 

The fruit is used in Syria for the same purpose that it 
is here. It is cut open when unripe, and infused in sweet 
oil, and exposed to the sun for some days, until the oil has 
become red. This, dropped on cotton, is applied to a 


fresh wound. The fruit here is not picked until ripe, and 
then preserved in spirits. An annual, native of India ; a 
climber, four feet high ; flowers yellow, in July and Au- 
gust ; time of planting in May. 

M, charantia* — Balsam Pear. — Like the last a tender 
annual, the same height and color of flower; growth and 
habits the same. Both species must be supported with 
brush four feet high. The fruit of this is pear-shaped, oth- 
erwise somewhat similar to the first described species. 

MONARDA.— Horse Mint. 

[In honor of Monardes, a Spanish botanist of the 16th centuryj 

Monarda dldyma. — Oswego Tea. — A perennial, native 
of North America. A well-known garden plant, three 
feet high, with brilliant scarlet flowers ; from June to 
August. Its familiar names are Red Balm, Crimson Balm, 
or Bergamot. The leaves are sometimes used as a substi- 
tute for tea. If. Jistulosa, has light-purple flowers, and 
not so handsome as 31. didi/ma, but possess the same 
properties. There are also many other species, which, in 
large collections, would be interesting. 

MTJSCARI.— GrRAPE Hyacinth. 

IFrom mosckos, musk, on account of the odor of the flowers., 

Muscdri moschatum. — Grape Hyacinth. — Is a pretty, 
hardy, bulbous-rooted plant, with dark, light-blue or 
white flowers, having a strong smell of musk. 

M. comosiim, in a variety called monstrosym^ is the 
Feathered Ilyacintli, a most ornamental, hardy border- 
flower ; the bulb is large, ovate and solid ; the leaves nar- 
row, a foot long, with obtuse points; the flower-stalks rise 



294 breck's new book of floweks. 

nearly a foot and one-half high; they are naked at the 
bottom for about seven or eight inches, above which the 
panicles of flowers begin, and terminate the stalks. The 
flowers stand upon the peduncles, which are more than an 
inch long, each sustaining three, four, or five flowers, 
whose petals are cut into slender filaments, like hairs ; 
they are of a purplish-blue color, and, having neither 
stamens nor germs, never j^roduce seeds. 

M. botryoides is another pretty species, with varieties 
of blue, white, and flesh-colored flowers, all small, bulbous- 
rooted plants, obtained from Holland as species of Hya- 
cinths, with solid bulbs, producing spikes of pretty, bell- 
shaped flowers a foot high, flowering in June. All are 
hardy, and may be planted in any good garden soil, about 
three inches deep, five or six roots in a group; they need 
not be taken up oftener than once in three years, and then 
should not be kept long out of the ground. 

MYOSOTIS.— Forget me-not. 

[So named from Greek words, signifying a mouse's ear.] 

Myosotis arv^nsis, is a well-known plant, bearing deli- 
cate blue flowers, with white and yellow eyes, in little 
spikes or clusters. There is also a variety with white 
flowers. In bloom most of the season ; six inches high. 
It flourishes best in a moist shady place. Pro|)agated 
freely from seeds. Autumn sown plants succeed best. 


NARCISSUS.— Daffodil, Jonquil. 

[Named from the youth Narcissus, who, as the poets tell us, was changed in- 
to this flower.] 

" No gradual bloom is wanting ; from the bud, 
First born of the spring, to summer's murky tribes : 
Nor Hyacinths of purest virgin white, 
Low bent, and blushing inward ; nor Jonquilles 
Of potent fragrance ; nor Narcissus fair, 
As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still." 

Mostly hardy, bulbous-rooted plants, many of them too 
Avell known for description ; all suitable to ornament the 
garden. They may be planted in October or November, 
in any good garden soil, about three inches deep, and need 
not be taken up oftener than is necessary to separate the 
roots when they become matted together, as they will in 
three or four years. 

Narcissus biflorus. — The Two-flowered Narcissus, 
Pale Daffodil, or Primrose-peerless, is of a pale-cream 
color, with a yellow cup in the center ; a very pretty spe- 

N. Pseudo-XarciSSUS, is the Common Daffodil; there 
are many varieties ; with a white flower and yellow cup ; 
a yellow flower and deep-golden cup, a double flower, 
with several cups, one within another ; the Great Yellow- 
Incomparable, double and single. The double variety is 
called Butter and Eggs Narcissus, by the English, and by 
the Dutch, Orange Phoenix, and is considered the hand- 
somest of all the varieties. It has large and small petals ; 
the large, lemon color, filled in with small orange-colored 
ones. All these varieties flower the last of April. 

N. odorus. — The Great Jonquille, is yellow ; the scent 
of it so powerful as hardly to be endured. 

N. Jonquilla.— The Common Jonquille, is yellow, and 
has a cup deeper colored than the petals. There is a va- 
riety with double flowers. 

296 beeck's xew book of flowers. 

N. bulbocodium, — The Hoo|>petticoat Narcissiis. — 
Called in France Medusa's Trumpet, has the cup Uvo 
inches long, very broad at the brira. Of this, there are a 
number of varieties ; one, pale citron color ; another darker 
and larger; both curious and pretty; flowers early in May. 

iV. poeticus, or Poet's Narcissus, has a snow-white 
flower, with a pale-yellow cup in the center, fringed on 
the border with a circle of reddish-purple. It is sweet- 
scented ; in flower last of May. There is a variety with 
double flowers ; these are the most desirable. 

N. poljanthos. — The Polyanthus Narcissus is the most 
desirable of all ; but, alasj it is not so hardy. It requires 
to be planted five inches deep, and to be protected, to do 
well. The bulbs are quite large. The blossoms are pi-o- 
duced the last of May, in trusses of from six to twenty 
flowers. There are many varieties of this flower. Some 
have entirely w^hite flowers; others, white, with yellow, 
citron, or orange cups ; and entirely yellow or orange-col- 
ored flowers. There is a variety wdth double flowers. 
This species of Narcissus succeeds well w^hen grown in 
pots ; or it is fine for flowering in glasses. 


[From the Greek words for a grove and to love.'i 

IVemophila insignis.— Showy Love-grove. — Tijis, as well 
as the other species, is an annual, from California. It grows 
with a very spreading habit, its numerous weak branches 
resthig on the soil and throwing up its bright blue flowers 
on stems about six inches long. The whole plant is of a 
pale-green, and is clothed with somewhat bristly hairs. 
All the species are disposed to sport, and this one has 
given varieties in which the flowers are white with blue 
stripes, and Ijlue marked with white. All are suited for 


the front of the border, and are beautiful annuals for pots. 

N. atomaria. — Dotted Love-grove. — The growth is the 
same as the preceeding, with flowers which are white, dot- 
ted with dark-purple. It is the original of several of the 
garden varieties, among which are : iV^ discoidalis elegans, 
in which the flowers are of a light chocolate, or reddish- 
maroon color, conspicuously and distinctly bordered with 
white, and iV^ discoidalis vittata with nearly black flow- 
ers, broadly margined with white. 

N. macillata. — Spotted Love-grove. — Similar in habit 
and size of flowers to I^. insignis, but the white flower 
has a dark-violet blotch on each one of the petals. JV. 
aurita, with purplish-blue flowers, is sometimes cultivated. 


[Named for Jean Nicot, who first introduced the plant hito France.] 

Mcotiana Tabacum. — Tobacco. — This is cultivated in 
fields for its narcotic leaves. The flower is somewhat 
showy, and it may be grown in the garden as a curiosity, 
as well as for its leaves, which are useful to destroy in- 
sects. Its decoction, the powder of the leaves, and the 
smoke produced when they are burned, are all used by the 
gardener in freeing his plants from insects. It Avould be 
well if the plant were raised only for the destruction of 
insects, rather than, as I fear is the cause, for the destruc- 
tion of human beings. 

N. longiflora. — Long-flowered Tobacco. — Star Petunia. 
— An annual species, with much the habit of a Petunia, 
with pure white flowers, having a long tube and a star- 
like limb to the corolla. 


298 breck's new book of flowees. 


[Dedicated to Nieremberg, a Spanish Jesuit.] 

IVicremb^rgia gracilis. — Slender Nierembergia. — A 
charming, half-hardy perennial, from South America. The 
stems are exceedingly slender and much branching, and 
bear all summer a profusion of flowers, wijich are an inch 
across, with a very slender tube ; pale-lilac, with yellow 

IV. filicaulis. — Thread-stemmed Nierembergia, similar 
to the foregoing, but with a more branching and spread- 
ing habit and larger flowers, white or lilac, with violet 
streaks. N". alha^ a splendid white ; N'. intermedia^ deep- 
purple, with yellow eye ; and N'. alhiflora compacta nana, 
dwarf, with compact growth, and white flowers with yellow 
eye, are among the garden varieties. 

NIGELLA. — Fennel-flower. 

[Name from niger, black, from the color of its seed.] 

Nig^lla DamaSC^naj is known by a number of names ; 
Fennel-flower, because the plant has fine-cut leaves like 
fennel, Love-in-a-mist, because the flower is enveloped in 
its finely divided involucre, Devil-in-the-bush, because the 
flower is partly concealed in its fine-cut foliage, that evil 
character being supposed to hide himself as much as pos- 
sible from public view. This species is a native of the 
South of Europe, one and one-half foot high ; flowers 
light-blue, with a Avhite variety. The seeds of this and 
N. saliva, are sometimes used in cookery, instead of more 
expensive aromatics. They are also said to be extensively 
used in the adulteration of pepper. The double varieties 
are handsome border-annuals, requiring but little care in 
their cultivation. \\\ flower fi'oni July to October. """'^ 



[A diminution of nola, tiie Latin for a little bell.] 

IVolana prostrata. — Trailing Nolana. — This, with the 
other species, is from South America ; all are handsome an- 
nuals. The stems are prostrate, much branching, and 
covered with a profusion of flattish bell-shaped flowers, 
of a fine blue streaked with black ; from July to Septem- 
ber. It may be sown early in the spring in the border. 

]Vt atriplicifolia. — A new^ and very handsome flowering 
annual, of prostrate growth, or, if grown in masses, will 
rise to half a foot high. The flowers are produced most 
numerously, and give a very pretty appearance. The 
plant deserves a place in every flower-garden. It is a de- 
sirable plant to grow in order to hang pendulous over the 
edge of a vase, pot, etc. The flowers have some resem- 
blance to the Dwarf Convolvulus, fine azure-blue with a 
white center, the bottom or tube, of the flower, yellow. 

OCYMUM.— Basil. 

[Said to be derived from tiie Greeli, meaning to smell, on account of the 
powerful odor of ttie plants.] 

Ocymum Basilicum. — Sweet Basil. — This highly odor- 
iferous plant is frequently known in country gardens, un- 
der the incorrect name of Lavender. The true Lavender 
is a half-hardy shrub. Sweet Basil is sometimes used in 
cookery. It is a very agreeable plant to have in the gar- 
den. The seed should be sown in May. 

300 beeck's new book of flowers. 

(ENOTHERA. — Evening Primrose. 

[Name derived from the Greek for ivine and chase, on account, it is said, of 
the roots of some species having been eaten as an incentive to wine.] 

" A tuft of Evening Primroses, 
O'er which the wind may hover till it dozes ; 
O'er which it well miglit take a pleasant sleep, 
But it is ever startled by the leap 
Of buds into ripe flowers." 

A large genus of which many sj^ecies nre indigenous to 
America, and it inchides annuals, biennials, and peren- 
nials. The flowers of some sjjecies open only towards 
night, hence the name Evening Primrose ; while others 
open in broad sunshine. In a strictly botanical classifica- 
tion, the species mentioned under Godetia^ would come 
here. All the species succeed in a light rich soil. 

(Enothera biennis. — Common Evening Primrose. — 
This is a common plant, even a weed, everywhere in this 
country. There are many varieties of it, dififering in the 
size of the flowers, hairiness of the plant, etc. One of 
these, under the name of (E. grandiflora^ is cultivated. 
It grows about four feet high and has large yellow flow- 
ers, at night-fall. 

(E. MiSSOUri^nsiS. — Missouri Evening Primrose. — A 
native of Missouri and Texas, with a large fleshy peren- 
nial root, and prostrate spreading stems, which bear ash- 
colored leaves and a succession of large yellow flowers, 
Avhich are from four to six inches in diameter. The seed- 
pod is large Avith broad wings, and tlie species is some- 
times called CE. macrocarpa. 

(E. spcciosa. — Handsome Evening Primrose. — Has per- 
ennial roots, with stems one and one-half foot high ; Avhite 
and fragrant flowers, which turn rose color in fading. 

(E. nocturna. — Night-smelling Evening Primrose. — 
An elegant half-hardy l)iennial from tlic Cape of Good 
Hope. Flowers profusely tiie first season, and may be 


considered and treated in open air culture as a hardy 
annual ; it has a succession of yellow flowers from July 
to October. Two feet high. 

(E. tetraptera. — White-flowered Evening Primrose. — 
A very beautiful, prostrate-growing, hardy annual from 
Mexico. One foot high, with a succession of pure white 
flowers from July to September, which make their appear- 
ance after the sun has descended below the horizon, and 
perish before it rises in the morning. 

(E. longiflora; an elegant biennial, if the roots can be 
preserved through the Avinter, but generally cultivated as 
an annual, with uncommonly large and showy yellow 
flowers from July to October. A native of Buenos Ayres. 
Three feet high. 

Besides these there are cultivated : (E. historta^ an an- 
nual Avith small yellow flowers, with a purple eye ; CE. 
acaulU^ a prostrate white-flowered species from Chili ; (E. 
Lamarckiana^ a tall species with large yellow flowers ; 
and others. All the species are propagated without dif- 
ficulty. The annuals by seed, and the perennials by seed 
or from divisions of the root. 


[The ancient Greek name."] 

We have only one species of Orchis proper in the 
United States, those which are popularly so called belong 
to the genus Platanthera. 

Orchis spectabilis. — Showy Orchis. — A low species, 
with a root of fleshy fibres from which are produced two 
fleshy oblong leaves and a flower-stem about six inches 
high, bearing several white and pinkish-purple flowers, in 
May. For remarks on culture, see Platanthera. 


OROBXJS.— Bitter Vetch. 

[From the Greek, to excite, and an ox ; that is to say, a food nourishing for 

Orobus vernus. — Spring Bitter Vetch. — Yery early 
flowering, flowers large, handsome, singular in the differ- 
ent shades of colors, the upper part of the large petal is 
puri)le with blood-red veins, the wings are blue, the keel 
blue, tinged with green, the color changes as the flower 
advances, and becomes finally altogether blue. 

0. nigger, is a handsome border-plant, with very dark- 
purple flowers, in June, July and August; two feet liigh; 
stem very much branched ; leaves in six pairs ; racemes 
one-sided, many-flowered. 

0. atropurpureus, has fine purple flowers, in a dense 
one-sided, many-flowered raceme. 0. formosus is also 
beautiful, a native of Mount Caucasus; flowers large, 
fine purple. 0. Fischeri is another handsome purple spe- 
cies. 0. tuherosus^ a native of England, is also of a fine 
species, remarkable for its tuberous roots, which the Scotch 
Highlanders chew when dried to give a good flavor to 
their whiskey ; they also assert that by the use of them 
they are enabled to bear hunger and thirst for a longer 
time without suffering. In Holland and Flanders they 
are dried, roasted, and served at table like chestnuts. In 
England the plant is called the Wood Pea or Heath Pea. 
0. luteus is considered one of the handsomest of the pa- 
pilionaceous family. Several other species are well deserv- 
ing notice, they are easily propagated by dividing at the 
root or by seed. A sandy soil suits them best. 


P^ONIA.— Peony. 

[From Pcson, an eminent physician of antiquity ] 

This interesting genus contains many magnificent flow- 
ering plants, embracing more than one hundred varieties 
and species, all of which are desirable for the border, and' 
perfectly hardy, standing over winter without protection. 
Most of the genus are herbaceous. P. 3Ioutan^ and its va- 
rieties, are shrubby ; their roots are fleshy, but not so 
distinctly tuberous as those of the herbaceous species. 
All require nearly the same ti-eatment. Tlie time for di- 
viding the herbaceous sorts is in September or October ; 
the whole stool should be taken up. With a sharp knife 
it may be divided into as many pieces as there are tubers 
with buds ; it is necessary that a bud be preserved on 
each tuber. At this season of the year the Peony is in a 
dormant state ; the buds are just beginning to show them- 
selves, and, if delayed long after the first of October, the 
new fibres begin to push, and the plant will be less likely 
to flower the coming spring. The Peony should not be 
disturbed in the spring, unless it be very early, as it does 
not succeed well when transplanted at that season, wit! i out 
a ball of earth adhering to the roots. The tubers should 
be planted in a deep, rich, light, garden soil ; the crown, 
or bud, should be placed three inches below the surface. 
The species of the Peony have been so much changed by 
the florist, that it is difiicult to draw the line of botanical 
distinction with any degree of accuracy ; and, for floral 
purposes, it is not necessary. 

Pseonia oMcinalis. — This is the old Double Crimson 
Peony, familiar to every one as a household friend. 
When first introduced into Antwerp, two hundred and 
fifty years ago, the plant sold for twelve crowns, — a large 
sum for those days. 

The varieties of this species are P. rosa, with rose ; -P. 
blanda^ with blush ; P. rubra, with red ; P. carneus, 


with flesh-colored ; P. albicans^ with white flowers ; and 
many others. This class of Peonies flower the last of 
May and the first of June. 

P. tenuifolia, or Fennel-leaved, with fine leaves like fen- 
nel ; in flower the first of May ; it is of a deep-crimson 
color, and, when in bud, very beautiful. There is a dou- 
ble variety of this sort. 

P. albiflorac — The White-flowered or Chinese Peony, 
is the parent of many fine varieties, such as P. Sibirica 
and F. Whitleyi, with white flowers ; P. Tartarica, flesh- 
colored ; -P. ITmnei, lilac-red ; P. Heevesii, lilac-rose ; P. 
Pottsii^ crimson, all old varieties. After these come a 
succession of splendid sorts, viz. : P. prolifera tricolor ; 
flowers in clusters, ground petals pure white, with a glo- 
bular mass of small yellow petals in the center with the 
crimson stigmas protruding ; P. festiva^ large, full, double 
pure white flowers, delicately striped or touched with pur- 
ple ; P. sulphurea^ with large petals of a light sulphur 
color; Duchesse de N'emours^ with a multitude of other 
beautiful varieties. 

P. paradoxal — A purplish-red species from the south 
of Europe, which has produced several varieties, such as 
P. Grevillei^ P. compacta^ P. fmbriata^ etc. P. decora 
and P. corallina^ are species with large, single, purphsh- 
red and red flowers. 

P. Moutan, or the Tree Peony and its varieties, are 
magnificent plants, with flowers of various shades of red, 
lilac, light and dark-purple, and white, measuring from 
six to eight inches in diameter ; all are of easy culture, 
very hardy, requiring but little protection. The variety 
Banksii^ is one of the most common kinds. I have had 
a plant of this, with from seventy to eighty flowers upon 
it at one time, presenting a splendid sight; the flowers 
vary on the same bush, some of them will be very double, 


of a light-pink color, fading, as they open to a blush or 
white towards the edges, and at the base deepening to 
purplish-red. Variations also take j^lace in the size of the 
flowers, according to the strength of the j^lant. The 
shrub is rarely seen more than three feet high, but it be- 
comes very large in circumference, bushing out from year 
to year, and growing into a regular, hemispherical shape. 
It is in flower the last of May. 

Pt papaveracea, or Poppy-flowered Tree Peony, is 
also a splendid plant, having large, single, white flow^ers, 
sometimes ten inches in diameter. Tlie petals are flat, 
with a deep purple spot at the base of each. These spots 
are rayed about an inch and one-half long, from the 
center, forming a rich, brilliant star in the middle of 
the flower ; the bright yellow stamens add to the beauty 
of the flower, forming a fine contrast wdth the purple and 
pure white. It is a very desirable plant. There is a 
variety of this, w^ith semi-double or double flowers. jP. 
2)apaveracea rosea^ is a variety with fine rose-colored 
flowers, and there is one of the same color with double 
flowers ; not very common. 

P. Elizabeth^ is one of the most splendid and rare va- 
rieties. The flowers are of the largest size, very double ; 
color carmine, shaded with crimson. P. Grand Soleil, has 
large, double, white flowers, shaded with pink. A great 
number of splendid varieties have recently been intro- 
duced from France and Germany. Some of the new sorts 
raised by M. Guerin Modeste, of Paris, are the follow- 
ing: — 

Charles Rouillard. — Vigorous ; leaves yellowish-green ; 
flowers very large, nearly full, brilliant fiery rose, softer 
rose towards the edge ; a magnificent variety. 

Henri Pingard, — Vigorous; leaves glaucous green; 
floAvers very large, nearly full, rose amaranth towards the 
base of the petals, pearly white at the top. 


President JBrongniart. — Vigorous ; leaves glaucous 
green, tinted yellow ; flowers large, well raised in the cen- 
ter, rose amaranth, softer towards tlie outside, velvety- 
white, very lightly tinted with carnation towards the 
center ; a superb variety, of which the flowers are of ex- 
cellent form. This variety was offered for sale in 1863. 

Du Mont de Courset. — Vigorous ; leaves deep-green ; 
flowers large, nearly full, clear satiny amaranth, of uniform 
shade ; a fine variety, not yet distributed. The same gen- 
tleman has produced a great number of beautiful seedling 
herbaceous varieties. Other florists in Paris and else- 
where in France, have raised many splendid seedlings of 
Tree Peonies, as well as of the herbaceous sorts. To 
these must be added those introduced direct from China, 
by Mr. Fortune. Several of these Tree Peonies remain as 
yet without an equal, in respect to the regularity of their 
form and the beauty of their colors. 

"The propagation of Moutans, upon their first introduc- 
tion, was a matter of considerable difficulty. They have, 
consequently, borne a high price in the nurseries; and 
though they are now multiplied extensively, yet, with all 
the experience which has been acquired, the obtaining 
strong new plants is a tedious operation. All modes of 
propagation have been tried with them, viz. : by seeds, 
suckers, grafts, cuttings, and layers. They rarely produce 
seeds that are perfect, unless the impregnation of the stig- 
mas is properly attended to. Most of the seedlings of 
late production are from seeds, grown from fertilized 
flowers. Suckers, or rather root shoots, may sometimes 
be severed successfully from large old plants, and such 
soon become strong enough to flower. If the work is 
carefully executed, grafts of the rarer sorts may be fixed 
on pieces of the roots of the more common. These pieces 
of roots must be established in ])ots, and in the spring, a 
bud with a little wood attached to it may bo joined to the 


root ill the manner of a graft, a slice of the root being 
taken off to receive the piece intended to be united with 
it. When the fitting is completed, it is to be covered 
with clay, taking care to leave the eye exposed ; the pot 
must be kept covered with a hand glass. 

" Some nurserymen have succeeded in grafting the Tree 
varieties on the roots of the herbaceous sorts. To this 
end, strong roots of herbaceous varieties are procured ; 
these are kept growing and then grafted, a branch Avitli 
one or more buds being inserted on the side of the root. 
The grafted roots are put under bell-glasses, or in frames 
placed by preference in a north aspect, and the grafts soon 
become united and commence to grow, promptly produc- 
ing roots fur themselves. The grafting is performed from 
the middle of July to the middle of Sej^tember. Ripe 
cuttings, taken off in August and September, with a small 
piece of old wood at the end, and planted against the side 
of garden pots, in a mixture of loam, leaf-mould, and sand 
well drained, and protected from the air by glasses, will 
succeed. Tlie pots must be secured from frost in the win- 
ter, and shaded iu summer ; in the spring, the progress of 
the cuttings may be assisted by being placed in a frame 
with a gentle bottom heat. But the more general plan 
of multiplying Moutans is by layers, the shoots for which 
purpose should be planted in protecting pits, or in shel- 
tered borders, which should be covered with mats, spread 
over hoops; the branches, when laid down, require" a 
longer time to emit roots, than is usual with the common 
shrubs, and the largest are seldom fit to be removed until 
they have remained two years attached to the stool. 
The shoots, when laid down, reqtiire a longitudinal slit or 
tongue in the inner part of the bend ; and tliis must be 
made with care, for, being brittle, the wood is liable to 
break. The tongued part should be bedded in a mixture 
of loam and sand." 

308 beeck's new book of flowers. 

I have found that the Tree Peony flowers stronger when 
well protected in autumn by a liberal coating of manure 
about the roots, and the top protested with straw. 

PAP AVER.— Poppy. 

[Name of obscure derivation , by some said to be derived from tlie Celtic 
papa, thickened milk, in allusion to the milky juice of the plants.] 

" And thou, by pain and sorrow blest 
Papaver, that an opiate dew 
Conceal'st beneath thy scarlet vest, 
Contrasting with the Corn-flower blue ; 
Autumnal months beholtl thy gauzy leaves 
Bend in the rustling gale amid the tawny sheaves."— Mrs. C. Smith. 

This genus is well known as furnishing a valuable medi- 
cine as well as for its ornamental plants. Opium is the 
dried juice of JPapaver somniferum^ from which Lauda- 
num, Morphine, etc., are prepared. The seeds of the 
Poppy are without narcotic properties, and are used as 
food. The Poppy produces a great number of seeds, for 
which reason Cybele, the mother of the gods, is repre- 
sented crowned with Poppy-heads as a symbol of fecundity. 
The species of this genus are all showy, with large brilliant 

Papaver somniferum. — Opium or Garden Poppy. — 
This, in its natural state, has large single flowers, 
which soon fall away and are succeeded by a capsule, which, 
when wounded, exudes a milky juice that, on drying, 
becomes Opium. The double varieties, or Hybrid Pop- 
pies, are very ornamental. Picotee Poppies, are improved 
varieties with white flowers, spotted or splashed with 
crimson, scarlet, or purple, and very handsome and dou- 
ble. The Peony-flowered have very large, full double 
flowers, of rich colors and shades of crimson, purple, scar- 
let, rose, white, variegated, bordered, etc. A bed of these 


Poppies makes a grand show. All the varieties are easily 
cultivated from seed. None of them can be transplanted 
with success. 

P. RhcBaSe — Corn Poppy or African Rose — A common 
weed, among grain on gravelly soils, in England ; but, in 
its double and semi-double varieties, it is one of the hand- 
somest of garden annuals, sporting into different varieties 
of scarlet, crimson, purple, pink, white, variegated, and 
parti-colored flowers, continuing all summer in bloom. 
The odor of the floAver renders it unpopular. The flow- 
ers are exceeding beautiful and delicate. The single va- 
riety of the common kind is of a bright scarlet, with a 
deep purple eye in the center, which the poet supposes to 
be upon the look-out for Ceres : 

" And the Poppies red, 
On their wistful bed, 
Turn up iheir darli-blue eyes to thee." 

P. orientalis. — Oriental Poppy. — This is a magnificent 
perennial, worth all the rest of the Poppy tribe. Its 
large, gorgeous, orange-scarlet flowers, display themselves 
in the month of June. The bottoms of the petals are 
black ; the stigma is surrounded with a multitude of rich 
purple stamens, the anthers of which shed a profusion of 
pollen, which powders over the stigma and the internal 
part of the flower, giving it a very rich appearance. 

The flower-stems are rough, three feet high, each one 
bearing a single, solitary flower, five or six inches in di- 
ameter. A clump, with twenty or thirty of these flowers, 
makes one of the most conspicuous and showy ornaments 
of the garden. Leaves are rough, jjinnate, serrate. Prop- 
agated by dividing the roots, which should be done as soon 
as the foliage has died down in August, as it commences 
growing again in September, and throws up leaves which 
remain during wdnter, it being one of the most hardy 
plants. If division be deferred until spring, if it blooms at 


all, the flowers will be weak. It may also be propagated 
from seed, bat does not commonly flower until the third 
year. A native of Levant. 

P. bracteatum. — Bracted Poppy. — A native of Siberia; 
is another superb perennial, very much like the last. The 
flow^ers are of a deeper red, and the only essential difier- 
ence is in the leafy bracts, by which the flowers are sub- 
tended. Propagated in the same way; with us, it has not 
flowered so freely. There are also a number of other 
species and varieties of perennial Poppy, as P, nudicaule^ 
from Siberia, with two or three varieties w^ith yellow, and 
one with scarlet flowers, one to one and one-half foot high. 

PELARGONIUM.— Geranium. 

[From the Greek for Stork, in reference to the beak-like seed-pod.] 

Under the article Geranium^ the principal distinctions 
between Oeranium proper and Pelargonium are given. 
The plants of both genera are popularly called by the 
same name — Geranium. There are many species in culti- 
vation, but these have become so mixed by hybridizing 
and crossing, that in many cases their identity is obscured. 
Pelargonium peltatum^ is the trailing Ivy-leaved Gera- 
nium ; P. zonale^ is the parent of all the Horse-shoe Ge- 
raniums ; P. inquinans^ is probably the original of the 
scarlet varieties ; P. capitdtum^ is the popular Rose-Gera- 
nium. In the present place we treat them only as florists 
varieties, without reference to a botanical nomenclature. 

Scarlet Geraniums. — The Common Scarlet Geranium 
is familiar to us all, and is deservedly a general favorite. 
Cowper speaks of it, in describing the inhabitants of the 
green-house : — 

" Geranium boasts 

Her crimson honours." 


Some of the varieties are quite fragrant and emit an 
agreeable odor, wlien liglitly rubbed with the finger; and 
a person approaching a Geranium, ahiiost mechanically 
rubs or plucks a leaf for a perfume ; or with some species, 
for its soft velvety surface. 

" Ami gpnteel Geranium 

Wiih a leaf for all that come," 

seldom fails of obtaining notice and admiration, notwith- 
standing it may be surrounded by the most curious 
exotics. Nothing can exceed the beauty and brilliancy 
of a collection of Dwarf Scarlet Geraniums, either in beds, 
or in pots. If removed into a warm conservatory in No- 
vember and a little water given them until the middle of 
December, when they commence growing, they will flower 
from January until April. They are easily raised from 
cuttings, which, if started in February, will make good 
plants for summer planting. 

Gold and Silver Variegated Geraniums. — In this sec- 
tion the leaves are margined with white and yellow, the 
flowers being pink, carmine, and scarlet. They are always 
comparatively rare, being somewhat difficult of propaga- 
tion, though equally hardy with the common scarlet sorts 
when once in a state of growth. For striking effect in 
the flower-garden, parlor, or conservatory, they are un- 
equalled. Ahna, scarlet flower, leaves white margined ; 
JBiJou, scarlet-crimson flowers, silvery edged leaves ; J5r^7- 
Uant, deep scarlet, free-flowering, very effective; Fairy 
JSTymyh^ silver foliage, bright scarlet flowers; Golden 
Chain^ golden variegated foliage, cerise flowers; ^fountain 
of SnoWj pure white margin, extra fine ; Golden Attrac- 
tion, red zone, sulphur margin ; Silver Chaiti, silver- 
edged foliage, rose flowers. 

Zonale or Horse-shoe Geraniums. — The following are 
a few of the named varieties ; Crystal JPalace, dwarf-scar- 

312 breck's new book of flowers. 

let, extra; Christina^ pink, extra fine; Stella Nosegay^ 
dark scarlet ; Bouquet^ large truss, bright scarlet ; Pretty 
Susan^ rosy salmon ; Mary Hay^ large carmine ; Mad. 
Vaucher^ pure white, extra ; Lucy^ crimson, fine bedder ; 
Ball of Fire^ brilliant scarlet ; Sheen Bival^ cerise scar- 
let ; Galanthixflora^ white, crimson disc. ; Qen. Williams^ 
carmine-scarlet; Ossian^ violet, pure, new; Fire King, 
dwarf-scarlet ; Paul L''Ahhe, rosy salmon ; Pauline, crim- 
son-scarlet ; Cheapstead Beauty, carmine, extra ; Hender- 
sonii, pure white ; Model Nosegay, crimson-scarlet ; Helen 
Lindsey, deep rose. 

New hybrid sorts appear every year. The greatest dif- 
ficulty is, to know what varieties out of the multitude to 
select for bedding. The scarlets are the most effective. 
An oval bed of these, with the tallest sorts in the middle 
and the lowest growing in front, margined with a dwarf 
silver-edged variety, is a grand sight when in full bloom, 
as they will be from June to November, if properly cared 
for and well supplied with water if the season is dry. A 
circular bed, or any fanciful shape, will look well ; but an 
edging of turf or box is necessary to give a complete fin- 
ish to these groups ; or, if planted in beds on a fine lawn, 
it will be an improvement. 

There are many other kinds of Pelargonium, but they 
are not suitable for cultivation in the garden, but splendid 
for the green-house or conservatory, in their almost end- 
less varieties, where they flower profusely from March to 
June. Some of the sweet-scented species and varieties 
are desirable for the sake of their delightful fragrance, 
rather than for their flowers. When planted out, they 
make a vigorous growth, if not nipped to death by the 
passers by. I was deeply affected in a recent visit to our 
State's prison as I passed through the workshops. 1 no- 
ticed a sweet-scented Geranium in a window by the work 
bench of one of the unfortunate workman. The plant 


was of considerable size, but it had been so often robbed 
of its leaves that there were none on the bush much 
larger than my finger nail. I took the liberty to help 
myself to one of these small leaves. It is against the 
regulations of the prison to hold any conversation with 
the prisoners ; but in this case, the owner of the plant, 
by the exj^ression of his countenance, gave me to under- 
stand, more forcibly than he could in words, the satisfaction 
he felt, in the notice I took of his plant. He looked me 
full in the fice, with an air of thankfulness and pleasure, 
to find that there was one in the world to sympathize 
with hun in his love for this solitary plant, which, no 
doubt, was a great solace to him in his confinement. I 
thought how terrible must be, the punishment to one 
who has a taste for these beautiful creations of God, to 
be restrained from the liberty of roaming abroad to view 
them in all their delightful variety and profusion. " Poor 
prisoner," I inwardly exclaimed, " were it not for your 
crimes and the sins of others, earth would indeed be a 
paradise once more." 

A bouquet can hardly be called complete without a few 
leaves of the Rose-Geranium. There are quite a number 
of varieties of the sweet-scented Geranium, such as the 
rose, lemon, musk, and many others. 


[From Greek words, signifying^ue and a siameji, because of the conspicuous 
imperfect fifth stamen.] 

Beautifid, herbaceous plants, peculiarly American, 
abounding in the West and South-west of our vast coun- 
try, and in Mexico. The flowers of all the species are more 
or less bell-shaped, racemes or spikes. The colors are scar- 
let, purple, blue, lilac, and parti-colored. Some of the spe- 

314 breck's new book of flowers. 

cies are hardy and stand onr winters with a Uttle protec- 
tion, while others are half-hardy and require the protection 
of frames. 

PentSt^mon Murrayanus. — Murray's Pentstemon. — A 
perennial plant, a native of Texas, about three feet high, 
producing spikes of numerous flowers, of a rich shining 
scarlet color ; each flower is an inch and one-half long, 
or upwards. It is a most splendid flowering plant. A 
single spike has been known to produce uj^wards of fifty 
blossoms. This is an English description ; here it is half- 

P. Cobseat — Cobsea-flowered Pentstemon. — This is a 
very showy perennial species, producing panicled spikes 
of numerous pale-blue flowers, which have a most showy 
appearance. The flower-stems rise about two feet high ; 

P. Richardsoni. — Richardson's Pentstemon. — A hardy 
perennial from Oregon, which grows to tlie height of 
eighteen inches ; flowers in July and August, of a pink- 
ish-purple color. It does not admit of division of the 
root, and should be increased by cuttings, which readily 
strike root about mid-summer. Most of the species must 
be treated in the same way, or raised from seeds. 

P. specioSUS. — Showy Pentstemon. — This beautiful spe- 
cies is a native of the north-west coast of America, A 
hardy perennial, but requiring a protection of leaves, and 
can be propagated by the division of the roots. The flow- 
ers are disposed in a long, terminal, loose, racemose pan- 
icle, with the branches in distant ])airs, and bearing from 
seven to eleven blossoms of a beautiful pale-blue color. 

P. pub^SCCnS. — Downy Pentstemon. — Produces its pur- 
plish-blue flowers about June; the pubescent (downy) 
leaves are lanceolate, oblong, sessile, and serrulate ; the 
flowers, with the sterile filament bearded above the middle, 


in a thin panicle ; one foot and one-half high. A smooth 
variety is I*, loevigatwm^ which is very similar, but with 
paler flowers. 

P. campanulatUS. — This species is known under several 
names, such as JP. pulchellus, JP. atropurpureas^ P, roseus^ 
etc. It has large bell-shaj)ed, pale-purple flowers, and 
long lanceolate, smooth serrate leaves ; one foot high. It 
flowered finely though the last autumnal months, in our 
collection, although it was from seed the same season. 

Pt ceeruleus, is one of the finest of the genus, a native 
of the South, with beautiful blue flowers. Stem smooth ; 
radical leaves linear, entire ; cauline ones lance-linear, en- 
tire, aU sessile ; sterile filament short, bearded above ; di- 
visions of the calyx lanceolate, acute, glabrous. 

P. barbatus. — Bearded Pentstemon. — This is sometimes 
called Chelone barbata. It is a half-hardy perennial from 
Mexico ; a splendid plant, with flower-stems three feet 
high, covered with a profusion of scarlet-orange flowers ; 
from July to September. It will be necessary to cover it 
well with pine boughs, or straw, in the winter, or it may 
be destroyed by the frost. The safest way is, to place the 
plants in a cold frame for the winter. 

When seeds can be obtained, there will be no trouble in 
raising a supj^ly of plants. It is said to be difficult, or 
even impossible, to raise the seeds in heat. We are inclined 
to believe there is some truth in the remark, as we suc- 
ceeded in raising only a few plants in a moderate hot-becl, 
while those sown in the open ground in May, produced ' 
an abundance. As the seeds are very small, they should 
only be pressed into the soil, or very slightly covered. 
The young plants should be sheltered from the mid-day 
sun. Most of the species are easily propagated from cut- 
tings or layers, which readily take root. A mixture of 
peat and loam is the best soil for them. 

316 bbeck's new book of flowers. 

Perilla IVankin^nsis. — Purple-leaved Perilla. — An an- 
nual, growing from tAVO to two and one-half feet high ; stems 
branching, well covered with an ample foliage of a dark- 
purple, almost black. Leaves petioled, opposite, oval, with 
pointed ends, the sides dented, smooth and glossy on both 
surfaces, sometimes slightly crisped and exhaling, when 
rubbed, an odor like cinnamon. The flowers are at the axils 
of the larger leaves, bilabiate, rose or pale-purple, small, 
but very numerous and producing but little efiect. The 
principal merit of this plant consists in the strange color 
of the foliage, which contrasts in a remarkable manner 
with that of most cultivated plants ; its fine habit, its ro- 
bust terperament, and its being an annual, make it very 
appropriate for masses in the borders of a flower-garden. 
Seeds scattered on the ground in autumn will vegetate in 
the spring, and produce an abundance of plants ; or the 
seed may be sown in a mild hot-bed or cold frame in 
April, and transplanted to the garden in June. 


[Said to be from pctun, the Brazilian name for Tobacco, a plant to -which the 
Petunia is closely related.] 

Petunia Violacea. — Purple Petunia. — Introduced into 
England from South America in 1831. Tliis now very 
. common plant was at that time considered a valuable ac- 
quisition to the floAver-garden. We now wonder how a 
flower-garden could be formed without the Petunia, the 
Portulaca, the Verbena, Druraraond's Phlox, and a host 
of other ornamental plants now considered indispensible, 
which have been introduced since that time. The fine 
rosy-purple flowers of this species make a grand display 
through all the summer months, and in September and Oc- 


tober, and there is no flower like this and its hybrids for 
massing ; this is the only good quality about it. The odor 
is unpleasant, and it is not fit for bouquets. 

P. nyctaginiflora. — Has large white flowers, coarser in 
its growth than the last, and is of the same spreading 
habit. Both are somewhat viscid in their stems and foli- 
age. From these two species have been produced innu- 
merable varieties, with colors much more brilliant. Among 
the improved sorts are the Countess of Ellesmere^ rosy- 
carmine with white throat, a very profuse bloomer; 
Large-flowered^ dark-red; Large flowered^ purple with 
green edge ; Liimitahle^ red margined and blotched with 
pure white. Hyhrida picturata^ a most beautiful dwarf 
variety, not exceeding one foot, covered with large flow- 
ers of fine form and great substance, of a velvety scarlet- 
crimson, beautifully marbled with white. Carnation 
striped^ a very beautiful class with flowers with white, 
rosy or lilac ground, with crimson, scarlet and purple 
stripes ; veined on the same grounds with the same bright 
colors. jP. Jcermesina splendens^ pure white with j^urple 
or crimson throat, or blotched with purple or violet. P, 
maxima alha^ very large white, and almost every conceiv- 
able combination of colors, excepting yellow and blue. 
But the greatest novelties are the double varieties, in- 
troduced within a few years, which partake of the same 
disposition to sport into a great variety of colors as do 
the single varieties ; but I do not esteem them as any im- 
provement. They are queer mis-shapen monsters, curi- 
osities to be sure, but they are more shy in flowering, 
more Hable to injury by rain, and fail to make that grand 
display which the single varieties do. 

The single sorts are easily raised from seed sown in hot- 
beds in May ; they may afterwards be pricked out into 
small pots, and, when sufiiciently strong, turned into the 
open ground in the beginning of June. If the seed is 

318 breck's new book of flowers. 

saved from good sorts, a great diversity of fine seedlings 
may be expected. The last season I sowed seed imported 
from Prussia, from which I obtained thirty distinct varie- 
ties, and most of them very beautiful. In October the 
best of them were taken up and potted, and kept through 
the winter, but at the time of potting were reduced to 
about ten or twelve inches in height. 

The choice varieties are easily increased from cuttings. 
The best time is late in the summer or in September, from 
plants -that have been headed down for that purpose ; but 
where there is a green-house, and the plants have been pot- 
ted, cuttings may be taken and struck any time in winter. 

Double flowers are rarely produced from seed of the 
single varieties, unless they are fecundated with great care 
with double varieties ; they are usually raised from cut- 
tings. Nurserymen generally, have not only the double 
varieties for sale, but also the finest single ones, and this is 
perhaps the most economical way of procuring plants for 
a small garden. One plant, if permitted to spread, will 
often occupy a space a yard square. Unless they are 
planted in masses they look best whejj trained upright to 
a neat stake, bringing them into a pyramidal form, or on a 
small trellis, as foncy may direct. There is no plant in the 
garden that will make more show than this when properly 
managed, for it continues nearly until November with a 
profusion of flowers. 


[Name from the Greek {or fascicle, as the flowers are often clustered.] 

The genus Eutoca^ is now united with Phacelia^ and 
those wliich in the former edition of the work were called 
Eiitocas are now placed here. 

Phac^lia viscidat — A native of California, whence it 
was sent to England by Mr. Douglas, the botanist. A 


handsome annual, growing about one foot liigli, and pro- 
ducing a terminal raceme of fine blue flowers, each flower 
being about three quarters of an inch across. This lovely 
plant produces a fine efiect when planted in beds or mas- 
ses; in flower most of the season. The whole herbage is 
of a dull green, copiously clothed with glandular viscid 
hairs ; the glands of a soot black. 

P. divaricata. — Straggling Phacelia. — A small, light- 
violet flower from California, not very showy. E. multi- 
flora is in gardens here, but, although preferable to this, 
is not very likely to become a favorite. 

P. Meaziesii. — Menzies' Phacelia. — A beautiful hardy 
annual. The whole plant is clothed with lioary down, in- 
termixed wHth longer bristly hairs. Flowers light-blue, in 
racemes an inch long. The plant should be cultivated in 
a light soil and sunny situation. P. tanacetifolia from Cal- 
ifornia, and P. congesta from Texas, are also cultivated. 

PHASEOLUS.— Kidney Bean. 

[The ancient name of the Kidney Bean.] 

PhaS^olus COCCineus. — Scarlet Runner. — This, which is 
sometimes called P. multiflorus^ is a native of South 
America. " Before Miller's time it was cultivated less for 
its fruit than for the beauty and durability of its blossoms, 
which the ladies put into their nosegays and garlands. 
He brought it into general use for the table, and, because 
it has been found so useful, people seem to think it can be 
no longer ornamental, which is surely a vulgar mistake." 
It is one of the most tender of all beans for stringing. 
The Scarlet Runner will thrive in any good soil, and is 
well worthy of attention for the beauty of its blossoms. 
It will clothe whole fences or walls for a time, with a lux- 
uriant green and red tapestry. There is also a variety 

320 beeck's new book of flowers. 

with white flowers ; plant the middle of May, and if the 
scarlet and white varieties are mixed, the effect when in 
flower will be very pleasing. 


[From a Greek word signifying^arne. The plant so named by the ancients is 
supposed to have been a Lychnis.'^ 

" Your voiceless lips, O flowers, are living preachers,— 
Each cup a pulpit, and each leaf a book, 
Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers, 
From lowliest nook ! " 

The genus is North American only, and is one of the 
handsomest in cultivation. It comprises most elegant bor- 
der-flowers, valuable for blooming from the first of May 
to November, with an endless variety of colors. What 
adds much to their value, is, that they are perfectly hardy, 
requiring little or no protection in the winter, and are easy 
to propagate. The only fault they have is tliat of spread- 
ing too rapidly. The genus gives us both annual and per- 
ennial sj^ecies; the perennials are vernal, early summer 
and autumnal bloominc:. 

Phlox SUbulata.— Moss Pink. — This is found from New 
York, to Michigan, southward. A British collector ex- 
claimed on seeing a patch of this species in one of the pine 
barrens of New Jersey, "the beauty of that alone is 
worth coming to America to see, it is so splendid." Most 
of the species delight in a rich sandy loam. When the 
plants become large, they ought to be divided and planted 
in fresh ground. There are varieties of P. suhxtlata with 
pink, purple, white, and rosy-eyed flowers. The plant is 
very dwarf, and has a solid mass of mossy, bristly, ever- 
green foliage, sending up innumerable bunches of its del- 
icate flowers, completely covering the whole. P. nivalis^ 
is a beautiful variety of this, formerly in my collection, but 


now lost, and I have not been able to obtain it from any 
nursery in the country ; the foliage is shining deep-green, 
more bristly ; the flowers are pure white with yellow eye, 
and I think it is more tender than the other. 

P. r^ptans, sometimes called P. stolonifera^ is a beauti- 
ful dwarf species, running upon the ground like those just 
described, sending up innumerable clusters of deep-crim- 
son flowers, blooming in May ; the flowers are nearly as 
large as in the late flowering species. The leaves are oval 
and not so abundant as those of P. suhulata. 

P. divaricata. — This species, with its varieties, flow^ers 
late in May and beginning of June ; one foot high. The 
varieties are those with white, lilac, light-purple, or blue 
flowers, with intermediate shades. 

P« maculata* — From this species (and probably P, 
paniculata^ and others also), have been produced a great 
number of fine varieties known in the gardens under the 
term Perennial Phloxes. They are divided into two clas- 
ses, early and late. These were fully described in a com- 
munication to the chairman of the Flower Committee of 
the Massachusetts Horticultural Society a few years ago, 
from which I present the following extracts : — 

" Early Phloxes. — These commence flowering about 
the first week in June ; the difierent varieties successively 
coming into bloom to the middle of July, and continue in 
bloom, more or less profusely, until October, particularly 
when the flower-stems are cut down to the ground as the 
trusses or spikes of flowers begin to fade. This class of 
Phloxes rano;e in heisrht from one and one-half to three 
feet, according to the richness of the soil ; some few vari- 
eties are rather more dwarfish in their habits. The early 
sorts all differ in their foliage from the later. The leaves are 
generally glossy, with a smooth surface, and mostly oblong- 
lance shape, sometimes with a heart-shaped base." Among 
the varieties of this class are Madame Ditboulet^ pink ; 

323 breck's new book of flowers. 

Henry Dierval, purple ; Rwal^ white ; Roi Leopold^ 
white, striped with rose, etc., etc. 

Late Phloxes. — The earlier varieties of the late Sum- 
mer Phlox commence flowering about the middle of Ju- 
ly, and from that time to the first of September the dif- 
ferent sorts succeed each other. The period of bloom of 
each variety is about six weeks, and the panicle is in per- 
fection in about a fortnight from the time the flowers be- 
gin to expand. Some varieties continue to bloom as late 
as the first of November ; the flowers lose their brilliancy 
after heavy frosts. Thus, with a collection of vernal, 
early and late Summer Phloxes, there will be a continuous 
display in the flower-garden for more than six months." 

The varieties in this class are numbered by hundreds, 
and new ones are added each year by our own and foreign 
florists. Among the author's named seedlings are Amer- 
ica^ rose with pink eye ; Mrs. Webster^ large white flower, 
with small eye ; Mont Blanc^ pure white. For the others 
we must refer to the florists catalogues. 

" The Phlox flourishes with very little care in almost any 
soil, succeeding better, however, in a deep rich, rather 
moist soil. 

" The best time for dividing the roots, for new plantations, 
is about the first of August. The old stools should then 
be taken uj), the flower-stems cut down to one foot, al- 
lowing the leaves that are attached to them to remain ; 
separating the roots, making a plant of each stem, with 
portions of the root connected. These pieces of roots 
should be planted in highly manured and deeply dug soil. 
They will acquire strength during the fall, and flower bet- 
ter than the large stools the following season. 

" Choice varieties are propagated from cuttings taken off 
in June or July, and make fine plants the next season." 

P. Drummondi* — This beautiful species was first raised 
at the Botanical garden, Manchester, England, from seeds 


which were received from the late Mr. Drummond, ia 
1835, and was named by Dr. Hooker after its indefati- 
gable discoverer as a tribute of respect to him It 
was then considered doubtful whether it would prove an 
annual or perennial, and the writer who first described it, 
says : — " Should this lovely species turn out to be an an- 
nual, which to all appearance it will, it must be regarded 
as a novel feature in this favorite genus. The plant is 
perfectly hardy, and will prove a great ornament to the 
flower-garden." This we have found to be true, and 
wonder how the old gardeners could get along without 
this splendid flower, which if beautiful as it was first de- 
scribed by the person who received the seeds from its na- 
tive locality in Texas, how much more so in its improved 
state, with its varieties of brilliant crimson, scarlet, purple, 
white, and variegated flowers. " The plant is about one 
foot high, covered with long hairs. Corolla salver-shaped, 
tube long, very hairy, pale-rose colored ; limb spreading, 
pale-rose colored without, rich rosy-red within ; eye, deep 
crimson ; throat, yellow." This is the original description 
of it when first received, but it has since sported into a 
great variety of colors. It is propagated from seeds, 
which, if sown in a hot-bed in March and planted out in 
June, will flower profusely from the first of July to No- 
vember For masses of separate colors it is not surpassed 
by any other bedding-plant. The plants should be placed 
six inches apart each way, to make a solid mass of bloom. 
Plants from seed sown late in autumn, will be a fortnight 
in advance of those sown in the open ground m May. It 
will flourish best in a rich, but rather light soil. 

324 breck's new book of flowers. 

PHYSOSTEGIA.— False Dragon-head. 

[From the Greek for bladder and to cover, as the calyx becomes bladder-like 
when iu fruit.] 

Physost^gia Virginiana.— Virginian Dragon-head.— A 
perennial with stems three feet high, bearing dense, one- 
sided spikes of purplish flowers, in June and July. Indi- 
genous at the West and South. This was formerly called 
Dracocephalum Yirginimium^ and its varieties have been 
called D, dentatum and D. variegatum. 

PL AT ANTHER A.— False Orchis. 

[From the Greek words for wide and anther.'] 

The plants included here were formerly regarded as be- 
longing to the genus Orchis, from which they are distin- 
guished by the spreading apart of their anther cells. 
They are still popularly called Orchis. 

Most of the species are found in wet boggy ground, and 
will require a moist and rather shady spot. If the soil be 
made of peat and leaf mould, I know they will remain 
and flower for a couple of years, for I have been success- 
ful in the experiment. They are chiefly propagated by 
their tubers, which in most of the species are of a pecu- 
liar structure. An Orchis taken out of the ground is 
found with two solid masses at the base of the stem, 
above which proceed the thick fleshy fibres which nourish 
the plant. One of these bulbs or tubers is destined to be 
the successor of the other, and is plump and vigorous, 
whilst the other, or decaying one, is always wrinkled and 
withered. From this withered one has proceeded the ex- 
isting stem, and the plump one is an offset, from the cen- 
ter of which the stem of the succeeding year will come. 
By this means, the actual situation is changed about half 
an inch every year ; and as the offset is always produced 


from the side opposite the withered bulb, the plant travels 
always in one direction at that rate, and will in a dozen 
years have marched six inches from the place where it 
formerly stood. 

In the garden the Orchis can hardly be said to be 25rop- 
agated ; the species are generally taken up from their na- 
tive habitations and transferred to a shady border, where 
they remain a year or two, but seldom increase. I have 
taken them up when in flower successfully, by removing 
the plant with a large ball of earth, so that these fleshy 
fibres are not disturbed. 

P. Mephariglottis. — White-fringed Orchis.— Has snow 
white flowers, with a beautifully fringed lip, in short 
spikes. Stems about one foot high. 

P. fimbriata. — Large Purple-fringed Orchis. — One of 
the largest and most beautiful, and sometimes called P. 
grandiflora. Thp spike is sometimes six inches long, with 
large pale-purple flowers. Stems about two feet high. 
June. P, psycodes is a species resembling this, but smaller 
and more common. 

P. ciliaris. — Yellow-fringed Orchis. — This resembles 
the White-fringed Orchis in shape, but the flowers are of 
a bright orange-yellow. 

PLATYCOD ON.— Large Bell-flower. 

[From the Greek, meaning large bell.'] 

Platycodon ^randiflorum. — This species was formerly 
called Campanula grandiflora^ but it is separated from 
Campanula on account of the manner in which the pod 
opens. It has also been called Wahlejibergia. It is a 
hardy perennial growing about one and one-half foot high, 
with smooth and serrate leaves. The stem bears one or a 
few very large shallow flowers. The buds are quite orna- 

326 bkeck's new book of flowers. 

mental, being large and balloon-shaped. Blue, with a 
white variety and often semi-double. Culture the same 
as that of Campanula. 

POLEMONITJM.— Greek Yalekian. 

[From a Greek word meaning wari of doubtfal application.] 

Polemonium C«eriileiim. — Jacob's Ladder. — This is one 
of the old standard border-plants, with blue flowers. The 
common name of Jacob's Ladder is from its beautiful pin- 
nately-cleft leaves. It has lively blue flowers, nodding on 
the ends of the branches. There is a variety with white 
flowers. It is a perfectly hardy perennial, and of easy 
cultivation, flowering in June ; one and one-half foot high. 
Propagated by seeds or division of the roots. 

POLIANTHES.— Tuberose. 

[From the Greek words for many ^\\'\ flower. 1 

Polianthes tuberosa. — The Tuberose. — A native of In- 
dia, and very popular on account of its highly fragrant 
flowers. In the warmer parts of the European continent 
it thrives as well as in its native soil. In Italy, Sicily, and 
Spain, the roots thrive and propagate with ease when they 
are once planted. The Genoese cultivate it and send the 
roots annually to England, Germany, Holland, and France, 
and from thence it comes to this country. These imported 
roots thrive much better than those raised here. This 
plant has long been cultivated in English gardens for its 
extraordinary beauty and fragrance. 


The Malayans style the Tuberose the mistress of the 
night : — 

" The Tuberose with her silver light, 

That in the gardens of .Malay 

Is called the mistress of the night. 

So like a bride, scented and bright, 
She comes out wiien the sun's away." — Lalla Rnokh. 

" The variety with double flowers is the one generally 
in cultivation ; the single variety is not so much esteemed. 
This double variety was obtained from the seed by Mon- 
sieur Le Cour, of Leyden, in Holland, who for many years 
was so tenacious of the roots, even after he had prop- 
agated them in such plenty as to have more than he could 
plant, that he caused them to be cut in pieces to have the 
vanity of boasting that he was the only person in Europe 
who possessed this flower." Luckily, that man died in 
due course of time, and as he could not carry them with 
him, they have since been disseminated among florists and 
amateurs throughout the world; but no thanks to that 
mean man. The roots are the best which are large and 
plump, provided they are sound and firm, and the fewer 
ofi'sets they have the stronger they will flower. The un- 
der parts of the roots or bulbs should be particularly ex- 
amined, because it is there they first begin to decay. The 
best compost for the Tuberose, is said to be " two wheel- 
barrows of light maiden loam, one ditto of decomposed 
hot-bed dung, and a little white sand should be well chop- 
ped and mixed together in autumn ; this should be exposed 
to the frost during the winter, that it may become ame- 
liorated and thoroughly decomposed. To have flowers in 
perfection in August or September, the bulbs should be 
potted and set to growing in March. The bulbs should 
be first prepared by taking ofi* the loose rind and super- 
fluous ofisets, or side bulbs, being careful not to injure the 
principal one. Then provide a quantity of six-inch-pots, 
well drained with broken pot-sherds ; they must be filled 


with the above compost and well shaken down, but not 
pressed with the hands. A little white sand must be 
placed in the middle of the top of the compost and the 
bulb must be j^ressed gently though firmly, down to with- 
in a quarter of an inch of the top of the bulb. After the 
bulbs are potted, plunge them in a strong hot-bed where 
they must remain till they have grown to the height of 
three or four inches ; they must be kept quite close till 
they begin to vegetate, when a little air may be admitted ; 
shaded when the sun is powerful, and covered up with 
mats at night; water must be supplied very sparingly 
while they are here, for the steam arising from the bed an- 
swers in a great measure the purpose of water. When 
they have grown to the height above stated, take them in- 
to a warm spot in the green-house, allowing them a plenti- 
ful supply of air and water, setting them Avhere they will 
get a plenty of light, or they will be apt to draw up 
weakly." In June, when the weather becomes quite warm, 
the plants may be turned out carefully into the open 
ground. As they advance in height, tie them up to green 
sticks, six or seven feet long. By the middle of August 
they will begin to show flowers. For plants to flower in 
October, the bulbs may be j^lanted in pots in May and 
carefully tended during the summer, but brought into 
the house before they are overtaken by frost. We had 
about fifty bulbs unsold the last season, which lay in the 
store until the 20th of August ; they were then potted in 
a compost similar to that described, and although weak- 
ened by having been so long out of the ground, most of 
them blossomed and gave a succession of their exquisite 
fracrrant flowers from the middle of November to 


POLYGONATTJM— Solomon's Seal. 

[From Greek words signifying many and knee, in reference to tlie numerous 
joints upon the stems.] 

Poly^onatlini multiflorum, or Giant Solomon's Seal, is 
a perennial, two or three feet high, with white flowers in 
the axils of the leaves, in June ; appropriate for the shrub- 
bery or borders. Gerarde, our old author, speaking of 
the virtues of the plant, says, "that the roots are excellent 
good for to seale or close up greene wounds, being stamped 
and laid thereon, whereupon it was called Sigillum Salo- 
mon fs, for the single virtue it hath in sealing or healing 
vp wounds, broken bones, and such like." He further 
says, " The root of Solomon's Seale, stamped while it is 
fresh and greene, and applied, taketh away, in one night, 
or two, at the most, any bruise, blacke or bleu spots, got- 
ten by fals, or women's wilfulnesse, in stumbhng vpon 
their hasty husband's fists, or such like." A very useful 
plant, one would think, for some families to cultivate. 
We have two native species which resemble this, P. biflo- 
rum and P. giganteum, which are common on river banks, 

PORTULACA.— Purslane. 

Portulaca grandiflora. — Showy Portulaca. — Every 
person who has had any experience in the garden is too 
well acquainted with the weed Purslane, or Pursly, and 
< would gladly see an extermination, not only of that plant, 
')ut all its kindred. It is indeed a troublesome weed ; but 
as no one should be condemned because he happens to 
have bad relations, neither should Portulaca grandiflora^ 
which is a splendid Purslane, In speaking of it we leave 
ofi" the Purslane and call it the splendid Portulaca, for, 
were its family connections generally known, we should 


fear it might not receive the attention it deserves ; for, 
truly, it is a great acquisition to the flower-garden, and no 
plant presents a more brilliant show than this, when 
planted in masses. The flowers are rosy-crimson, large 
and beautiful, opening with the bright morning sun. It 
makes a rich bed from July to October. The plant is 
dwarf and trailing; leaves small ; about six inches high. 
All the other varieties have the same habit, and equally 
beautiful. From this, and probably P. Gilliesii^ have 
come all the showy varieties of the garden, some of Avliich 
have received distinct names, such as P. Thelussoni^ P. 
alha^ P. aurantiaca^ etc. 

The Portulaca, though one of the most common, is still 
one of the most showy and beautiful annuals, admirably 
adapted to our climate, growing freely and flowering 
abundantly under conditions of soil and treatment where 
many other flowers would scarcely make any display ; the 
old orange and scarlet, when planted out in large patches, 
vie in brilliancy and decorative efl'ect with the showiest 
Verbenas. For a long time there were but two or three 
shades of red and orange, but with the skill of cultiva- 
tors they have crossed and fertilized till we have nearly a 
dozen difl'erent sorts. They had hardly become well 
known before we had another improvement, obtained by 
the German florists, in double flowers, as double as a rose. 

"The double varieties are in fact charming objects, and 
may well claim a prominent place among the novel things 
of recent introduction. The flowers are perfectly double, 
about the size of a silver dollar, and a bed of them in full 
bloom presents a gay appearance, not unlike that of the 
beautiful Ranunculuses, or the little Burgundy Rose, so 
that the Germans call them 'Portulaca Roses.' 

" The Portulacas need a warm and rather light soil, and a 
dryish situation to flower well. They need not be planted 
early, unless in a frame or hot-bed, as the seed will not 


grow freely till the ground is warm. About the middle 
of June the plants begin to appear in the open ground, 
and grow with great rapidity, soon covering a large bed, 
and making a dazzling display with their many-hued flow- 
ers, from July to frost. 

" The double varieties, like all other double flowers, can- 
not be relied upon with certainty to produce all double 
flowers, but the largest part of them will be double, an<l 
the single sorts may be pulled up and thrown away or 
transplanted, unless it is desired to retain them in the same 
bed with the double kinds. These and the Double Zin- 
nias are grand acquisitions of the German cultivators." — . 
Sovey'^s Magazine. 

I was very successful in the cultivation of these double 
varieties, with seed from Germany, the last season. I had 
double snow-white, orange, scarlet, and purplish-crimson. 
The flowers so much resembled little roses, that when 
gathered, persons who were strangers to this beautiful 
flower thought they were roses, and were surprised to see, 
as they thought, scarlet and dark-orange roses. 

The single varieties produce an abundance of seed, so 
much, that the ground where the plants are grown is filled 
with young plants the following spring, and frequently it 
becomes a troublesome weed; but the double varieties 
produce seed so sparingly, that it is with the greatest dif- 
ficulty that enough can be gathered for the next year's 
sowing ; on some plants not more than one or two cap- 
sules of seed could be found. 


TNamed from potens, powerful, in allusion to tlie supposed virtue of some 
species in medicine.] 

A large genus, some of the species being weedy, and oth- 
ers are worthy of cultivation. Some of these appear 

332 beeck's new book of flowers. 

much like the strawberry in foliage. The flowers of most 
of our native species are yellow. 

Pot^ntilla atrosanguinea. — Dark-blood colored Poten- 
tilla. — From Nepal, with dark-crimson flowers and elegant 
silvery foliage ; is in flower from June to September ; one 
and one-half foot high. 

P. IVepal^nsiSi — Another fine species, also from Nepal, 
with fine rose-colored flowers. From these two, and per- 
haps others, have arisen numerous garden varieties and 
hybrids, among which are : P. JRnsselliana, a splendid 
hybrid with scarlet flowers. P. Hopwoodiana^ with rose 
and scarlet flowers is another beautiful hybrid ; P. aiirea, 
with orange ; and P. cardinalis^ with scarlet. There are 
also many other beautiful hybrid varieties ; some of the 
most remarkable are those with double flowers. All these 
described species and varieties are hardy perennials, not 
requiring protection in the winter ; propagated from seeds 
and divisions of the roots. They all look well in the bor- 
ders when the sun shines, but the flowers last but one 
day and are not suitable for bouquets ; but a succession 
of flowers is produced through the season. 

PRIMULA.— Primrose. 

[Name from primus, first, as the flowers of some species appear very early in 

" Primroses, the spring may love them, 
Summer knows biit little of them." 

Primula V^ris. — Cowslip, Primrose and Polyanthus 
are probably all varieties of this species, but this is a 
point uj)on which botanists differ, and it will suffice for our 
purpose to consider them under their garden names. 

English Cowslip. — The flowers are produced in umbels, 
raised upon a stem above the leaves ; they are of a pale- 


yellow, and sometimes red. A hardy perennial blooming 
late in April or early in May, and will succeed in cool 
shady localities. Propagated by seeds and division of 
the roots. 

Primroses. — In the varieties included under this name 
the flower-stem is very short, and the flowers are close 
down among the leaves. They are very early flowering, 
and embrace many beautiful varieties. 

Polyanthuses. — The varieties so called have the umbel 
of flowers raised uj^on a flower-stalk, which rises three to 
six inches or more in height. The varieties are innumer- 
able as each sowing adds to their number, and it is use- 
less to attempt to catalogue their names. 

The rules for judging of the beauty or merits of a va- 
riety are wholly artificial, and founded on an imaginary 
form far removed from ordinary nature. These rules or 
cannons are agreed on by the general consent of florists. 
Polyanthuses were first brought forward by the Dutch, 
and were formerly in extensive cultivation in Europe ; but 
in more modern times they have given place to new spe- 
cies of flowers. They are, however, well worthy the at- 
tention of amateurs, for they are very beautiful, and suc- 
ceed well in sheltered spots, in a rich and rather moist 
soil with little care They are in flower all the month of 
May, and some of the Primroses by the middle of April. 
The flowers are of various colors ; brown with yellow 
eye, with a delicate edging of yellow, is very common ; 
also various combinations of crimson, yellow, sulphur, 
rich brown, almost black, either plain or shaded. The 
flowers to be perfect, should be round, in regular trusses, 
on stiff erect stems well above the foliage ; each flower or 
pip should be of a plain black, brown, crimson or some 
dark color, with a yellow or sulphur eye, edged with 
white, sulphur, orange, or yellow color. The choice va- 
rieties are increased by dividing the roots, which should 

334 breck's new book of flowers. 

be done soon after flowering, and new varieties may be 
obtained from seed. A little protection of leaves in the 
winter will be beneficial. 

P. Auricula. — The Auricula is a florist's flower of great 
beauty. It is a native of the Alpine regions of Switzer- 
land and Germany. The most common colors in its wild 
state are yellow and red, sometimes purple, and occasion- 
ally variegated or mealy. In this country the cultivation 
of this beautiful flower has received but little attention, 
probably on account of the severity of our winter and 
spring months, or the great heat of the summer, which is 
more destructive to it than cold. The extremes of heat 
and cold render its cultivation difficult. But in England, 
near most of the manufacturing towns, and in Scotland, 
the cultivation of this flower has formed a favorite amuse- 
ment of weavers and mechanics. The flower-stalk springs 
from radical leaves, is six or eight inches high, and bears a 
truss of six or eight flowers, which are of various colors. 
These flowers are called j)ips, which should be raised 
with a light-colored eye; the ground color, when very 
dark-purple, blue or brown, edged with green, contrasts 
finely with the eye, and such are considered richer than 
those varieties where the color is lighter. The best soil 
for the Auricula is a compost made from loam from an old 
pasture, kept and turned over occasionally during a year, 
and then mixed with hot-bed dung rotten, to a mould, or 
with leaf-mould and some sand, to keep it open. The 
soil and manure must be well mellowed by time before 
using, and not mixed until it is wanted. 

P. Sin<^nsiS. — Chinese Primrose. — This beautiful green- 
house species is a native of China, and is too tender for 
out-door culture ; but is fine for the green-house or sitting- 
room, where it will produce a succession of flowers all the 
winter and spring, and if turned out in the open ground 
in June in a cool shady place, will continue to bloom all 


summer. But the old plants will not answer for another 
winter, as it is requisite, to have good blooming plants, to 
sow the seed every year. The best compost for the Chi- 
nese Primrose consists of rich light loam, and peat soil in 
equal parts. The seed should be sown in May in a box 
or pan lightly covered, and placed in a cold frame. 
When the plants have formed their first two rough leaves, 
they should be transplanted singly into three-inch pots ; 
when their roots have filled these, they should then be re- 
moved into those a size larger, and afterwards into 
pots still larger, keeping them in the same situation, 
and finally when removing them into the green-house 
or conservatory, give them a shift into those of a 
larger size. It is necessary in all the pottings to give a 
good drainage of broken crocks or cinders. The Chinese 
Primroses are in many varieties ; pure white, rose, red or 
variegated, in umbels rising a little above the foliage. 
There is a succession of these umbels through the winter. 
The flowers with fringed edges, are most admired. 

One of the most attractive new varieties is P. Sinen- 
sis macrophylla^ with long massive foliage and beautiful 
large flowers of great subtance, beautiful form, finely 
fringed, of a rich purplish-carmine, with pentagonal, large 
yellow eye, surrounded by a broad zone ; very conspicuous 
and splendid acquisition. Other varieties are white and 
red fringed, rose strij)ed, rose carmine, etc. 

dUAMOCLIT.— Cypress- Vine. 

[Name supposed to be of Jlexican origin.] 

Qnamoclit vulgaris. — Cypress- Vine. — Ipomma Quamo- 
clit of some authors. There is no annual climbing plant 
that exceeds the Cypress- Vine, in elegance of fofiage, 
gracefulness of habit, or loveliness of flowers. The only 
difficulty in its successful cultivation in our climate, is in 

336 breck's new book of flowers. 

the shortness of the season. It requires heat to bring it 
to perfection, unless the plants are brought forward in a 
hot-bed. If planted in the open ground, it will not be of 
any advantage to sow the seed before the last of May, as 
it will not vegetate till the ground is warm. Previous to 
sowing, the seed should have boiling water poured over it, 
and remain until the water is cold. It is then sown in a warm 
place, and the plants will appear above ground in a few days. 
The young plants are difficult to transplant, therefore the 
seeds should be sown where the plants are to remain. 
Without scalding, or unless the hull of the seed is taken 
off, it will remain in the ground a long time without vege- 
tating. Plants thus raised will, in a warm season, do very 
well, but will be much inferior to those that have been 
forwarded in the frame. Tiie seeds should be sown in a 
hot-bed, with a brisk heat, in March, in small pots, a num- 
ber of seeds in each pot, so as to be sure of two or three 
plants in each. In a month, if carefully attended, the 
roots will have filled the pots ; it will then be necessary to 
shift the plants into larger ones. Before the first of June, 
the plants will begin to flower ; but do not be in haste to 
put them into the ground ; keep them in tlie frame, where 
they can be protected in case of cold storms, but expose 
them during the day to the full influence of the sun and 
air, by taking the sashes entirely off. By the 10th of 
June, the plants may be turned into the ground very care- 
fully, so that the roots may not be disturbed. The ground 
should be made rich with well-rotted manure ; the plants 
should be placed at the distance of one foot, or one foot 
and a half, if the object is to cover a wall or trellis. I 
have covered a trellis by the middle of August, twenty- 
five feet long and five high, with its elegant feathery f )li- 
age, so as to form a complete screen. The flowers, like 
those of the Morning Glory, appear in the morning and 
perish before noon. They are of a deep-crimson color, 


and contrast finely with the ricli green of the leaves. 
There is a variety with white flowers. It should be 
sheltered from the northerly winds by a fence, trees, or 
buildings. An elegant cone may be made by setting a 
straight pole substantially into the ground, eight feet high 
from the surface ; describe a circle round it, having a diam- 
eter of three feet ; let about ten pots of plants be turned 
into the circle ; drive down a stake by the side of each, 
nearly to the surface, to which tie a strong twine, that 
may be stained or painted green ; let it be carried to the 
top of the pole and fastened there ; then bring it down to 
the next stake, and so on until the whole is completed. 
With a little assistance the vines will climb the strings, 
and by the middle of August will be at the top of the 
pole, making a splendid show, which more than pays for 
the trouble. It may be trained over an arch or in any 
other way as fancy may direct. 

Q. COCClDCa. — Scarlet Morning Glory. — A handsome 
species flowering in great profusion towards the close of 
the season, growing ten feet high ; a native of the West 
Indies. The flowers are bright scarlet in one variety, and 
in another, yellow and quite small ; from July to the first 
hard frost. The seed may be sown from the 1st to the 
10th of May, or treated like that of the Cypress Vine. 

RANITNCULTJS.—Crow-Foot.— Butter-Cup. 

[The name is the diminutive of rana, a frog, as some of the species grow in 
damp places.] 

Some of the species are weeds, a few are border-flow- 
ers, and a. AsiatiGus is one of the most esteemed florist's 
flowers. There are a number of varieties of Butter-cups, 
which are found double, and are frequently introduced in- 
to the flower-garden. 

338 breck's new book of flowers. 

Ranunculus ripens flore pl^no, is a double variety ; 

the roots are creeping, and therefore the plant is rather 
troublesome. The flowers are pretty, of a glossy yellow, 
and in bloom a number of months. JR. acris flore plena 
is a variety with upright stems; two feet high, with 
bright-yellow double flowers, in June and July. M. aco- 
nitifolius flore pleno. — This beautiful plant has fine dou- 
ble white flowers, in June ; one foot high ; for some reason 
it is not much cultivated in this country. It goes by the 
name of "Fair Maids of France." 

R« Asiaticus, is one of the most splendid florist's flow- 
ers in cultivation ; but, unfortunately, our climate is so 
uncongenial for its perfection, and it requires so much skill 
and care, that it has received but little attention, except by 
a few individuals. To have it in all its beauty and strength, 
it should be kept growing very moderately all winter ; 
but our climate is so severe that this is impossible, in the 
open air, without too much covering, which would cause 
the plants to become drawn and weakened in such a man- 
ner as to be ruined. In a green-house this may be done ; 
but how shall they be managed in the open air ? Samuel 
Walker, Esq., formerly President of the Massachusetts 
Horticultural Society, has been the most successful of any 
person in this neighborhood, in blooming the Ranunculus 
in the open air. The following are the directions he gave 
for their cultivation, as published some years since : — 

*' The soil should be trenched eighteen or twenty inch- 
es, and composed of good rich loam, to which add one- 
sixth part of very old, well-rotted cow manure, and the 
same quantity of clay, broken into small pieces ; add to 
this a little sand, and thoroughly mix the whole ; if the 
soil binds, add some sandy peat ; make tlie bed on a level 
with the path or walks ; the plants would do better if the 
bed was helow.^ rather than above, the level. 

"Having prepared the soil, as abov(\ some time during 


the summer or autumn, take the earliest opportunity, in 
the spring succeeding, to stir up the bed one spit, and 
take off one and a half inch of the soil ; then place the 
plants in an uj)right position on the surface, six inches 
apart each way, and rej^lace the soil carefully, which will 
cover the crown of the Ranunculus about one and one- 
half incli ; deeper planting would be injurious. After 
the plants appear, keep them free from weeds and press 
the soil firmly around them after they get two inches 
high. If the weather prove dry, water them freely early 
in the morning, and shade them from the sun from 9 A. 
M., to 3 o'clock, P. M. As soon as the foliage becomes 
yellow, take the roots up, and dry them thoroughly in 
the shade, and keep them in a dry place." 

" The Ranunculus loves a cool and moist location, but 
no stagnant water should be permitted, nor should they 
be placed under the shade or drippings of trees. The 
morning sun, free circulation of air, and shade, as direct- 
ed, will ensure success." 

The root of the Ranunculus is a cluster of small tubers, 
like claws, united in the crown, which send up several 
bipartite leaves and an erect, branched stem, eight or 
twelve inches high, with a terminating flower, variously 
colored. It is a native of the Levant, and was cultivated 
by Gerarde in 1596. Though rather a tender j^lant, in- 
numerable and highly beautiful double flowered varieties 
have been raised from seed, chiefly by the English florists, 
from the middle to the latter end of tlie last century. In 
a Dutch catalogue, about seven hundred varieties were 
named a few years since, and in an English catalogue 
about five hundred. 

Criterion for a fine Dojable RanunGulus. — The stem 
should be strong, straight, and from eight to twelve 
inches high, supporting a large well-formed blossom or 
corolla at least two inches in diameter, consisting of nu- 


merous petals, the largest at the outside, and gradually 
diminishing in size as they approach the center of tlie 
flower, wliich should be well filled up with them. The 
blossom should be of a hemispherical form ; its compo- 
nent petals should be imbricated in such a manner as 
neither to be too close and compact nor too widely sepa- 
rated, but have more of a perpendicular than horizontal 
direction to display their colors with better efl^ect. The 
petals should be broad, and have perfectly entire well 
rounded edges ; their colors should be dark, clear, rich or 
brilliant, either consisting of one color throughout, or be 
otherwise variously diversified, on an ash, white, sul- 
phur, or fine colored ground, or regularly striped, 
spotted or mottled in an elegant manner. It is 
said, that in no instance does the seed of the Ra- 
nunculus produce two flowers like the original. Those 
who have made the attempt to cultivate the Ra- 
nunculus, and have given it proper treatment, have been 
well rewarded for their pains, and we should be glad to 
see it more generally cultivated ; but unless good varie- 
ties are obtained, and the roots sound and plump, it will 
not be best to make the experiment. 

There is another Ranunculus, called the Great Turhan 
or Great Turkey Ranunculus^ producing large, double, 
and very brilliant flowers. The roots are somewhat 
larger, but similar to the other species, and the mode 
of cultivation the same. The varieties are not so numer- 
ous, but very brilliant. 

The bed for Ranunculus should be prepared in autumn 
and protected from frost by leaves, and the frame covered 
with boards to keep out the wet. In pleasant weather 
the last of February or beginning of March, the roots 
should be planted as heretofore directed, the soil having 
first been dug over and made smooth. The frame is then 
to be i^laced over the bed and the lights put in. In cold 


weather there must be a protection of mats to keep out 
frost, but give air and sun as soon as they begin to vege- 
tate. The bloom will be much more perfect and continue 
for a much longer time if screened by an awning, as the 
flowers begin to expand. The hot mid-day sun will soon 
spoil the bloom. 


[From, resedo, to calm, to appease. The Latins thought it useful as a topical 
application in external bruises. J 

" No gorgeous flowers the meek Reseda grace, 
Yet sip with eager trunk yon busy race 
Her simple cup, nor heed the dazzling gem 
That beams in Fritillaria's diadem." 

Reseda Odorata. — Common Mignonette. — This fragrant 
hardy annual is too well known to need any description. 
A bed of it should be found in every garden. It con- 
tinues to bloom and send forth its sweetness all the sea- 
son. Self-sown plants begin to produce flowers in June. 
The plants are in great demand in and about London and 
other great cities, being sold in pots and in bouquets. 
Some idea of the extent of its cultivation may be derived 
from the fact, which I heard from a creditable London 
seedsman, that he alone sold a ton and a half of the seed 

To obtain plants for blooming from December to Febru- 
ary, a sowing should be made in July in the open ground, 
and the plants potted in September. The crop for March, 
April and May, should be sown not later than the twen- 
ty-fifth of August ; the plants of this sowing will not 
suflfer by exposure to rain whilst they are young ; they 
must, however, be protected from early frosts, like the 
winter crops. The third crop should be sown in pots 
the last of February. Thus, by attending to the sowing 

342 breck's new book of flowers. 

of the seed at these three several times, and nursing the 
plants in a proper manner, this fragrant flower may be 
had to perfume the bouquet the year round. 

The following remarks on the Tree Mignonette are 
taken from the English Floral Cabinet : — 

" Sow the seed of the Common Mignonette towards the 
end of February, in pots the size thirty-two, such being 
six inches deep and four inches and a half in diameter, 
inside measure. Use a good rich loamy soil after the 
seed is sown, place the pots in a cucumber or melon-frame 
(hot-bed.) When the plants are up, they must be placed 
where they can get air, to prevent them being drawn up 
weakly, as well as to preserve them from damping ofl*. 
When the plants have made a few leaves, pull up all the 
plants but two, which must be allowed to remain till they 
get over danger from damping off, when the best may be 
retained and be secured to a support. As the plants 
grow, side shoots will push, they must be pinched off, al- 
ways leaving the leaf at the base of each shoot which 
contributes to its growth. If the leading shoot should 
show flower, it must also be pinched off. When the 
plants have grown ten or twelve inches high, they should 
be removed to a warm part of the green-house. Water 
must be given when the plants are dry. As the season ad- 
vances the 2)lants must be placed in more airy situations, 
which will gradually harden them. When the plants 
have reached a desirable height, from half a yard to two 
feet, pinch out the heads ; this will induce a number of 
lateral shoots to push and form a bushy head. Plants 
thus treated will bloom early the following spring ; after 
they have showed flowers, the plants, if vigorous, may be 
removed with balls entire, into pots a size larger ; they 
will then bloom all the season." 

This plant is supposed to be an Egyptian, and to have 
been brought to England from the south of France, where 


it is called Reseda d^Egypte, and herb d"* amour (love- 
flower.) It is a favorite plant, and has well justified this 
aiFectionate name, Mgnonette or Little Darling ; its sweet- 
ness wins all hearts. 

" The luxury of the pleasure-garden," says Mr. Curtis, 
" is greatly heightened by the delightful odour which this 
little plant diffuses ; and as it grows more readily in pots, 
its fragrance may be conveyed into the house. Its per- 
fume, though not so refreshing as the Sweet Brier, is not 
apt to offend the most delicate olfactories. People have 
not been satisfied, however, with growing this little darl- 
ing in pots ; it is often seen cradled in the sunshine, in 
boxes the whole length of the window it is placed in." 

" the sashes fronted with a range 

Of orange, myrtle or the fragrant weeds 
The Frenchman's darling."— 6'oii;per. 


[From the Greek words for rose and flower. 

Rhodanthe Man.i^lesii. — A most delightful plant, from 
the Swan River ; it is one of the tribe called everlasting, 
from its remaining perfect throughout the winter, if gath- 
ered when in bloom, and resembles the Selichrysuin, 

R« maculata* — ^Is a larger-flowered variety, in which 
each of the rosy florets have a dark spot at the base. 
The following are more recent varieties of the same. 

R. atrosanguinea* — This beautiful and very distinct 
variety differs from the 72. maculata in its dwarfer and 
more branching habit ; longer and more pointed foliage, 
which is dotted near the tip; and especially by the color 
of its flowers, w^hich have the entire disk of the dark-pur- 
ple, or crimson-brown shade, varying in some specimens 
to almost dark-violet and maroon, as in Coreopsis tincto- 


breck's new book of flowers. 

ria and its varieties. The ray scales are of a bright pur- 
ple or magenta color, deeper than in B,. maculata. It is 
more floriferous than i?. maculata^ but the capitules are 


somewhat smaller, the average diameter being about one 
inch. Introduced from Australia, by William Thoni})Son. 
R. maculata albat — This charming variety from the 
beautiful M. maculata^ is identical with it in habit, differs 
from it only in the color of the ray scales, which are of 
the purest and most silvery white ; the disk being yellow 
as in H. inaculata. It is unquestionably the finest white 
everlastintr iu cultivation. 


RICINTJS.— Palma Christl— Castok-oil Plant. 

[From the Latin name for the tick, an insect which the seeds resemble.] 

Ricinus communis* — This is the common Castor-oil 
Plant. A very luxuriant, strong-growing annual, some- 
times found in the garden, not so much for its beauty as 
for curiosity. Some of the species are ornamental as well 
as curious. 

R. sanguineus, is well worthy of a place in the flower- 
garden, where there is a plenty of room. The seeds 
should be started in a hot-bed or green-house, and trans- 
23lanted into small pots when they are three or four inches 
high, and turned out into the garden in June. They 
make a vigorous growth, and attain the heigbt of eight or 
ten feet before the frost overtakes them, Avith numerous 
side branches, with terminal spikes of greenish-yellow 
flowers, one or one foot and one-half long; these are suc- 
ceeded by thorny capsules of a light-scarlet color, which 
are very ornamental. The stalks of the plants as well as 
the foot-stalks of the leaves, are brownish-red. The leaves 
are very large, palmate, and elegant. 


[Named after Olaus Rudbeck, professor of botany at Upsal.] 

A genus of North American plants, some of them valu- 
able for the border ; all are hardy, and easily propagated 
by dividing the roots. 

Rudb^ckia fiilgida has large, brilliant yellow flowers, 
with a dark center, or disk ; about two feet high ; continu- 
ing in bloom all the months of July and August ; peren- 

R. amplexifolia. — An herbaceous annual plant, grows 
from two to three feet high; straight branching stems ; 
lanceolated radical leaves, sinewy and petiolated ; the 

346 breck's new book of flowers. 

cauline narrow embracing the grayish-green colored 
stem. Flowers large, solitary terminals, with broad 
streaks of a fine yellow, marked with a lively stripe of 
purple at the base ; conical disk of a deep brown ; in 
blossom from June to September. Tliis plant is remark- 
able for the brilliancy of its flowers, and for the length 
of time that it continues in bloom. It is hardy, and its 
cultivation requires no particular care. 

SABBATIA.— American Centaury. 

[Named after Sabhati, an Italian botanist.] 

A pretty North American genus of plants, not much 
cultivated, but if properly managed, Avould no doubt 
prove valuable in the flower-garden. 

Sabbatia chloroides, is found on the margin of ponds ; 
it has large, showy pink flowers ; in July. It is a bien- 
nial and must therefore be propagated from seed, which 
should be sown in moist ground as soon as ripe, or early 
in the spring. 


[From the Greek for trumpet and tongue, in allusion to the shape of the 

SalpiglOSSis pinnata. — A species from Chili, where it is 
a perennial, but in cultivation it is treated as a biennial in 
the green-house, and as an annual in the open air. It has 
given rise to many varieties, some of which have received 
distinct names. The flowers in all the varieties are fun- 
nel-shaped, something like those of the Petunia, but not 
so broad, and more delicate. The variety called S. atro- 
purpurea is of a fine, rich, dark velvety puce color ; S. 
straminea^ has pure yellow flowers; S. ^arclai/ana and 


hyhrida ^VQ iron-brown, and yellow-veined with brown; 
S. sinuata^ flowers a dark-blood color, veined or striped ; 
S. picta has beautiful striped flowers, all grow from one 
and a half to two feet high. They succeed finely w^hen 
started in a hot-bed, flowering profusely from August to 
October. The best soil for their cultivation is a mixture 
of loam and sand, enriched with rotted horse-manure and 
a little leaf-mould. In heavy soil it will not succeed so well. 


[From salveo, to save, on account of the healing quality of the plants.] 

The common Sage (Salvia offici?ialis), is well known 
as a garden medicinal plant. It was formerly in great 
repute in medicine. In cookery it is used for sauces, stuf- 
fings, etc. 

This genus is very large, and consists of herbs and un- 
der-shrubs, the leaves of which have generally a roughish 
appearance, the smell aromatic, and the flowers commonly 
in spikes, two or three together from a bract or leaf. 
They are all of easy culture, and some of them are orna- 
mental green-house plants or border-flowers. 

Salvia spl^ndens. — A Mexican plant of extraordinary 
beauty for the green-house or border, but tender, and will 
not bear the frost. It is easily raised from cuttings, which, 
when well established in pots and turned out into the 
garden in June, will soon become large plants and pro- 
duce a profusion of large scarlet flowers in spikes, which 
continue to give brilliancy to the garden until cut down 
by the frost. The plants become quite bushy, often three 
or four feet high. 

S. fulgens. — Tliis is also tender, but may be used as a 
border-flower, when treated like jS. splendens. It is not 
so free a flowcrer. The flowers are scarlet-crimson, some- 

348 breck's new book of flowers. 

what rough or hairy, but very beautiful. Two or three 
feet high. 

S. COCCinea.— This is a tender annual, with smaller 
scarlet flowers in spikes ; one and one-half foot high ; in 
flower most of the season ; easily raised from seeds. 

S. patens. — A green-house plant, which flowers rather 
sparingly in the border. The flowers are large, of the 
most exquisite blue, but very fragile. 

S. an^nstifolia* — This beautiful species is a native of 
dry mountainous situations in the cooler districts of Mex- 
ico ; it requires a light soil and protection during the win- 
ter ; although called only an annual, its existence, like 
many others, may be perpetuated by raising plants from 
cuttings, which strike readily. The whole flower is a 
beautiful deep azure-blue, the spikes tolerably dense, the 
lower lip broad and spreading ; a plant of elegant growth. 
There are a number of other fine species and varieties of 
Salvia, which do not succeed very well in the garden, 
but are fine for the green-house. 

S ANGTIIN ARI A. — Blood-root. 

[From sanguis, l)lood, as all tlie parts of the plant, on being wounded, dis- 
charge a blood-colored fluid.] 

Sanguinaria Canadensis. — This is a singular and very 
delicate-looking indigenous perennial plant, producing 
shining white flowers in April. It has a tuberous fleshy 
root, and is easily transferred to the garden, where it 
shows off to advantage with the Crocus and other vernal 

" Though the Sanguinaria cannot be considered as a 
showy plant," says Mr. Martyn, " yet it has few equals in 
point of delicacy and singularity ; there is something in 
it to admire, from the time the leaves emerge from the 




350 breck's new book of flowers. 

ground and embosom the infant blossom, till their full ex- 
pansion and ripening of the seeds." tit is found in abun- 
dance in our Avoods. The Indians are said to paint their 
faces with the juice. The flowers expand only in fine 
warm weather. Three or four stems spring from one 
root, six or eight inches high. The plant succeeds best in 
a rather shady spot. 

SARRACENIA.— Side-saddle-Flower. 

[Named in honor of Dr. Sarrazin, a French physician who first sent the plant 
from Canada to Europe.] 

Sarrac^nia purpurea. — Side-saddle-Flower. — Pitcher 
Plant. — An evergreen herbaceous perennial and one of the 
most curious of our indigenous plants. It is called Side- 
saddle-Flower, from the resemblance of the stigma to a 
woman's pillion : also, " Our Forefathers' cup," from the 
singular form of the leaves, which are tubular and hold 
water, and when full-grown, contain from a wine glass full 
to a gill, and are rarely empty. Report says our worthy 
ancestors made use of them to drink from. No matter 
how this may be, they certainly look as if they might be 
thus used, having the appearance of little pitchers, but 
not very inviting from their unpleasant odor, and from 
the fact, that they are generally found to contain many 
dead insects. The cup is hairy within, the hairs pointing 
downwards : in these the insects get entangled, and 
perish. The flowers are destitute of much beauty, but 
are very curious in their structure. To attempt to give 
a botanical description of this plant would be out of place 
in this work. As this is always found in wet, boggy, or 
mossy grounds, it is rather diflScult to manage in a common 
garden, unless there is a wet corner in it. I have suc- 
ceeded with it by taking with a spade, a large ball of 
earth with the plant, and transferring it to a moist place. 


exposed to the sun, and it, without much care afterwards, 
continued to flourish a number of years. With a peat 
soil, the surface covered with moss, and occasional sup- 
plies of water, I have no doubt but it would succeed very- 
well, if not in a very dry situation. 

SAXIFRAGA.— Saxifrage. 

[Named from saxurn, a rock, and frango^ to break, many of the species 
growing in the clefts of rocks.] 

A genus which comprises a number of Alpine plants, 
which have long been favorites in European gardens, but 
not much cultivated in this country. Many of them are 
quite easy to cultivate, and though naturally mountaineers, 
are not incapable of breathing the more impure air of 
towns and villages, others are delicate and difficult to 
rear. Most of the species are perennial, with either 
fibrous or granular roots, and a few are annuals. 

Saxifras^a Vir^illi^nsis. — This fragrant well-known 
plant is one of the earliest flowers upon rocks and dry 
hills. The leaves are mostly radical, spreading, fleshy, 
elliptical, a little downy and serrate ; stem erect, fleshy, 
nearly destitute of leaves. Flowers numerous, crowded, 
white, arranged in corymbs on the ends of the branches, 
which, collectively, form a sort of panicle; April and 
May ; perennial. This sweet flower is associated with my 
youthful floral rambles for May flowers. 

S. crassifolia. — A hardy perennial border flower with 
broad, thick leaves, rising from the root, from which are 
thrown up thick fleshy stems one foot high, with panicles 
of pink flowers in May and June. 

S. umbrosa. — London-Pride. — This is a beautiful peren- 
nial, growing about one foot high. Tlie flowers are in 
panicles, white or flesh color, dotted with yellow and dark- 

352 breck's new book of flowers. 

red. It is a native of Ireland. For some reason it does 
not succeed well in this country. 

SCABIOSA.— Mourning Bride. 

[From Scabies, a skin disease, in which this plant was said to be useful.] 

Scabiosa atropurpurea. — Mourning Bride. — This is a 
handsome species, and has been cultivated as a border 
annual so long that its native country is unknown. Lin- 
naeus and Miller consider it a native of India. It is some- 
times called Indian or Sweet Scabious ; it is chiefly valu- 
able for its exceeding sweetness ; yet its colors are often 
extremely rich. It is sometimes of a pale purple, some- 
times so dark as to be almost black ; hence, I suppose, the 
common name, " Mourning Bride ;" but its finest hue is a 
dark mulberry red. Some of the dark varieties are ele- 
gantly tij^ped with white. 

S. candidissima. — An entirely new variety of Sweet 
Scabious, and being j)ure white, is very desirable for a 
contrast with the other kinds in such very general 

" The Scabious blooms in sad array, 
A mourner in her spring." 

The flowers are produced in heads, upon stems nearly 
two feet high, and continue to bloom from July to Octo- 
ber. A bed of Mourning Bride of the diflferent varieties 
is very fine. 


[From Greek words to cut, and a flower, in allusion to the numerous divisions 
of the petals.] 

Tender annual plants, with finely cut j^ale-green leaves 
and terminal panicles of elegant flowers. 

SchizanthllS pinndtUS. — Pinnate-leaved Schizanthus, is 


-one of the most common species, from which a number of 
beautiful and improved seedlings have been produced. 

All the varieties are very pretty in the open ground, 
and bloom most of the season, but are much injured l)y 
the sun or severe rains. They can only be brought to 
the highest state of perfection when grown in pots in the 
green-house, where they can be made to attain the height 
of three or four feet ; in the open ground about two feet ; 
from August to October. The varieties are : S. Jiumilis^ 
8. porrigens^ S. retusys, S. JTooJcerii, S. Priestii and S. 


Schizop^talon Walkeri. — Walker's Schizopetalon. — 
This is a singular plant, about one foot high, with curious 
white flowers ; the segments of the corolla are finely cut 
into many feathery divisions. The flowers are very frail, 
being soon spoiled by the sun. 

A native of Chili, whence it was originally introduced 
in 1821. It is a hardy annual, thriving best in a light, 
sandy soil, and is increased by seeds, which it however 
perfects but sparingly, and that only in dry and warm 
summers. To hasten their growth, and thereby insure 
the maturing of seeds, the young plants should be raised 
in a frame, and planted out in a sunny border about the 
middle of May. The flowers are very fragrant, especially 
in the evening. 

SCILLA.— Squill. 

Scilla Peruviana. — The Star Hyacinth. — A very pretty 
bulbous-rooted plant, with dark-blue, starry flowers ; in 
May and June. The stem grows about nine inches high. 
The bulb is rather tender and should be well protected. 

354 breck's xew book of flowers. 

SEDTIM.— Stone Crop. 

[The name from sedeo, to sit ; these plants, growing upon the bare rock, look 
as if sitting upon it.] 

The species are low succulent plants, some of them 
pretty, others curious ; but none of them remarkable in 
any way. They seem destined by nature to clothe rocks 
and dry arid places, after a certain portion of vegetable 
soil has been generated by lichens and mosses. 

Sedum Siel)61dii. — Siebold's Sedum. — This is a hardy 
perennial plant of considerable beauty aud interest, on ac- 
count of its being one of the last to flower in the garden. 
The leaves are very thick and succulent, of a glaucous green. 
The flowers are very pretty ; pink ; in numerous heads ; 
the last of October. This species flourishes in any good 
garden soil. Some of the Sedums are suitable for 


[Name from stnex, an old man, in allusion to the hoary appearance of the 
pappus, or hairs upon the fruit.] 

Sen^cio aureus. — Golden Senecio. — This is a handsome 
indigenous species, and makes a fine appearance in mea- 
dows in May and June. From one to three feet high. 
Flowers, a golden yellow or orange ; perennial. It is not 
often introduced into the flower border, although much 
handsomer than many plants that are cultivated. 

S. ^Icj^aus. — Jacobea, Groundsel or Rag- wort. — A 
handsome annual in the open ground, or biennial in the 
green-house. The double varieties are the only sorts 
worth cultivating, of which there are a number of colors, 
viz., double-purple, crimson, rose, flesh-colored and white. 
The fine double sorts arc propagated from cuttings, which 
grow very readily, not one in fifty failing. It is also raised 
from seed, but few of the plants will produce double 


flowers. It is a very pretty plant in its foliage and in 
flowers, grows freely and most profusely, scarcely anything 
surpassing it for a neat and handsome show. 

It succeeds best in soil composed of fresh loam mixed 
with leaf mould, and upon a dry subsoil, the layer of com- 
post over it about eight inches. I find that when the 
soil is much enriched, the plants have a tendency to pro- 
duce much foliage ; but when grown in this compost, an 
amazing production of bloom is the result. It grows 
about eighteen inches high, and continues to bloom 
all the season. 

S. COCCinea. — Scarlet Tassel-Flower, Cacalia coccinea^ 
is a handsome half-hardy annual, with neat tassel-shaped, 
scarlet flowers ; one and a half foot high. G. aurea is a 
variety with orange flowers. In shape and habit they are 
the same. Sow the first of May. 

SILENE— Catch-Fly. 

[Name from the Greek for saliva, in reference to the viscid secretion which 
covers Ihe stems of many species.] 

Sil^ne Pennsylvanica. — A native species, found in dry, 
sandy soils in June, quite a handsome plant ; sometimes 
called " Wild Pink," from its similarity in habit to some 
of that genus. The whole plant is viscid or glutinous ; 
the flowers are light purple. 

S. Armeria. — Catch-fly. — This plant is covered with a 
glutinous moisture, from which flies, happening to light 
upon it, cannot disengage themselves. This circumstance 
has obtained it the name of Catch-fly, to which Gerarde 
adds the name of Limewort. It is a hardy and very 
common annual, found in almost every garden, j^roducing 
umbels of pink, and a variety with white flowers. 8ilene 
compacta^ S. pendula^ S. /Schafta, S. Saxifraga are also 
handsome annual border flowers. Having the plants of 

356 breck's new book of flowers. 

the most of these species in the ground, there will always 
be plenty from self-sown seeds in the spring. 

SOLIDAGO.— Golden Rod. 

[From solido, to unite, on account of the alleged vulnerary qualities of the 

The species are all autumnal coarse-looking herbaceous 
plants with yellow flowers ; in the shrubbery tliey make a 
pretty appearance with other coarse plants. About all 
of the species are indigenous. 

SolidagO Odora.— Sweet-Scented Golden Rod.— This 
species may be admitted into the garden not only for the 
fragrance of the plants, but its inflorescence is also inter- 
esting. The flowers grow in a compound, panicled ra- 
ceme, with each of its branches supported by a small leaf, 
and of a brilliant yellow. The whole plant has a smooth 
appearance; the leaves have a very pleasant anisate odor, 
and yield by distillation a fragrant, volatile oil. 

S. nemoralis.— Grey Golden Rod.— This is a very pretty 
dwarf species, not more than one foot high, common in 
dry fields, where it appears as if stunted by drought. 
Panicle small, leaning ; bright yellow ; August and 

SPECULARIA.— Venus' Looking-Glass. 

[From Speculum Veneris, a name by wliich one of the species was formerly 

Spccularia speculum. — Venus' Looking-Glass, also 
called Campanula speculum. — This is an annual border- 
flower of some beauty ; very hardy ; having it once in the 
ground it will sow itself; the young plants may be tals^en 
up in the spring and planted where they are to remain, 


set one foot apart ; or sow the seed in April. One foot 
high ; very branching ; producing a long succession of blue 
flowers, which close at the approach of rain and in the 
evening. There is also a variety with white flowers. 

Spheeno^yne speciosa. — This is a most beautiful flower- 
ing annual from the Cape of Good Hope, growing about one 
foot high. The plant is of handsome foliage and a most 
profuse bloomer. The flowers open fully when the sun 
shines upon them, and then display a show of the most 
j^leasing kind. The flower has some resemblance to the 
Calliopsis. Rays, yellow ; disk, dark-brown; about tw^o 
inches in diameter ; in bloom from July to October. A 
bed of it would be a delightful contrast Tvith some other 
dwarf plant of an opposite color. 

SPIR^A.— Meadow Sweet. 

[Name supposed to be from the Greek word meaning to entwine, in reference 
to the use of some of the species in garlands] 

A large genus, comprising both herbaceous perennials 
and ornamental shrubs. 

Spiraea Ulmaria. — Meadow Sweet, or Queen of the 
Meadow. — A hardy herbaceous perennial, a native of 
Britain, where it abounds in moist meadows, perfuming 
the air with the Hawthorn-like scent of its abundant 
white blossoms; in June, July, and August. It grows 
three or four feet high. 

" Each dry entangled copse empurpled glows 
With Orchis blooms ; while in the moistened plain 
The Meadow-sweet its luscious fragrance yields."— Dr. Bidlake's Year. 

The double kind, S. Tllmaria plena^ is an improved va- 
riety of the single. A large mass of it is quite imposing ; 


its fine double white flowers in ample corymbs, on erect 
stems two or three feet high, have the appearance of snow. 
From June to August. Leaves pinnate, downy beneath ; 
the terminal leaflets larger, three-lobed ; the lateral ones 
undivided. This and most of the species succeed best in 
a strong, most soil, enduring the severest winter without 

The Golden-striped leaved Meadow-sweet is a variety 
of the single Meadow-sweet, with leaves elegantly vari- 
egated with golden-yellow. The flowers, which are not of 
much account, are of a greenish-white. 

S. filipendula* — Dropwort, is an herbaceous perennial 
of easiest culture. It is so called from the manner in 
which its tuberous roots hang together by threads. The 
flowers are arranged in corymbs, somewhat flattened. It 
is very handsome in bud, just before blooming; the buds 
are bright rose or red. The foliage is elegant ; leaves pin- 
nated ; leaflets serrated. The Double Dropwort, S. JiU- 
pendula plena^ is one of the finest hardy perennials. It 
possesses all the elegance of the single variety in its foli- 
age ; while the mass of its pure white flowers is much 
finer and more showy. It does not grow so high, and is 
in flower all the season, throwing up a succession of flow- 
er-stems until frost. The tuberous roots of this species 
must be divided with care in August, to have a strong 
bloom the following season ; care must be taken to pre- 
serve an eye on each tuber, as in dividing the Peony, or 
the root may fail. Sometimes sprouts will be thrown out 
from the tuber, but not commonly. 

S. lobata* — Lobed-leaved Spiraia. — Queen of the Prai- 
rie. — A species, indigenous in the middle States. The 
flower-stems are two feet high, terminated by corymbs of 
deep-pink or red flowers. It is not so long in bloom as 
the last species and varieties, but fine in its season ; in 
July. Leaves pinnate, glabrous; the odd leaflet large, 


seven-lobed ; lateral ones three-lobed. Varieties of this 
are found in collections as S. palmata and S. venusta ; 
they are more robust plants, and diifer somewhat in the 
foliage and the depth of color of the flowers. 

S. Japonic a • — Japan Spirgea. — The foliage of this spe- 
cies is a rich deep-green, decompound. Flowers pure 
white in panicled. spikes ; one and one-half foot high ; in 
June and July. This is one of the most delicate and ele- 
g:int of all the Spiraeas ; and, like all the rest, very hardy. 
These spikes of white flowers, Avith the foliage, are fine 
for choice bouquets. 

S. Aruncus. — Goat's Beard. — This is a tall-growing 
species, three or four feet high, with large compound 
leaves, and panicled spikes of yellowish-white flowers ; in 
June and July. This is more suitable for the shrubbery 
than for the border. 


[Named from the Greek, signifying to grow together, tiie plant having formerly- 
been used as a vulnerary.] 

Symphytum officinale. — Common Comfrey.— A rather 
coarse, rough, hairy plant, with showy flowers in nodding 
racemes. The color of the flower is white, blue, pink or 
red in the diflerent varieties. The plant is very mucilagi- 
nous, and on that account sometimes used medicinally. 

TAGETES.— Marigold. 

[Named after Tages, a Tuscan divinity.] 

Tag^tes patula.— French Marigold. — This is one of the 
old-fashioned tender annuals, deservedly popular from the 
brilliancy and variegation of its flowers, and its easy cul- 
tivation. Some of the improved varieties are exceedingly 

360 breck's new book of flowers. 

beautiful. A rich, velvety, dark, reddish-brown, is the 
most common color. This, when striped and variegated 
with yellow, is still more beautiful ; then there are flowers 
of a plain lemon or orange-yellow color, or dark-brown, 
edged with yellow, and variously shaded; these, when 
full double like the Ranunculus, are superb. Some of the 
single varieties with brown and yellow-striped petals, 
are also fine. The only drawback to this beautiful flower 
is the odor, which is disagreable to many persons. This 
species is sometimes called the Velvet or Ranunculus 
Marigold. It is in flower from July to October, and in 
rich ground, if planted singly, or two or three feet distant 
fiom any other plant, will make quite a large bush before 
it is cut down by frost. All the varieties of this and the 
African Marigold are apt to degenerate, even when the 
seed is saved from the most perfect flowers, unless the 
single varieties in their neighborhood are pulled up and 
thrown away as soon as they show flower. 

T. er^cta. — African Marigold. — This is also one of the 
old inhabitants of the flower-garden, and although called 
African, it, with the preceeding, came from South America. 
The large double varieties of this species are very rich ; 
the colors from a pale citron-yellow to deep-orange. The 
seed may be sown any time in May. The plants should 
be transj^lanted when large enough, into patches of four 
or five plants each ; all inferior sorts should be pulled up 
as soon as the flowers appear. One plant is enough for 
one place, which, if tied up to a support and trimmed oc- 
casionally, will give good satisfaction and will continue to 
flower till frost. 

T. Si^nata. — This species of Marigold is of recent in- 
troduction, and, when properly cultivated, forms a strik- 
ing ornament of the flower-garden. The variety called 
T. signata pumila, is not more than one foot in height, 
forming a compact hemispherical bush from one to two 


feet ill diameter. I exhibited one plant at the Horticul- 
tural rooms last September, which measured more than 
six feet in circumference, or two feet across. The foliage 
is of a rich deej) bluish-green, finely pinnated, almost cov- 
ered with its innumerable small, single, orange blossoms. 
The plants are as symmetrically shaped, as if they had 
been artificially trimmed.^ The plant throws out from the 
main root a succession of flower-stems, which, with every 
part of the plant, produce flowers even until it has ex- 
perienced a number of hard frosts. This is very useful 
for borders or beds of dwarf plants. If the plants are 
started in hot beds, they will commence flowering much 
earlier than those planted in open ground. Plant in rich 
soil, giving each plant plenty of room. This Marigold, 
when planted in alternation with the dwarf-crimson Cock's- 
comb, will make a biilliant and striking display. 

THALICTRTJM.— Meadow-Rue. 

Thalictrum anemonoides. — Rue-Anemone. — A pretty 
little indigenous perennial, which looks in flower so much 
like an Anemone, that it was formerly called Anemone 
thalictroides, but the character of the fruit j^laces it with 
Tlialictrum. It has tuberous clustered roots, which are 
readily broken, and care is needed to transplant it success- 
fully. This is a common plant in the woods, in April and 
May, and is one of the best known early flowers. The 
flowers are usually white, but sometimes tinged with 
pink ; rarely flowers are found with a tendency to become 
double. When transferred to the garden, it should have 
a moist and shady situation. 


362 breck's new p.ook op flowers. 


[Dedicated to Thunberg, an inilefatigable botanical traveller.] 

Thunbergia alata. — Thunbergia. — A handsome climb- 
ing green-house perennial, but succeeds well as an annu- 
al, from seed sown in the open ground the last of May ; 
grows five or six feet high, with numerous buff-colored 
flowers, with dark throat ; from July to October. The 
White-flowered, — var. alba, — is a very showy variety of 
T. alata, differing in no respect except color. The Orange- 
flowered, — var. aurantiaca, — is another variety. The va- 
rieties are easily multiplied by cuttings, and are often 
treated as stove-plants, but succeed better in the conser- 
vatory or green-house ; and, if planted in a warm, sunny 
border, it will grow and blossom freely during the sum- 
mer months. A soil composed of peat and loam is that 
which suits them best. Plants forwarded in pots, in a 
frame, succeed better than those sown in the open ground. 
There are other improved varieties, all fine. The plants 
throw out many lateral branches, and will require training 
to a trellis or frame-work. 


[Named from tiara, a particular kind of head-dress, a mitre, in allusion to 
the form of its capsule.] 

Tiar^lla cordifolia. — Heart-leaved Tiarella. — This fine 
dwarf plant is found in the woods in most of the North- 
ern States. The roots are creeping, and send out run- 
ners. Leaves on long hairy petioles, heart-shaped, lobed 
and toothed, hairy on both sides. Flowers entirely white, 
on long racemes six or eight inches high. In blossom in 
June. A hardy perennial, related to Saxifrage, and 
easily cultivated in the flower-border. 


TIGRIDIA.— Tiger-Flower. 

[Named from tigris, the tiger, the flowers being spotted.] 

Til^ridia Pavonia. — Mexican Tiger-Flower. — This, and 
T. conchiflora, which is by some considered as a distinct 
species, and by others as only a variety, are exquisitely 
beautiful, but not sufficiently hardy to endure much frost. 
The bulbs are tunicated, producing from one to four 
stems each, from eighteen inches to two feet high ; the 
flowers are of short duration. It is born to display its 
glory but for a few hours, when the sun totally destroys 
its beauty ; but to compensate for this sudden decline it 
continues to produce flowers a number of weeks. 

The shape of the flower is singularly curious, and the 
coloring of each variety gorgeous. The flowers of T. Pa- 
vonia, are of the richest scarlet imaginable, variegated 
with a bright golden-yellow, spotted with black. 
The ground-work of T. concliiflora is of the richest 
orange, variegated with light-yellow, also spotted with 
black. No flowers can exceed these in beauty; but na- 
ture does not lavish all her riches upon one flower ; in 
this there is no scent. The flowers are large ; produced 
in succession nearly all the season. Tlie bulbs should be 
planted about the middle of May, about two inches deep 
in any rich garden soil ; tliey require no particular care. 
The bulbs and oflfsets should be taken up in October, and 
dried ; but be particular not to expose them to frost while 
drying, or at any other time, as that would destroy them. 
They may be kept in dry sand, saw-dust, or moss, until 
the time of planting in the spring. The mice are very 
fond of the roots, and if they find them, but few, if any, 
will be left to plant. 


TRADESCANTIA— Spider-wort. 

[Named in memory of John Tradescant, gardener to Charles I.] 

Tradescantia Virginica,— Spider- wort. — With its va- 
rieties are interesting border-flowers, on account of the 
continual succession of fine bhie or white flowers, which 
are produced every morning, from May to Sej)tember. It 
has long, grass-like foliage ; flowers on stems one and one- 
half foot high, in umbel-like clusters. There is also a va- 
riety with double flowers, of a reddish-purple. None of 
them are desirable for bouquets, as the flowers close, and 
never open in water; hardy perennials; propagated by 
dividing the roots, which multiply very rapidly. 


[Name from trilix, triple, as it has all its parts in threes— three styles ; three 
petals ; three sepals (leaves of the calyx) ; and three leaves on the stem.] 

Trillium pietum, — This is a very handsome species of 
this curious genus ; indigenous, but rarely found. I shall 
not forget the pleasurable surprise I experienced some 
thirty years since, as I came unexpectedly upon a bed of 
it in the woods of Lancaster, Mass., the first time I had 
seen the plant. The patch in full bloom, five or six feet in 
diameter, was indeed beautiful. It was situated in a dark, 
shady part of the woods, in a rather peaty soil. This 
species is exclusively a North American plant. The flow- 
ers are two inches in diameter, pure white ; the petals 
pencilled at the base with rich crimson-purple. The fruit 
is also very ornamental, being a large scarlet berry. 

T. Sessile.— Sessile-flowered. — Is found in Pennsylvania 
and southward ; it is a dark-chocolate color, the leaves 
beautifully variegated with dark and light-green. 

T. grandiflorum, is probably the handsomest of the 
species. The petals are one and one-half to two inches 


long, wliite at first, gradually changing to a dark-rose 
color ; the berry dark-purj^le. It is found in Vermont, 
Wisconsin, etc. 

T. cernuiim. — Nodding Trillium. — Although the least 
beautiful of the genus, it is still elegant and interesting ; 
the flower is pure white, much smaller than that of T. 
pictum. T. erectu7n (upright), is of a dull purple color, 
larger flowered tlian T. cernuwn. 

The Trillium is diflicult to keep in the flower-garden. 
The only chance of success in their cultivation would be 
upon a bed of peat and leaf-mould, in a shady and rather 
moist locality. They may be increased, though slowly, 
by the division of the roots. 


[From Greek words signifying three and to cut, in allusion to the three sharp 
edges of the ends of the leaves.] 

fritoma uvaria. — A native of the Cape of Good Hope, 
and has given rise to several varieties, which difier some- 
what in their foliage and flowers as well as their time of 
blooming. All thrive best in peat soil, but will do very 
well in any other light earth. They are not hardy enough 
to stand our winters, unless with great care, and must 
therefore be kept in the grren-house or perhaps the cellar, 
though I have succeeded in keeping them in the open 
ground by covering them deeply with earth. 

These are splendid late-flowering, sub-evergreen, her- 
baceous plants, forming large, robust, stemless leaf- 
crowns, from the centers of which their tall flower-scapes ; 
from three to five feet in height ; are produced in the late 
summer and autumn months, with large terminal, dense- 
ly-flowered racemes of rich, pendant, orange-red tinted 
flower-tubes, each raceme from one to two feet in length. 

3GG breck's new book of flowers. 

They are admirably adapted for forming large effective 
groups and beds, in which the numerous terminal flame- 
colored blossoms form a stately distant or mediate effect. 
The species thrive in all ordinary rich garden soils, or in 
equal portions of loam, peat and leaf-mould, and bloom 
from the middle of August until the end of September. 
Tritoma serotina unfolds its richest colors in October, and 
in fine seasons prolongs its ornamental effect into Novem- 

TROPjEOLTJM.— Indian Cress. 

[Named from the Greek word for a trophy. The leaf resembles a buckler, 
and the flower an empty helmet.] 

Tropaeolum peregrinum. — Canary Bird Flower. — This 
is a beautiful climber, the charming little canary-colored 
blossoms of which, when half expanded, have a pretty 
and fanciful likeness to little birds. The plant has a line, 
luxuriant, rambling character. It succeeds best in a light 
soil. If the seeds are planted in April or May, by the 
side of a trellis or arbor, tlie plants will soon cover con- 
siderable space, and produce their curious, lively flowers 
from July till the severe frosts of autumn. In rich, 
heavy soil it runs very much to vine, and produces its 
flowers very sparingly. 

Ti majllS. — Great Nasturtium. — This is a well known 
ornamental annual, of easy cultivation. It flowers best in 
a light soil. It looks well trained to a trellis, or over a 
wall. The flowers are rich orange, shaded with crimson 
and various colors ; the variety with crimson or blood- 
colored flowers makes a fine contrast with the orange. 
The seeds are used as a substitute for capers, and the 
flowers sometimes eaten in salads, or used for garnishing 

There are a nimiber of fine varieties of the Great Nas- 


36S breck's new book op flowers. 

turtium, which are all beautiful and are very sho\\'y when 
trained together on a trellis or wall. The variety T. 
Scheuermani has straw-colored flowers with brown spots, 
and straw-colored flowers blotched and streaked with 
scarlet. T. coecinium, with scarlet flowers ; T. nijro pur- 
pureum^ with dark blackish-purple flowers ; and T. atrosan- 
guineuin, with dark-crimson flowers, are all fine. These 
are some of the more distinct varieties of this species, 
but almost every variety of shade of their colors may be 
found in plants from the seeds of these sorts, as they vary 
very much ; oftentimes the flowers will be different on the 
same plant. All are annual, and are propagated either by 
seeds, which are freely produced, or by cuttings of half- 
ripened wood, which will root freely in sand. 

T. Lobbianum, was first collected by Mr. Lobb, in Co- 
lumbia ; a ramj^ant growler, and free-flowerer in the green- 
house, but does not succeed so well in the open orround ; 
color of the flowers, bright orange-scarlet. It strikes 
freely from cuttings, but produces seed sparingly. 

T. minus, — Dwarf Nasturtium. — More than thirty va- 
rieties of this species are named in the European cata- 
logues, and possess various habits ; some very dwarf, others 
vigorous tall-growing plants, with every variety of color 
and shade of yellow, orange, sulphur, straw, creamy- 
white, scarlet, crimson, and dark-puce ; shaded, blotched, 
and striped, most elegantly, with darker shades and 
colors. Carter's Tom Thumb varieties are dwarf, suitable 
for bedding-plants, and are yellow, orange, and scarlet, 
very rich shades without stripes or spots. There is also 
CatelPs new Dwarf Crimson, very fine, and Dennett's 
new Orange and Spotted. One of the finest new Scarlet 
varieties is Crystal Palace Gem. 

The following varieties, described by E. S. Kand, Esq., 
Chairman of the Flower-Committee of the Massachusetts 
Horticultural Society, were my seedlings: — 


T. Br^ckii, — "Raised by Joseph Breck. — A pretty- 
petite variety, iu color resembling Lohhianum,^ though per- 
haps darker ; the petals are often finely fringed, a very 
free flowerer, bat unless aiforded a plenty of pot-room, 
ceases to grow after it begins to bloom ; roots freely from 
cuttings, and seeds abundantly. Blooms very freely in 
the garden, and is desirable for bedding. 

T. Randii,— "A very fine seedling of Mr. Breck's ; a 
vigorous grower ; the writer has, in one summer, Imd one 
side of a large green house covered by a small plant. 
This variety has the desirable property of blooming 
equally well as a border-plant in the summer, and in the 
green-house in the winter. The color of the flower is a 
brilliant yellow ; the base of each petal marked with a 
round, black spot ; the flowers are often veined with pur- 
plish-red, sometimes very deeply, and, from a large plant, 
often dozens of blossoms, all of diflferent shades, may be 
gathered ; this is particularly the case in the green-house ; 
in the border, the colors are more constant. This is prob- 
ably, from its abundant flowers and free habit, the most 
popular variety, of its color, among gardeners, for bou- 
quet purposes ; and, though of comj^aratively recent in- 
troduction, is very widely disseminated. Propagated by 
cuttings ; seeds sparingly. T. mimis Breckii. — A very 
pretty variety in the style of T. BrecMi already described, 
with scarlet flowers ; raised easily from seed." 

To describe all the beautiful sports of the Tropneolum, 
would be impossible, they are so numerous ; very few of 
them will come true from seed ; seeds from the same va- 
riety, will oftentime give a great diversity of colors. It 
is one of the most interesting, as well as one of the most 
ornamental of garden plants. There are two double vari- 
eties of T. majus ; one with orange, the other with yellow 
flowers, which answer for eflfect so far as a brilliant display 
of these colors in masses is concerned, as they are free 

370 breck's new book of flowers. 

bloomers ; but they will not compare in beauty with the 
single varieties, when examined singly. They are so con- 
torted and mis-shapen, and filled up with twisted petals, 
that a person, who had never before seen one, would 
think it almost anything but a Nasturtium. These 
varieties are joropagated only by cuttings. I have noticed 
that the large-flowering Nasturtiums produce a greater 
l^rofusion of bloom in light soil, than they do in that which 
is very rich ; but the plants are more dwarfish. 

Theie are many beautiful species and varieties of Tro- 
paeolum, which are suitable only for the green-house or 

TROLLITJS.— Globe-Flower. 

[Name derived from an old German word, signifying something round, in al- 
lusion to tlie globular form of llie flower.] 

Trollius Europaeus. — Globe-FIower, also called Globe 
Ranunculus and Globe Crow-foot. — Tlie petals being al- 
ways inflected at the tip, and never expanded, they form 
a complete globe. 

The European Globe-flower is a native of most parts 
of Europe, growing in moist shady places. "This splen- 
did flower," says Linnaeus, "adorns the pavement of the 
rustics on festal days." It is a bright-yellow flower, 
blooming in June and July ; two feet high. A hardy or- 
namental pereimial of easiest culture, preferring a moist 
rich soil. Propagated by dividing the roots in August. 
Martyn, in his edition of Miller's Gardener's Dictionary, 
says : — " In Westmoreland these flowers are collected 
Avith great festivity, by the youth of both sexes, at the 
beginning of June ; about which time it is usual to see 
them returning from the woods in an evening, laden with 
them, to adorn their doors and cottages with wreaths and 


T. AsiaticuS; has large dark-orange flowers, more open 
than T. Uuropceus, on stems one foot high ; in June and 
July. This, like the other, is a hardy border-perennial, 
and j)ropagated in the same way. 


[Linnaeus classed this among barbarous names. In Persian it is called thouly- 
ban, wtience undoubtedly its origin. In old Frenchiit is called tulipati.] 

Tulipa Gesneriana. — The Garden Tulip, has been 
called the King of florist's flowers, having been a prime 
object of attention with this class of cultivators, for nearly 
three centuries. Its popularity has, for many years, been 
on its wane. It appears to have been brought from Per- 
sia by the way of Constantinople, in 1559, and in a cen- 
tury afterwards to have become an object of considerable 
trade in the Netherlands. The taste for Tulip in Eng- 
land was at its greatest height about the end of the sev- 
enteenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century. 
It afterwards declined, and gave way to a taste for rare 
plants fi*om foreign countries. 

" Tlien comes the Tulip race, where beauty plays 
Her idle freaks ; from family difTused 
To family, as flies the father dust. 
The varied colors run ; and while they break 
On the charmed eye, th' exulting florist marks 
With secret pride the wonders of liis hand." 

The Tulip is a flower of easy cultivation. The varieties 
are endless. With the early and late varieties the garden 
can be made very gay all the month of May. 

These flowers became, in the middle of the seventeenth 
century, the object of a trade for which there is no paral- 
lel, and their price rose beyond that of the precious met- 
als. Many authors have given an account of this trade, 
some of whom have misrepresented it. One called it 

372 breck's new book op flowers. 

the Tulipomania ; at which j^eople laugh, because they be- 
lieve that the beauty and rarity of the flowers induced 
florists to give such extravagant prices. But this Tulip 
trade was a mere gambling commerce, and the Tulips 
themselves were only nominally its object, many bargains 
being daily made, and the roots neither given nor re- 
ceived. In Holland and Belgium the passion for Tulips 
among tlie florists became an absolute madness. Many 
thousand francs have often been given for a single root, 
and the conmierce of this article in 1637, rose to some 
millions of francs. At the period of this eflfervescence, 
properties of considerable value were given for a single 
flower, and a memorable monument of this outrageous 
folly is still exhibited at Lille, in the Tulip Brewery, 
which, it is said, though valued af 30,000 francs, (16000,) 
was given by its proprietor for a single root. At last the 
Tulip mania became so overpowing that the government 
of Holland, convinced of the evil effects which might re- 
sult from it, were obliged to interfere, and to pass laws of 
great severity against such transactions, limiting the ex- 
tent of the amount for any one bulb to 200 francs. To 
this day, a few of the choice and rare varieties are priced 
at that sum in the Dutch catalogues. During this Tulip 
fever, a merchant in Holland gave a herring to a sailor 
who had brought him some goods. The sailor, seeing 
some valuable Tulip roots lying about, which he consid- 
ered of little consequence, thinking them to be onions, 
took some of them unpei-ceived, and ate them with his 
herring. Through this mistake, the sailor's breakfast cost 
the merchant a greater sum than if he had treated the 
Prince of Orange. 

Another anecdote is told of an Englishman, who, be- 
ing in a Dutchman's garden, pulled a couple of Tulips, 
on which he wishc^l to make some l)otani{;al observations, 
and put them in liis pocket ; but he was apprehended as a 


thief, and obliged to pay a considerable sum before lie 
could obtain his liberty. A bed of two hundred and fifty 
Tulips, of the finest varieties, at the present time, cannot 
be obtained without a considerable outlay ; and there are 
few, who have the means or the fancy, who are Avilling to 
be at the expense. 

Tulips are divided into two classes, early and late 
i>loomers; and these are, again, subdivided into other 

Early Tulij^s commence their blooming about the first 
of May, in company with the Hyacinth, and some of the 
varieties are very desirable. They are dwarf in their 
habits. The many distinguished varieties of early Tulip 
are all produced from the late bloomers, which, having tall 
stems, and much finer colors, engross nearly the whole at- 
tention of the cultivators of Tulips. Tiie modern mode 
of classing the late varieties by the Dutch florists, is as 
follows : — 

" Prime JBaguets^ from the French word baguette, a 
rod, or wand. They are very tall, with handsome cups 
and white bottoms, well broken with fine brown, and all 
from the same breeder. 

JRigaufs JBaguets. — This variety is supposed to have 
received its distinctive appellation from some individual 
by the name of Rigaut, who was eminent in this branch 
oi floriculture. They are not quite so tall as the former, 
but have strong stems, and very large, well formed cups, 
Avith white bottoms, handsomely broken with rich brown 
color, and all from the same breeder. 

Incomparable Yerports. — A particular kind of Bybloe- 
mens. Cups very perfect, cherry-red and rose color, and 
white bottoms well broken with shining brown. Some 
of these are from $10 to |25 a root. 

Byhloemens^ or nest flowers, called by the French Fla- 
mands. They have white ground, or nearly so, and are 

beautifully broken with shades of purple and a variety 
of colors. They are from diflerent breeders. 

Bizarres^ from the French, odd, or irregular. Ground 
yellow ; from different breeders, and broken with a va- 
riety of colors. 

Paroquets^ or Parrot Tulips. — ^The edges of the petals 
are fringed, colors, brilliant crimson and yellow, with 
shades of bright green ; but still they are held in no sort 
of esteem among florists." 

Double. — These are of various brilliant red, yellow, 
and mixed colors, but, like many other double flowers, 
are deemed monsters, and not appreciated by flower fan- 
ciers, although they have an elegant appearance, from 
their upright, tall, and firm stems, and crowns of large, 
peony-shaped flowers ; and, when scattered with the Par- 
rot Tulips among the small shrubs and other plants, in 
the borders of avenues and walks, or planted out in 
separate beds, they have a pleasing effect. 

Breeders are such as have been procured from the seed, 
and consist of one color, which is red, purple, violet, gray, 
brown, black, yellow, or some other individual color, 
without any sort of variation. These are cultivated in a 
rather poor and dry soil, and become broken or variegat- 
ed, in from one to twenty years, and produce new varie- 
ties ; but so uncertain is the prospect of a favorable re- 
sult, that but few persons are Avilling to make the experi- 
ment, by raising Tulips from seed, as probably not one 
in a thousand, after so many years of patient cultivation, 
would exhibit anything remarkable or new. For this 
reason, a new and superb Tulip commands a high price 
at the present time in Eurojjc. 

When a Tulip has broken, the colors are unchangeable, 
Avhen properly managed, and it is perpetuated by offsets 
from the parent bulb. Tulips become deteriorated by 
improper culture, by feeding them too highly with stimu- 


lating manures. This causes the colors to run together, 
and the flower becomes what the florist denominates 
"foul," and they can only be restored to their former 
beauty by planting in a j^ure loamy soil for a few years. 


The stem should be strong, elastic, and erect, and about 
thirty inches above the surface of the bed. 

The flower should be large, and composed of six petals. 
These should form almost a perfect cuj), with a round 
bottom, rather wide at the top. 

The three exterior petals should be somewhat larger 
than tlie three interior ones, and broader at their base. 
All the petals should have perfectly entire edges, free 
from notch or serrature. The top of each should be 
broad and well rounded. The ground color of the flow- 
er, at the bottom of the cup, should be a clear white or 
yellow ; and the various rich colored stripes, which are 
the principal ornament of a fine Tulip, should be regular, 
bold, and distinct on the margin, and terminate in fine 
broken points, elegantly feathered or penciled. These 
are the principal jjoints of excellence, in the eyes of a 
florist ; yet with amateurs there is some diflference of 

The colors which are generally held in greatest estima- 
tion, in variegated striped sorts, are black, golden-yellow, 
jDurple, violet, rose, and vermilion, each of which is varied 
in difterent ways ; but such as are striped with three dif- 
ferent colors, in a distinct and unmixed manner, with 
strong regular streaks, and but little or no tinge of the 
breeder, are considered the most perfect. 

The cultivati(^n of the Tulip is mystified by the elabo- 
rate directions generally given for its cultivation. I have 
succeeded, for many years, in ^^roducing very fine flowers 


by a simple course of cultivation ; the varieties in my 
possession being j^robably as fine as can be obtained from 
any collection in Europe, having been imported, a few 
years since, at great exj^ense. 

The finer sorts of Tulips should always be planted in 
beds, containing a considerable quantity of bulbs ; but 
they look very well when disposed in small groups, in the 
borders, particularly the more common sorts. 

The proper season for planting is in October. If kept 
out longer, they are somewhat weakened, and will not 
flower so finely. 

A bed for two hundred and fifty Tulips, should be thir- 
ty-six feet long by four wide. The bulbs to be planted 
in rows, seven inches apart, and seven jnclies distant from 
each other. The ground being marked out, the soil 
should be taken out to the depth of twenty inches. The 
rich surface mould should be first taken off and placed 
by itself, while the subsoil must be taken oif out of the 
way. I have found the best soil for Tulips to be that 
made of decayed turf, from an old pasture, well incorpo- 
rated with old, thoroughly-decomposed cow-manure, with 
a little sand, if the soil be adhesive ; for the Tulip and 
most bulbs delight in a loose soil. The exact quantity of 
these three materials is laid down by some florist as one 
third of each, but I have not been so nice. My mould is 
light enough without much sand, and the quantity of ma- 
nure is very small, not more than one-eighth. When 
highly manured, the flowers will make a ranker growth, 
but it is injurious to the flower. The mould or soil 
should be prepared beforehand, and frequently turned to 
receive the influence of the air and sun When the bed 
has been dug out as directed, the cavity is to be filled 
with this compost, a week or ten days before jilanting. 
My piactice is to fill it even Avith the surface of the 
ground. This, when settled, will be the right depth to 


plant the bulbs, if planted on the surface. The planting 
should be done in a pleasant day. It should not be done 
directly after a heavy rain, for then the soil will be heavy. 
That the roots may be planted exact, I prepare a board, 
six and a half inches wide, the length the width of tlie 
bed. On the edges of tlie board I mark the distances the 
bulbs are to be planted from each other, by sawing in a 
notch ; thus, three inches from the end, for the first, and 
from that seven inches, until the whole number, seven, 
are made, which will leave three inches on the other side. 
Stretch a line on one side of the bed, and, by keepiug one 
end of the board up to it, the planting may be done with- 
out any trouble, and every root in its right place, pro- 
vided the board is placed square across the bed at each 
removal. Having placed the board, let some fine sand be 
placed where the bulbs are to be set. The roots should 
then be gently pressed into the earth, close up to the 
notch, but not so deep as to cover them, the large bulbs a 
little deeper than the smaller ones, and remove the board; 
then completely envelop each root with a little cone of 
sand, or very sandy earth, and so proceed until all the 
bulbs are set. Now with a spade gradually cover the 
bulbs with the surface soil, until the bed has been raised 
four inches above the level of the walk. This will cover 
the bulbs about three and a half inches, the proper depth. 
Let it be carefully smoothed, but not with any instrument 
that will interfere with or put out of j)lace any of the 
roots which have been set. All the care necessary, after 
,this, is to throw some light protection over the beds be- 
fore winter sets in, to be removed by the first of April. 
Afterwards keep the bed free from weeds. To have the 
flowers in the greatest perfection, screen them from the 
sun, in mid-day, by an awning. A powerful sun soon de- 
stroys the beauty of a Tulip bed, by causing the colors to 
run together. A bed of late Tulips is generally in its 

378 - 

highest perfection about the 20th of May, and may be 
kept in fine condition a fortnight longer, by taking the 
trouble to erect an awnhig over them. I take up my Tu- 
lips about the 20th of June, and dry them under cover, 
in an airy place, and, when dry, take off the offsets and 
plant them out," while the flowering roots are each wrap- 
ped in a piece of waste paper, and put away, in a box or 
drawer, in a dry place, until wanted to plant. One hun- 
dred different varieties, with their names and colors, re- 
puted the very best, may be obtained from Holland, at 
the cost of about $25 ; but I have found, by experience, 
that some of the rarer and most expensive sorts are not 
included. Very good border Tulips, including fine dou- 
ble sorts, early and late, single, parrots, etc., may be ob- 
tained from 50 cents to $1 per dozen, and some of the 
common sorts at much less price. 

Tulips sometimes succeed very well, in any good garden 
soil, without extra preparation. The Due Van Tlioll 
Tulips, single and double, are some of the most esteemed 
early sorts, the single being the most suitable, and about 
the only one that succeeds well in j^ots and for forcing. 

The sorts that are planted in the borders may be set in 
groups of from three to five bulbs. These need not be 
taken up oftener than once in three years. Separate the 
offsets, as they become so crowded that they will not 
flower well, and besides, as the ncAV bulb is formed every 
year, below the old one, the roots will penetrate so deep, 
that, if permitted to remain many years, they become so 
weakened they Avill not flower at all. 

A genus of little beauty and easy culture. We have a 
number of indigenous species found growing in the mar- 
gin of woods and tliickets. 


Uvularia perfoliata.— Perfoliate Bell-wort.— A j^lant, 
about one foot high. Stem smooth, rouud, running 
through the leaves, furnishing a good example of the per- 
foliate leaves. Flowers pendulous, j^ale-yellow, in May ; 

U. grandiflora. — Large-flowered Bell-wort. — Similar 
to the foregoing, but larger ; the leaves narrower, the 
flowers brighter yellow and smooth inside. This is one 
of the prettiest of the genus, and Avorth cultivating; 
hardy perennial. 


[Name from valere, to liave efficacy, on accoiiiit of its medicinal qualities. 1 

The species are generally ornamental garden plants of 
easy culture in ' common earth, and preferring a shady, 
moist situation. 

Valeriana dioica, has usually the stamens and pistils in 
separate flowers, situated on diflferent plants. This spe- 
cies, and VI officinalis^ are medicinal. Cats are delighted 
with the roots, and rat-catchers employ them as they do 
the oil of anise, to draw rats together. 

V. Phu. — Garden Valerian. — This is an esteemed bor- 
der-flower ; perennial, growing to the height of three 
or four feet, with large corymbs of white flowers ; highly 
fragant ; more cultivated for that property than for their 

V. Pyrenaica. — This is a handsome species with umbels 
of light-red flowers, growing about three feet high. 


[An alteration of the Latin barbascum.] 

Verbascum ThapsilS. — Common Mullein. — ^N'o doubt, 
this species will be considered by many as hardly orna- 
mental. Everybody knows this tall and very common 

380 bkeck's new book of floweks. 

plant, with leaves exceedingly wooly on both sides, with 
its long, thick, cylindrical spikes, with handsome five- 
parted flowers, abundant in dry pastures ; in July and 
August. Most of the European species are biennial; a 
few perennial, and some quite desirable for the garden. 

V, phceniceiim, is a native of the South of Europe, a 
handsome hardy perennial, growing three feet high, with 
elongated racemes of purple flowers. 

V. pillverulentum. — This is a native of Britain, l)ienni- 
al, and a magnificent plant, sending up a stem a yard 
high, covered with many hundreds of gold-colored flow- 
ers ; leaves powdery, ovate-oblong, sub-serrate. 

V. Blattaria. — Moth Mullein. — An indigenous species, 
two or three feet high. Flowers in a long terminal ra- 
ceme, yellow or Avhite, marked with purple ; stamens cov- 
ered with purple hairs. This plant is said to have the 
power of driving away the blatta^ or cockroach. Prop- 
agated from seed. 

VERBENA.— Vervain. 

[An ancient name for some sacred herb.] 

" Vervain was held sacred among the ancient, and was 
emjiloyed in sacrifices, incantations, etc. .; it was one of 
the plants termed by the Greeks, Sacred Herb. It was 
susi)ended around the neck as an amulet, thought good 
against bites, and recommended as a sovereign medicine 
for various diseases. It is supposed to have been in use 
with the Druids upon sacred occasions.' 

" Lift your boughs of Vervain blue, 
Dip in cold September dew ; 
And dash ihe moii^ture, chaste and clear, 
O'er Hie ground and liirr)Ugli the air."— Jfason. 


" In Rome, the Vervain was used on various occasions, 
as, in religious ceremonies, incantations, treaties, etc. 

" Bring your garlands, and with reverence place 
The Vervain on the altar."— i^e7i Johnson. 

" Virgil mentions it as one of the charms used by an 

" Bring running water, bind those altars round 
With fillets, and with Vervain strow the ground."— Orwu^s' Chorus. 

"Drayton, in the Muse's Elysium, calls it the Holy 
Vervain, and in the same poem speaks of it as worn by 

" A wreath of Vervain lieralds wear, 
Amongst our garlands named. 
Being sent that dreadful news to bear, 
Offensive war proclaimed." 

We have a number of indigenous Verbenas or Vervain in 
New England. V. hastata., which is the common blue Ver- 
vain, is the only one that has any claim to beauty, a tall and 
rather showy plant, often found by road sides on low 
ground; the stem is three or four feet high; leaves oppo- 
site, rough, sharply serrate, tapering to a point. Spikes 
numerous, erect, slender. Tlie flowering commences at 
the base, and is long in reaching to the summit. Flowers 
close, of a dark-purplish blue. In bloom from July to 
September ; perennial ; not worth cultivating. 

Garden Verbenas. — The genus was considered a worth- 
less weedy race, imtil the introduction of Y. Auhletia, 
chamcBclrifoUa., and Lambertii. 

Verbena chamcedrifolia was introduced into England 
from Buenos Ayres, by Mr. Hugh Gumming, an ardent 
lover of nature, about 1825. For a long time this was 
the only species cultivated ; its form was excellent and its 
color of the most brilliant scarlet. The introduction of 
this beautiful and showy flower into this country, about 


the year 1835, created a great sensation among the florists 
of the day ; and well it might, for we had nothing of the 
kind then in cultivation that could equal it in beauty and 
richness of coloring for masses. The flower in the brilli- 
ancy of the color, has not been surpassed in any new va- 
riety, though great imjDrovements have been made in the 
size of the flowers and form of truss. The credit of pro- 
ducing the first white, crimson, and pink varieties, is due 
to Robert Buist of Philadelphia, from seed received from 
Buenos Ayres, about the year 1835. T^ 7nultijida. with 
lilac-purple flowers, was introduced from Peru ; V. Iwee- 
diana^ with rose-crimson flowers, from Brazil. From 
these have sprung all the numerous varieties, many hun- 
dred in number, now in our collections. In these vari- 
ties may be found every color except yellow, and even this 
color in its lighter shades, is sometimes seen in the eyes of 
some of the sorts. We now have crimson, scarlet, rose, 
white, lilac, blueish-purple, and purple in all their shades, 
with eyes of purple, crimson, rose, white, or straw color, 
and also a number of striped and spotted sorts. No 
plants are more generally cultivated, or more eagerly 
sought after, than this beautiful family. I sometimes 
wonder how a flower-garden could be considered passable 
without the Verbena. The habits of all are similar, nat- 
urally prostrate creeping plants, taking root freely where- 
ever the stems come in contact with the ground, and 
sending forth innumerable clusters of their many hued, 
brilliant flowers, from June to November. 

" The qualities of a first-class Verbena as laid down by 
florists, are : Roundness of flower without indenture, 
notch, or serrature ; petals thick, flat, bright, and smooth ; 
the plant should be compact, with short, stout joints, 
either distinctly of a shrubby habit, or a close ground 
creeper or climber ; the trusses of bloom compact, stand- 
ing out from the foliage ; the flowers meeting but not 


crowding each other ; the foliage should be short, broad, 
bright, and enough to hide stalk ; in the eyed and striped 
varieties, the colors should be well defined and lasting, 
never running into each other, or changing in the sun." 
I should also add that the truss should be hemispherical, 
not flat, and the center filled out full with perfect flow- 
ers, destitute of green eyes or flower-buds. 

The Verbena is kept with difficulty through the win- 
ter, except in the green-house or in Avarm rooms ; unless 
kept growing, it will perish. It cannot therefore be kept 
even in a dry cellar, and it is not hardy enough to stand 
the winter. 

Most of the varieties are easily raised from cuttings, 
and can be purchased at so small a price from florists, 
that it is by far the most economical to buy a few dozen 
in the spring than attempt to keep them through the win- 
ter. Small plants turned out from the pots in June, soon 
make large plants, and by October will be two or three 
feet across. They continue to flower after severe frosts, 
and are among the last lingering flowers of autumn. 

The seed, sown in May, in the open ground, will be- 
gin to show flowers in August ; but, when the seed is 
sown in January, in the green-house, and afterwards pot- 
ted and placed in a hot-bed in March or April, will begin 
to flower in June. 

Seedling plants produce seed in abundance, but those 
plants, which have been a long time propagated from 
cuttings, loose that power in a great measure, and pro- 
duce none or very sparingly. It is easy enough to raise 
seedlings, but the chance of getting an improved variety, 
may not be one to twenty or one in fifty. 

No plant equals the Verbena for masses, particularly 
when grown in fanciful beds and on lawns, as the brilliancy 
of the flowers contrasts finely with the green grass. 

384 breck's neav book of flowers. 

VERONICA.— Speedwell. 

An extensive genus, most of the species being ornamen- 
tal plants, the taller growing sorts suitable for the bor- 
ders, and those of a more dwarfish habit for the rockery. 
The flowers are produced in spire-like spikes, or racemes, 
and are generally blue ; but some few species are white, 
and others pink. 

Veronica Virginica, is a tall, strong-growing species, 
four or five feet high, with white flowers in clustered 
spikes ; in July and August ; suitable for the shrubbery. 
V. Sihirica has blue flowers, in spikes, in July and Au- 
gust ; two feet high. Y. speciosa is a dwarf-species, with 
brilliant blue flowers, in spikes ; June and July. V. azu- 
rea is two or three feet high, with fine sky-blue flowers. 
V. spicata is about one foot high, with fine blue flowers. 
There are as many as fifty species, all easily cultivated in 
almost any soil ; propagated by dividing the roots. 

VINCA. — Periwinkle. 

Vinca minor. — Common Periwinkle. — A hardy ever- 
green prostrate plant, rooting at the joints; flowers blue 
with a white variety. 

V. major. — Great Periwinkle, with larger and rounder 
leaves than the foregoing an'd not quite so hardy, ever- 
green trailing plants ; valuable for their early and long- 
continued flowering, flourishing under tlie shade and drip 
of trees. It is best to give a little protection in winter. 
A variety of each, with gold-edged leaves, is very beau- 
tiful but not so hardy. There is also a variety with silver- 
edged leaves. 

V. rosea, or Madagascar Periwinkle. — This is a beauti- 
ful green-house plant, with evergreen leaves ; one variety 
with white flowers and red eye, another with white, and 



still another with rose-colored .flowers. These varieties 
are in perpetual bloom, and are easily propagated by cut- 


tings under a hand glass. Young plants planted out in 
June, will flower through the summei-. 

386 breck's new book of flowees. 

VIOLA.— Violet. 

[The ancient Latin name.] 

" Violets, sweet tenants of the shade, 
In purjile's ricliest pride arrayed, 
Your errand here fulfil ; 
' Go bid llie artist's simple stain 

Your lustre imitate in vain, 

And match your Maker's skill." 

This is an extensive genus of plants, of dwarf habit, 
suitable for the border or rock-work. There are many in- 
digenous species which flourish Avell in the garden, and 
will repay the trouble of collecting them from the woods, 
meadows, and pastures. 

Viola odorata, the Sweet-scented Violet, should not be 
wanting in any collection of plants, on account of its 
fragrance and early appearance. A single flower will per- 
fume a large room. The flowers appear in April, and con- 
tinue through May. There are the single white and 
single blue, and the double blue and white varieties ; the 
double sorts are the most desirable ; they succeed best in 
a shady, sheltered place, and are rapidly multiplied by di- 
visions of the plant. 

The double Neapolitan Violet is a variety with pale- 
blue flowers, extensively grown for small hand bouquets, 
and much admired on account of its exquisite scent. The 
Sweet-scented Violet is a native of every part of Europe, 
in woods, amongst bushes, in hedges, and on warm banks. 

The Violet is said to be an emblem of faithfulness. 

" Violet is for faithfulness 
Whicli in ine shall abide ; 
Hoping likewise from your heart 
You will not let it slide." 

It is a pity that our American species do not possess 
the fragrance, which is so characteristic of the Euroj^ean 
Violet. We have some beautiful species, however, well 
worthy the attenti<m of the lovers of flowers. 


V. pedata. — Pedate Violet. — This is a large-flowered 
and handsome species, very distinct from the other Amer- 
ican Violets. Flowers pale-purple, white or yellowish at 
the base of the petals. It is often found in large masses, 
in woods and dry soils, the beginning of June ; perennial. 
This will succeed well in the flower-garden, in a light, 
sandy soil, and in a shady place. We have many other 
indigenous species, all iuteresting on account of their 
early appearance in the spring, but not very remarkable 
for beauty or show. 

" And as proud as all of them 
Bound in one, the garden's gem, 
Heart's ease, like a gallant bold 
In his cloth of purple and golJ." 

V. tricolor. — Heart's-ease, Pansy. — This interesting 
and beautiful flower is a native of Siberia, Japan, and 
many parts of Europe. A traveler, speaking of the 
forests of Sweden, says; — "Innumerable flowers of the 
liveliest colors peeped out between the masses of brown 
rock, enamelled with various kinds of lichens, and huge 
fragments were variegated with beds of the Pansy or 
Heart's-ease, displaying its diflerent hues, relieved by the 
darkness of the sweeping pines." 

The Pansy, or Heart's-ease, now so generally cultivated 
and so much admired, is an improvement on the original 
species, and is known to florists as V. grandiflora. It is 
frequently called the Pansy- Violet, or Pansy, a corruption 
of the French name pe?isees, thought, alluding to keep in 
mind, or forget me not. It is a general favorite, as we 
may well suppose, from the numerous names that have been 
bestowed upon it abroad ; as for instance the following : — 

Love in idleness, Jump up and kiss me. 

Live in idleness, Look up and kiss me. 

Call me to you, Kiss me ere I rise, 

Three faces under a iiood, Kiss me behind the garden gate, 

Herb Trinity, Pink of my John, 

Flower of Jove. 

388 breck's new book of flowers. 

Hunt, in his enumeration of the flowers in hlossom, in 
his history of the months, too fond of tlie Heart's-ease 
even to name it without a passing commendation, he calls 
it the Sparkler, a name which it so truly deserves, that it 
might well be added to those it now bears. Herrick 
plays upon its name of Heart's-ease: — 

" Ah cruel love, must I endure, 

Thy mnuy scoins, and find no cure? 
Say, are thy medicines made to be 
Help, to all others but to nie ? 

" I'll leave thee and to Pansys come, 
Comforts you'll afford me some ; 
You can ease my heart, and tlo 
What love could ne'er be brought unto." 

Pansies recommend themselves to notice not only by 
the brilliancy and variety of their colors, and the profusion 
of flowers they produce, but also for their durability in 
bloom, which, by attention to culture, will extend from 
April to December, including a portion of nine months of 
the year ; and in warm, sheltered places, straggling flow- 
ers may be gathered through the winter. The facility 
with which all the kinds can be propagated, and the very 
little attention they require afterwards in culture, are ad- 
ditional recommendations. 

The flowers ought to be planted in clumps or beds, and 
then the rich mass of bloom, so mixed and so many 
colored, produces a very pleasing effect. The most pre- 
vailing colors are plain purple and violet, of many shades ; 
red, brown, white, yellow, etc., as well as purple and violet 
variegated, with white or yellow, etc., freaked with stripes 
and spots, in every diversity of coloring. One of the 
most remarkable varieties is one, called the King of the 
Blacks ; the color, a i)lain jet-black. 

The largest flowers are generally found on young vig- 
orous plants, and in the earliest part of the season have 


been known to measure two and one-half inches in length, 
and two inches across the upper petals ; the colors, vari- 
egation and penciling, are then more uniform and regular 
than they are in the summer season. Flowers, having 
only one color, are called selfs ; these are not so common 
as the varieties in which two, three, or more colors are 
combined and distinctly marked in the same flower. The 
first fine imported variety of Viola grandiflora which I 
beheld, was a self; color a deep-purple, with a very small 
yellow eye, and soon after a plain white or cream-colored 
variety. This was about 40 years since, probably among 
the first of the kind imported from England. I obtained 
very small plants of each sort from my old friend Wm. E. 
Carter, from the Cambridge Botanic Garden, and consid- 
ered myself rich. They hke a cool moist situation in the 
garden, particularly in hot summers, and ought, therefore, 
to be planted, not on raised beds, but in such as are upon 
a level with the alleys. They produce seed freely, which 
may be sowed early in spring, in cold frames to forward ; 
and where the young plants are sheltered from the cold 
wind and storms, until the weather gets settled, when they 
may be planted in the open ground. Seed collected dur- 
ing the summer months, may be sown early in September. 
The plants will then have sufficient time to be firmly 
rooted before winter, and not be liable to be cast out by 
frost, nor to damp off. The seed should be sown in a 
shady situation, upon a bed of light finely sifted soil. 
After sowing the seed, sift a little mould over, so as to 
cover it and no more ; then gently press the surface with 
a flat board, to bring the seed and soil together, by which 
means they will more certainly vegetate. The plants 
will generally appear in a week or ten days. Wlien an 
inch high, transplant to where they are to flower, four 
or five inches apart. Choose an open sheltered situation. 
The plants will flower the following spring. 

390 breck's new book of flowers. 

It sometimes happens, that, if the seed be left on too 
long, the pods are apt to burst open, and scatter on the 
ground, when numerous young plants will spring up in 
the autumn, particularly if a little fine mould be strewed 
on the surface around the old plants. These seedUngs 
may be taken up any time in September or the beginning 
of October, and planted out in beds to flower in the fol- 
lowing spring, when the finest may be selected for keep- 
ing, and the inferior ones cast away. Several will, of 
course, resemble the mother plant ; but there is no doubt 
that the same pod of seed will produce many difi'erent va- 
rieties, both in color and shade, as well as in the form and 
size of the petal. Pansies grow very readily, and soon 
spread widely. When the plants thus extend, the soil be- 
ing exhausted, and the stems smothering each other, the 
overgrown 'roots produce only small flowers. It is there- 
fore necessary, in order to have fine flowers, frequently 
to renew the plants. 

Propagation hy Cuttings, to be successful, ought to 
take place at the end of May or early in June. If left 
till July or August, the success will be doubtful, because 
the flower-stems get hollow and pithy. The cuttings may 
be placed singly in thumb-pots, in a little light sandy 
loam and well-rotten dung, and set in a frame with a 
moderate bottom heat, to be kept rather moist and shad- 
ed; or tliey may be stuck in the ground under a common 
hand-glass, with coal ashes under to prevent the worms 
casting them up ; but if placed on gentle bottom heat, the 
glass ought by no means to be shut down close, or they 
will be liable to damp ofil 

Propagation hy Dividing the Moots, may be done in 
moist weather, any time from July to Sej^tember. The 
readiest and most certain way is by layers, which may be 
made in eitlier of the above named months. Make an in- 
cision in the joint near tlie top of the stem, which pin 


down gently and cover lialf an inch deep with rich, light 
mould; if dry weather follows, water moderately, and 
the layers will soon take root. The plants thrive best in 
well manured loam, in a shady situation, and preserve 
their flowers longer; though they will grow and flower 
abundantly in almost any situation. A Pansy, to be per- 
fect, should stand up well above the foliage ; the petals 
should be flat without any curl or wrinkle, the edges 
without notch or serrature ; the upper, lower, and middle 
petals so arranged, as to form as near as possible a perfect 
circle or oval. 


[Named in honor of F. Whitlaw, an Irish botanist.] 

Whitlavia ^randiflora. — An elegant annual from Cali- 
fornia, Avith blue, bell-shaped flowers. It produces its 
flowers in continued succession, from June to October. 
In habit the plant resembles the Phacelias^ but the flow- 
ers are more like the Campanula ; of a very rich dark- 
blue. In heavy, wet soils, this plant does not succeed 
well, but flourishes in light, sandy loam. There is a va- 
riety with white flowers. 


[Name from Greek words signifying dry and a flower, on account of the dry- 
nature of the flowers, wliioh retain their color and form for many years.] 

Xeranthemiim aunaum. — Purple Everlasting, — and a 
variety with white flowers, are popular border annuals, 
of easy culture in light, rich soil. Like the Helichrysmns^ 
they are valued for their properties of retaining their col- 
ors and form, when gathered and dried, and are much 
prized in forming winter bouquets for vases, etc. 

393 breck's new book of flowers. 

YUCCA. — Adam's Needle. 

This is an ornamental genus of plants, mostly natives 
of the Southern States and South America. Some of 
them succeed well in the open ground in the Northern 
States, and form a pleasing contrast with other plants, 
on account of the peculiarity of their foliage. The leaves 
are sharp-pointed, stiff, and rigid ; and, in some of the 
species, the edges of the leaf are margined with long- 

Yucca filamentosa, called Thready Yucca, from tlio 
long threads that hang from the leaves, is one of the most 
hardy sorts. The flower-stem grows to the height of five 
or six feet, and nearly the whole of it is covered with 
large, bell-shaped, white flowers ; all the species are rather 
shy flowerers ; in August and September. 

Y. gloriosa, and the variety superha^ produce an im- 
mense number of fine bell-flowers on their tall stems. 
The foliage of all the species is evergreen, and they closely 
resemble each other. The severity of our winters often 
blackens the foliage ; to prevent this, the leaves should be 
gathered up and tied together, and covered with straw. 
Propagated from suckers. 


[Narneii for M. Zauschner, a German.] 

An elegant herbaceous perennial plant from California, 
where it is found in very sandy soils. The plaut grows 
in bunches ; the flowers a brilliant scarlet, tubular or 
trumpet-shaped, terminating in five unequal divisions ; 
stamens and pistil projecting; flowers solitary, produced 
in the axils of the leaves; continuing in bloom most of 
the season ; tender in wet soil, but has proved hardy in 
light soil, with little protection. 




[Named in honor of J. G, Zinn, a German professor of botany.] 

Handsome border annual plants, requiring the same 
cultivation as the Marigold. 

Zinnia elegans, with its varieties, are all handsome 
flowering plants ; in bloom from July to October ; two 


or three feet high. The colors of some of the varieties 
are very briUiant, and particularly the scarlets. The col- 
ors are white, pale to dark-yellow, orange to scarlet ; 
shades from rose to crimson, from crimson to light-purple, 

394 beeck's new book of flowers. 

lilac, etc. The flower is handsome when it first com- 
mences blooming ; the central, or disk part of it, which 
contains the florets, as they begin to form seed, assumes a 
conical shape, and a brown, husky appearance, which gives 
the flower a coarse, unsightly look. 

Double Zinnia. — Within a few years, the great novelty 
of Double Zinnias has been disseminated. This, of all 
other flowers, was considered one of the most unlikely 
ever to become a pet, as the large central disk greatly 
disfigures the flower ; but in the double flowers, this un- 
sightly portion is transformed into regular petals, which, 
when fully expanded, form a hemispherical shape, be- 
come regularly imbricated, and the flower might be 
taken for a well-formed Dahlia, as they are nearly as 
large. Tlie colors are the same as in the single varieties. 
The plants require considerable room to show off to ad- 
vantage, and should not be planted less than two feet 
apart; they produce an abundance of bloom through the 
summer ; a plant in full bloom is very showy. It is well 
to put out the plants within six inches of each other at 
first, as many of them will show semi-double flowers, 
which should be rejected; but the plants with full double 
flowers, as soon as they appear, may be removed to the 
bed prepared for them. With a little care, they will not 
be much checked. 



AMELANCHIER.— June-berry.— Shad-bush. 

[A. name by which one of the species is known in Savoy.] 

Amelanchier Canadensis. — June-beny, Shad-bush, Sug- 
ar Pear. — A shrub so variable that in its different states it 
has received at least a dozen different names. It is found 
as a low shrub and as a tree twenty feet high. Its leaves 
differ much in shape and smoothness, and the flowers are 
in some forms much larger and produced in greater abund- 
ance than they are in others. It is found along streams 
and in woods, and is conspicuous about the first of May 
for its white flowers in pendulous racemes. The crimson 
or purple bracts at the base of the flower-stalks, con- 
trasted with the pure white flowers, and the glossy, silken, 
scattering pairs of the opening leaves, give a delicate 
beauty to this shrub. The fruit is berry-like and eatable. 
Easily transferred from the woods to the shrubbery. 

AMORPHA.— False Indigo. 

[Named from the Greek, meaning wanting form, from the absence of parts of 
the corolla.] 

Amorpha fruticosa* — False Indigo.— A native shrub, 
found on the banks of streams from Pennsylvania, west- 
ward. It is very variable, and its different forms have re- 
ceived several distinct names. It grows about six feet 
high, has foliage somewhat like that of the Locust, and 
long spikes of dark-violet purple flowers which a})pear in 
July. Of easy propagation by seeds or by cuttings. 

396 breck's new book of flowers. 

AMPELOPSIS.— Virginian Creeper. 

[From Greek words signifying a vine and resemblance.'] 

AmpelopsiS quinquefolia. — Virginian Creeper, Ameri- 
can Woodbine. — "This is the most ornamental plant of 
its genus. It recommends itself by its hardiness, the 
rapidity of its growth, and the luxuriance "and beauty of 
its foliage. It is a native of our woods, and climbs rocks 
and trees to a great height. In cultivation it is often 
made to cover walls of houses, forty or fifty feet high, 
clinging by suckers which proceed from its tendrils. The 
flower is of a reddish-green, and not showy, and is suc- 
ceeded by clusters of dark-blue, nearly black, berries 
when mature. At the same period the fruit-stalks and 
tendrils assume a rich crimson or red color. 

"The great variety of rich colors, shades of scarlet, 
crimson, and purple, which the leaves and stems of this 
plant assume, and the situations in which we see it, climb- 
ing up the trunks and spreading along the branches of 
trees, covering walls and heaps of stones, forming natural 
festoons from tree to tree, or trained on the sides and 
along the piazzas of dwelling-houses, make it one of the 
conspicuous ornaments of the autumnal months. Often, 
in October, it may be seen mingling its scarlet and orange 
leaves, thirty or forty feet from the ground, with the 
green leaves of the still unchanged tree on which it climb- 
ed." — [Emerson.) 

This luxuriant climber is easily propagated by layers 
and cuttings. It flourishes best in a rich, moist soil. 

AMYGDALTIS.— Almond.— Peach. 

[The Greek name for the Almond.] 

AmygdaluS Ilfina. — Dwarf Almond. — The double vari- 
ety of this, usually called Flowering Almond, when in 
blossom, is not inferior to any other shrub. It is loaded 


in the spring with elegant flowers resembling small roses. 
Easily propagated by snckers. When budded upon the 
plum stock it is much more hardy than when grown on 
its own roots, and in this way a magnificent head may be 
formed at any desired height from the ground. 

A. Persica-flore-pleno. — Double-flowering Peach, — is 
very beautiful in the shrubbery. The flowers are very 
large and full, and there is a purple and a white variety. 
The trees should be kept well headed in, or they will be- 
come straggling and unsightly. This may also be budded 
upon plum stocks, and if properly pruned will make a 
great show when in flower. 


[Named in allusion llie virgin Atidromeda, who, like this plant, was confined 
in a marsli, and surrounded by the monsters of the water.] 

Andromeda polifolia.— Water Andromeda. — This beau- 
tiful little shrub is from twelve to eighteen inches high, 
found in wet, mossy bogs, from Pennsylvania to the ex- 
treme north of the continent. The flowers are red before 
they open, but, when fully expanded, of a rosy hue. It 
flowers in June. It is difficult to manage in cultivation, 
imless it has a moist situation and a soil composed mainly 
of peat. 

There are a number of North American species, which 
might be introduced into the shrubbery with good effect. 
Most of them are dwarfs, and succeed well with the same 
treatment that is given to the Azalea. 

Ai speciosa and all its varieties are very beautiful, and 
flower in great profusion, and continue in leaf nearly the 
whole year, although they are not, strictly, evergreen 
shrubs. They grow about three feet high. 

They are all propagated by seed, layers, or cuttings. 


ARISTOLOCHIA.— Birth-wort. 

Aristolochia Sipho. — Pipe Vine. — Dutchman's PijDe. — 
A singular climbing plant, with handsome, broad foliage, 
with brownish-purple, and very curious, somewhat pipe- 
shaped flowers. It grows fifteen or twenty feet high ; 
blooms in June and July; propagated from layers and 
cuttings. It flourishes in any good, strong soil. 

AZALEA. — Swamp Honeysuckle. 

[From Greek signifying arid, a n:iine quile inappropriate to our species, 
which grow mostly in moist places.] 

Azalea ludica. — This is not hardy enough to endure 
our winters, but is one of the most beautiful of the hardy 
green-house shrubs in cultivation. The colors are from 
pure white to dark crimson, scarlet, and light purple, with 
intermediate shades ; it continues a long time in bloom 
during the winter months ; it is suitable for the sitting- 
room as well as the green-house. 

A. viscosa. — Clammy Azalea, White Swamp-Honey- 
suckle, may be found in abundance among the brush- 
wood in low grounds, and is much admired for the fra- 
grance of its flowers, which are produced in terminal, 
umbel-like corymbs ; mostly pure white, but sometimes 
varying to blush or variegated ; hairy and glutinous on 
the outside ; stamens longer than the corolla, which in all 
the species is bell or fannel form, terminating in five un- 
equal segments. 

A. nudiflora. — This, as well as A. viscosa, is called by 
the country people Swamp Pink, probably on accoimt of 
the odor of the flowers, Avhicli has some resemblance to 
the Garden Pink. By them they are eagerly sought after, 
and form a conspicuous part of the decoration of the 
mantel-piece, in its season, the month of June. The color 


is commonly a fine pink,- varying to a deep red, winch is 
rare. Their beauty is much increased by the thread- 
like Stamens being much longer than the corolla. 

There are several indigenous species, besides many va- 
rieties to be found in different parts of our country ; all 
handsome and worthy the attention of the florist. 

Some of the cultivated varieties are the following; 
A. cocci7iea, with scarlet flowers ; A. rutilans, with deep 
red flowers ; A. carnea, with pale-red flowers ; A. alba, 
with white flowers ; A. partita^ witli flesli-colored flowers 
parted to the base ; A. painlionacea, with red flowers, 
the lower divisions white ; A. polyandria, with rose-col- 
ored flowers, with from ten to twenty stamens. 

A. Pontica is a beautiful species from Pontus, with yel- 
low flowers, emitting the most exquisite odor. The juice 
in the bottom of the flower is said to be poisonous, and 
communicates its bad properties to the unwholesome hon- 
ey of that country ; the famous honey of Trebizond 
spoken of by Xenophon, in his history of the retreat of 
the ten thousand Greeks, as having produced the efiect 
of temporary madness, or rather drunkenness, on all who 
eat of it, w^ithout, however, producing any serious 
consequences. All the beautiful varieties now in cultiva- 
tion, have been raised from hybridized seeds of the Pontic 
and American species. 

The Azalea is a well-known plant throughout Belgium, 
and forms one of the most splendid decorations of the 
flower-garden. It is generally considered to be the most 
beautiful genus of the flowering shrubs. The neat form 
and bushy growth, the vast profusion of its flowers, the 
extensive variety and splendor of colors in the flowers, 
their appearance at a season when few other flowers are 
in bloom, and the little trouble which the plant requires 
when grown in a suitable soil and a good situation, all 
combine to cause the plant to be much admired, sought 


after, and introduced into nearly every pleasure-ground in 

The varieties of this handsome genus are very numer- 
ous and have been raised in a short period. Twenty 
years since there were only a very few moderate species, 
having small, insignificant flowers, in large clusters, con- 
tinuing through the month of June. The colors are 
white, yellow, orange, scarlet, and pink, with every inter- 
mediate shade. 

Notwithstanding the exceeding beauty of this tribe of 
shrubs, and their perfect hardiness, they are rarely to be 
seen in our gardens. 

Azaleas require a moist, peaty soil, or black, sandy 
loam, and rather shady situation. Plants may be freely 
raised from seed, or from layers and suckers. 

If taken from the woods, the best way is to cut them 
off close to the ground. They will throw up numerous 
shoots and form fine healthy plants. 

BENZOIN.— Fever Bush. 

[So named from (he resemblance of its odor to that of the drug Benzoin'] 

Benzoin odorifcrum. — This was formerly called Laurus 
3enzoin^ by botanists, and is popularly known as Fever 
Bush. It is a graceful shrub, from four to ten feet high, 
Avith large and handsome leaves. In April or early in 
May, clusters of from three to six flowers, of a green- 
ish yellow color appear in the axils of last year's 
leaves. The fruit is berry-like, of an oval shape, and 
dark-red or purple. All parts of the plant have a strong 
aromatic odor which, to some persons, is disagreeable. 
Common in damp woods, where it grows most vigorously, 
but does not flower and fruit as freely there as in more 
exposed situations. 


BERBERIS. — Barberry or Berberry, 

[Derived from the Arabic name for this plant.] 

Berberis vulgaris. — Common Barberry. — This shrub is 
too common about Boston ; but where it is not found 
growing in such profusion, it will most assuredly be con- 
sidered a valuable acquisition to the shrubbery. It has 
often been said, and generally believed, that Barberry 
bushes were prejudicial to rye, causing it to blast ; but 
this is not our experience, having grown heavy crops of 
this gram with Barberry bushes on all sides of the field. 
Loudon says : — "^. vulgaris is at once an ornamental 
shrub, a fruit tree, a hedge plant, a dye, a drug, and a re- 
puted enemy to the corn farmer. When covered with 
flowers in the spring, or with fruit i:i autumn, it is a fine 
object. Every one, who is an observer of nature, must 
have been struck, in May or June, with the beauty of 
the upper arching shoots of the Barberry, springing from 
a mass of rich green, and sustaining numerous ^^endant 
racemes of splendid yellow flowers. It is hardly less at. 
tractive when its blossoms have been succeeded by the 
cluster of scarlet fruit in autumn." The leaves are of a 
blueish-green, and gratefully acid to the taste. The smell 
of the flower is offensive when near, but pleasant at a cer- 
tain distance. The berries are so very acid, that birds 
seldom touch them. They are sometimes pickled and 
used for o^arnishinsj dishes, or when boiled with suo-ar, 
form a most agreeable jelly. The roots boiled in lye, 
yield a yellow color. There is a variety or species with 
purple foliage, which is desirable in large collections. 

B. dulcis. — Sweet-fruited Barberry, is more dwarf in 
habit, the foliage more delicate, and almost evergreen ; 
the flowers dark orange, scattered along the branches, 
among the foliage. It is a pretty plant, but I have 
found that it is not perfectly hardy here ; but in England, 

402 breck's new book of flowers. 

it makes a handsome fancy hedge. The species are all 
easily propagated from suckers. 

B, AquifoHum. — Holly-leaved Barberry, Mahonia. — 
This is an elegant evergreen shrab, three or four feet 
high, with clusters of yellow flowers, in May or June, 
succeeded by bunches of blue berries. The leaves are 
compound, with somewhat prickly points, very glossy 
green, inclining to purplish-brown, and, in those that are 
young, various shades of crimson and purple, giving the 
plant a very rich appearance. The foliage remains in per- 
fection during the winter, where screened from the sun 
by trees, or covered with snow or straw. In autumn the 
foliage is very gay, as on the same plant there will be 
bright-green, purple, browm and crimson leaves. 


[The ancient Greek name.] 

BUXUS semp^rvirens. — Garden Box. — This is a delicate 
shrub, which may be pruned to any shape to please the 
fancy. It is an evergreen, and easily propagated by cut- 
tings. It is in general use, and the best material for 
forming edgings to beds, walks, and grown singly, will 
make large shrubs in some locations. It is necessary to 
2)lant Box for shrubs in a shady place, and they will gen- 
erally require to be matted in the winter. There are va- 
rieties with yellow and white strij^ed leaves, called the 
gold and silver striped. There are a number of species, 
among which are the Dwarf and Tree Box. The last 
kind is suitable for the shrubbery, as it will grow and 
thrive well under the drip of trees. Tlie Box is a native 
of most parts of Europe. It is one of the most useful 
of evergreen shrubs, not only for its beauty and adapta- 
bility in the garden for edgings, but the Tree Box is valu- 
able for various mechanical i)urposes. 


A singular fashion j^revailed many years since, to cut 
and clip Box trees into the shape of beasts, birds and 
various fantastical forms. "This preposterous taste in 
gardening was at last reformed by the pure and classic 
taste of Bacon, who, though no enemy to sculpture, did 
not ai:)prove of this absurd species of it, at once disfigur- 
ing art and nature." The Yew and other trees, were also 
tortured in this strange fanciful way. I noticed in an old 
garden, a few miles from Boston, a small parterre, which 
was laid out in the year 1794; the beds were all edged 
with box, which had, for more than 60 years, been regu- 
larly trimmed. The edging was about six inches thick, 
and at least four feet high. The sides were smooth and 
the top even, without any break in the foliage from the 
ground to the top. Great attention had been given it by 
the old lady who was in possession, that it might remain 
as it was at tlie time of her husband's decease, many 
years before. The beds of various shapes were small, so 
that no plants could flourish, and the only thing of inter- 
est about this strange arrangement was, as a relic of 
olden time. If Box is used for edging, it should, in all 
cases, be kept low, by regular trimming every year, and 
kept down to the height of not more than four or five 
inches; and when it becomes too thick, should be taken 
up and re-set. 

CALYCANTHTJS.— Carolina Allspice. 

[Name from the Greek words foi* cup and flower, from the colored cup which 
contains the stamens and pistils.] 

Calycanthusfloridus. — Carolina Allspice, Sweet-scented 
Shrub. — This well-known shrub grows from three to five 
feet high, and bears from June to August a proftision of 
dark brownish-purple flowers, which have the odor of ripe 

404 breck's new book of flowess. 

melons. Tlie wood is also very fragrant. There are sev- 
eral other species of tlie same general appearance, but 
differing in the character of their leaves. G. Immgatus^ 
has smooth leaves, and G. glaucus has the leaves white 
underneath. All are easily propagated by suckers or by 

CEANOTHTIS.— New Jersey Tea. 

[An ancient Greek name of obscure application.] 

Ceanothus Americamis. — Xew Jersey Tea. — A low 
bushy slirub, found growing on the margins of woods in 
dry sandy soil. The minute, delicate, white flowers are 
verv pretty, and are produced in crowded clusters in June 
and July. The leaves have been used as a substitute for 
tea, and the root to dye a nankeen or cinnamon color. 

CELASTRTJS.— Staff-tree. 

[An ancient Greek name for some evergreen, but our species is deciduous.] 

Celastrus SCandens. — Wax-work, Climbing Bitter- 
sweet. — A strong woody vine, grow ing around trees and 
over rocks, in moist situations. It is very useful for cov- 
ering arbors, walls, or trellis work, or it may be trained 
to a pillar in the shrubbery. The foliage is of a deep 
green, and handsome. The flowers, wliich are small, 
greenish and in racemes, make but very little show, but 
the fruit is very ornamental. The fruit is a round three- 
valvcd capsule, wliich, when ripe, opens and discloses the 
seeds, which are of a deep scarlet, and contrast finely with 
the orange color of the valves of the capsule. A vigor- 
ous climber, which will grow fifteen or twenty feet high. 


CERCIS.— Judas Tree. 

[The ancient name applied to tlie Eastern species.] 

C^rcis Canadensis. — Judas Tree, Red Bud. — A shrub 
or low tree, indigenous to tlie Southern and Western 
States. It is curious from being covered with bunches 
of rose-colored flowers before the leaves beo'in to appear. 
They give a brilliant appearance to the wliole tree, ex- 
cept the extremities of the branches. It is also a hand- 
some tree when in full foliage in summer. 

CHIONANTHUS.-Fringe Tree. 

[From the Greek words for snow and Jlovjer, in allusion to the snow-like 
whiteness of the racemes of delicate flowers.] 

ChionanthuS Virginica. — Fringe Tree. — A fine decidu- 
ous shrub or small tree, sometimes growing twenty feet 
high, but flowering when but six or eight feet high. Its 
leaves are six or eight inches long, and two to three inches 
wide. The flowers are white, numerous, and in long 
bunches, which have a fringe-like appearance. It is a na- 
tive of Pennsylvania and southward, and is quite liardy. 
A light loam is the best soil for it. It is rather difficult 
to propagate, and it succeeds best grafted on the Ash. 


[The Greek name for the Alder, to which this plant has some resemblance in 
its foliage.] 

Cl^thra alnifolia. — Alder-leaved Clethra, Sweet Pep- 
per-bush. — A shrub from two to eight feet high, with long 
spikes of fragrant flowers which appear towards the end 
of summer. It is found in wet j^laces and by the sides of 
streams, but succeeds well when removed to the garden, 

406 beeck's new book of flowers. 

and blooms even more freely there than it does in the wild 
state. G. acuminata^ and other species, are found in the 
Southern States. 

COLUTEA.— Bladder Senna. 

[Name from the Greek, signifying to make a sound ; probably in allusion to 
the noise produced by the bursting of the bladder-like fruit ] 

Colutea abor^SCens, grows about ten feet high, with 
yellow or orange pea-shaped flowers, which are succeeded 
by seed-vessels like bladders ; in June and July. C. cru- 
enta^ four feet high, has reddish flowers. All are free 
growers, and well adapted to introduce into extensive 

CORONILLA.— Scorpion-Senna. 

[Named from corona, a crown. Its pretty flowers are disposed in little tufts 
like coronets.] 

Coronilla ^mcrus, or Scorpion Senna, is a native of 
most parts of Europe. It has yellow, pea-shaped flowers 
in little heads, in June. It is a delicate shrub, with hand- 
some foliage ; somewhat tender when exposed to the full 
rays of the sun, but when grown among other bushes suc- 
ceeds very well. Its height rarely exceeds three feet. 

CORNITS.— Cornel— Dogwood. 

[Name from the Latin, cornu, a horn, the wood being very hard and durable.] 

The larger species of this genus are hardy ornamental 
shrubs, mostly North American, and are prized not only 
for their flowers and dificrent colored berries, but for 
their red, piirplc or striped bark, wliich has a fine cfiect in 
winter, especially among evergreens. 


Cornus alternifolia. — Alternate-leaved Cornel. — "A 
beautiful shrub, six or eight feet high ; sometimes a grace- 
ful small tree, of fifteen, twenty, or even twenty-five feet 
high, throwing off", at one or more points, several brandi- 
es, which, slightly ascending, diverge, and form nearly 
horizontal umbrageous stages, or flats of leaves, so closely 
arranged as to give almost a perfect shade. Recent 
shoots, of a shining light yellowish-green, with oblong 
scattered dots. The older branches, of a rich polished 
green, striped with gray. Flowers in an irregularly 
branched head, yellowish-white ; fruit, blue-black. A 
beautiful plant, with a variety of character. It grows nat- 
urally in most woods, or on the sides of hills ; but, when 
cultivated, flourishes in almost any kind of soil, and even 
in dry situations. It flowers in May and June, and the 
fruit ripens in October." 

C. florida. — The Flowering Dogwood. — This species is 
more of a tree than any of those described, and one of 
the most desirable of all the genus. It is a conspicuous 
object, in some of our woods, the last of May. The tree 
is then loaded with a j^rofusion of its large, showy, Avhite 
flowers, which are produced at the ends of the branches. 
What is generally taken for the flower is not in reality 
such. The flowers are small, and without much interest, 
except to the botanist. Twelve or more of them are 
clustered together in a head, and surrounded by a whorl 
of four large w^hite floral leaves, which constitutes the 
principal beauty of the flower. These floral leaves are 
nerved, somewhat heart-shaped, shaded with flesh color, 
or ijurple ; the fruit is of a bright scarlet. 

" The leaves early begin to change to purple, and turn 
to a rich scarlet, or crimson, above, with a light-russet be- 
neath ; or to crimson and buff", or orange ground, above, 
with a glaucous-purple beneath. These, surroundmg the 
scarlet bunches of berries, make the tree as beautiful an 

408 bkeck's new book of flowers. 

object, at tlie close of autumn, as it was in the opening 

C* circinata. — Round-leaved Cornel. — A spreading 
shrub from four to six feet high, with roundish leaves. 
The young shoots are green, blotched with purple ; flow- 
ers white ; fruit blue, turning whitish, and ripe in October. 

C. Stolonifera. — Red-stemmed Cornel. — The main stem 
is usually prostrate and sends up slender erect branches, 
five to eight feet high ; flowers white, and fruit lead-col- 
ored. This plant is conspicuous towards the end of wm- 
ter for the rich red color of its stems and shoots. 

Ci paniculata. — Panicled Cornel. — About six feet high, 
with rather irregular branches. Flowers produced in 
great profusion in May and June, and are succeeded by 
white berries, which ripen in August and September, at 
which time the fruit-stalks become a delicate pale scarlet. 

CRATiEGirS.— The Thorn. 

[Name from the Greek, signifying .strength, from the hardness of the wood.] 

In relation to this genus Mr. Emerson remarks : — "It 
is found that a greater variety of beautiful small trees and 
ornamental shrubs can be formed of the several species of 
Thorn, than of any kind of tree wliatever. Thus they 
give persons, whose grounds ai'e not extensive, the means 
of ornamenting their grounds with great facility. If 
trained as trees, they have an appearance of singular neat- 
ness united with a good degree of vigor ; and the read- 
iness with which they are pruned and grafted, renders 
them susceptible of almost any shape wliich the fancy of 
the owner would have them assume. Some of the species, 
native to Massachusetts, often take, even in a state of na- 
ture, the sliape of handsome low trees Of tliese, the 
flowers and foliage have great beauty, and the scarlet 


haws, which remain on into winter, till, ripened by frost, 
they are gathered by the birds, give them additional 
charms. Into these tall species all the others, very vari- 
ous, and many of them very beautiful, may be grafted. 

The four principal species, natives of our State, arc : — 
Crataegus coccmea^ Scarlet-fruited Thorn ; G. t07nentosa, 
the Pear-leaved Thorn ; G. crus-galli, the Cockspur 
Thorn, and G. punctata^ the Dotted-fruited Thorn; — all 
handsome, with white, fragrant flowers, in clusters. 

C. Oxyacantha is the common Hawthorn of England, 
which is also an ornamental shrub, as well as a very im- 
portant one for the formation of hedges. Of this species 
there are a number of beautiful varieties, viz. : rosea, with 
deep red flowers ; double white and double red, which are 
very beautiful, besides some others not so well known. 

CYDONIA.— Japan Quince. 

[So calleil frotii being a native of the ancient town of Cydon, in the island of 

€yd6nia Japoilica, formerly Pyrus Japonica., is indige- 
nous to Japan, and embraces two varieties, the scarlet and 
variegated flowering. AVhen in bloom, there is no plant 
that equals it in splendor. The Gydonia may be seen 
budding and bursting into bloom in April. The flowers 
are in aggregated clusters, along the branches, interspersed 
with the young leaves. The scarlet color of the flowers 
is most brilliant. There is a j^aler variety which has flow- 
ers of a fine blush, shaded with red, wliich, when con- 
trasted with the other, forms an agreeable relief The 
perfect hardiness of this shrub, and the brilliancy of its 
flowers, render it valuable in the shrubbery, lawn or flow- 
er-garden. It grows from six to eiglit feet high, but com- 
mences to flower when the plants are quite small. A 

410 breck's new book of flowers. 

writer says: — "One of the most j^leasing and picturesque 
objects we recollect ever to have seen, was a large Gy- 
donia whilst m full bloom, jDartially imbedded in a late 
snow ; the branches weighed down thereby, and the rich 
brilliant blossoms, peeping through their chaste covering." 
A variety with double flowers has recently been introduc- 
ed. It succeeds in any good garden soil, and is prop- 
agated by layering and by suckers. 

CYTISTJS.— Laburnum. 

[An ancient classical name.] 

Cf tisus Laburnum. — Golden Chain. — A tall and elegant 
shrub or low tree, which, when in bloom, is laden with 
long, pendulous clusters of golden, pea-shaped flowers, 
similar in appearance to tliose of the Locust. Blooms the 
last of May or in June, and is most rich and beautiful. 
The variety C. leucanthutn^ has cream-colored flowers. 
There is also a purple-flowering species, C purpureus^ 
which grows two feet high, but the first mentioned is the 
most desirable of all the species and varieties. 

DAPHNE. — Mezereum. 

[A name from ancient mytliology.] 

Daphne Mezereum. — Mezereum. — This has long been 
in cultivation, and is much esteemed for its early flower- 
inor and fras^rance. The flowers come out before the 
leaves, early in the spring ; they grow in clusters, all 
around the shoots of the former year. 

" Though leafless, well attired, and thick beset 
With blushing wreaths, investing every spray." 

The flowers are succeeded by brilliant scarlet berries, 
which are a powerful poison. Another variety has wliite 


flowers and yellow berries. When a large number of 
bushes are planted together, they will perfume the air to 
a considerable distance. It thrives well in a loamy soil, 
and will grow in the shade and even in the drip of trees. 


[So named by Thunbeig, in compliment to John Deutz, one of the senators 
of Amsterdam, a patron of botany, and one of the promotors of the voyage of 
the former to Japan.] 

Deiltzia SCabra. — A very elegant shrub, a native of 
Japan. Is height is about six or eight feet, and during 
the early part of summer it is covered with a profusion 
of white blossoms, which are highly fragrant. The speci- 
fic name of the plant is given on account of the rough- 
ness of its leaves. 

D. gracilis. — Tliis is a very graceful and elegant dwarf 
shrub, two or three feet high, with arching branches, 
which are loaded with pure white flowers in June; leaves 
smooth and deep green. This plant is useful for forcing 
in tlie green-house, where it flowers in as great profusion 
as out of doors, and should be taken up and potted as 
soon as the foliage is destroyed by frost. Both of these 
varieties are of easy culture, being sufiiciently hardy to 
endure our winters without protection, and readily prop- 
agated by cuttings or from suckers. 

BIERVILLA. — WiEGELA. — Bush-Honeysuckle. 

[Named in honor of Dierville, a French surgeon.] 

Diervilla trifida. — Three-flowered Bush-Honeysuckle. 
— A neat little native shrub, from two to three feet high, 
with handsome opposite leaves, from the axils of which 
spring three yellow honeysuckle-shaped flowers, in June 
and July. 

412 breck's new book of ploavees. 

D. rosea. — Wiegela rosea. — Rose-colored Wiegela. — 
Tliis shrub was first introduced from Japan as a new ge- 
nus, to which the name of Wiegela was given. Botanists 
have since placed it in the old genus Diervilla, but the 
name Wiegela has become so well established that it will 
serve for the common name of the shrub, it being the only- 
one that it has. " When I first discovered this beautiful 
plant," says Mr. Fortune, the gentleman to whom we are 
indebted for its introduction, " it was growing in a Man- 
darin's garden, on the island of Chusan, and literally 
loaded with its fine rose-colored flowers, which hung in 
graceful bunches from the axils of the leaves and the ends 
of the branches. Everyone saw and admired tlie beauti- 
ful Wiegela. I immediately marked it as one of the fin- 
est plants in Northern China, and determined to send 
plants of it home in every ship, until I should hear of its 
safe arrival. It forms a neat bush, not unlike a Syringa 
in habit, deciduous in winter, and flowering in the months 
of April and May. One great recommendation to it is, 
that it is a plant of the easiest cultivation. Cuttings 
strike readily, any time during the winter and spring 
months, with ordinary attention, and the plant itself 
grows well in any ordinary soil. It should be grown in 
this country as it is in China, not tied up in that formal 
imnatural way in which we see plants brought to our ex- 
hibitions; but a main stem or two chosen for leaders, 
which, in their turn, throw out branches from their sides, 
and then, when the plant comes into bloom, the branches, 
which are loaded with beautiful flowers, hang down in 
graceful and natural festoons." Several fine varieties are 
now in cultivation. The variety amabilis^ formerly con- 
sidered a species, and called Wiegela amahalis^ has a 
more drooping habit, ratlier larger leaves and somewhat 
smaller and deeper colored flowers. The variety Isoline 
has white flowers. Deshoisii^ has very dark flowers, and 


there are two varieties with variegated folia^^e. All that 
we have tried have i)roved as hardy as a Lilac, flower 
most profusely, and are very handsome and sweet-scented. 

DIRC A.— Leather-wood. 

[Dirca is tlie name of ;i fountain near Thebes, and probably applied to this 
plant because it grows near mountain rivulets.] 

Dirca palUStris. — Leather-wood, Wicoj^y. — This is a 
much branched shrub, from three to six feet high, found 
in wet, marshy and shady places. It is conspicuous, when 
in flower in Aj^ril, for the number of yellow blossoms, 
which fade and fall rapidly as the leaves expand. The 
Avood is very pliable, and the bark of singular toughness 
and tenacity. It has such strength, that a man cannot 
pull apart so much as covers a branch of half or tliird of 
an inch in diameter. It is used by millers and others for 
thonsjs. The aborigcines used it as a cordaore. 

EIIONYMTJS.— Spindle Tree.— Strawberry Tree. 

[Euonymns was a heathen divinity, according to Eniiiieiiides she was the 
mother of llie Furies by Saturn.] 

Euonymus AmericanuS.— Burning Bush. — An elegant 
shrub, growing eight to fifteen feet high, producing rather 
inconsj^icuous purple flowers in clusters, which are suc- 
ceeded by brilliant scarlet fruit, that remains after the 
foliage has fallen ; highly ornamental. The foliage is 
handsome ; the branches erect, of a fresh green color. 
There is a variety with purplish-red berries, and another 
with white berries. Upon the opening of tlie valv^es which 
enclose the seeds, the white variety shows to great ad- 
vantage, the valves being white, and the berry-like seeds 
a light scarlet. The fruit is produced in great profusion. 

414 breck's new book of flowers. 

Plants may be raised from seed, which should be planted 
in autumn ; or by layers or cuttings. 

E. Europaeus. — The European Spindle Tree. — This is a 
handsome evergreen shrub, with deep shining-green 
leaves, with a variety having silver-edged leaves. The 
European species and varieties are someAvhat tender in 
this latitude. They should bo planted in a sheltered, 
shady place. 

HALESIA.— Snowdrop.— Silver-bell Tree. 

[Named after Doct. Hales, author of Vegetable Statics.] 

Hal^sia tetraptera. — Four-winged Silver-bell Tree. — 
A native of Virginia and southward, where it is found on 
the banks of rivers. An ornamental shrub five or six 
feet high, which, in May, produces flowers in small bunch- 
es, all along its branches ; each bud produces from four 
to nine flowers, of a snowy whiteness ; these appear be- 
fore the leaves, and last for two or three weeks. 

H. diptcra. — Two-winged Silver-bell Tree. — This is also 
a native of the Southern States, but is hardy at the North. 
It is much less common than the last. It has leaves twice 
as broad and flowers of a larger size, and the pods have 
only two wings. It blossoms three or four weeks later 
than the four-winged species. Both are raised from seeds 
and by layers. 

HEDERA.— English Ivy. 

[From hedra, the Celtic name for cord.] 

H^dcra hi^lix. — Common Ivy. — The ancients held Ivy 
ill great esteem, and IJacchus is represented as crowned 
with it to i)revent intoxication. It is a highly esteemed 
ornamental everjxreen climl)er, and much used in England 


for covering naked buildings or trees, or for training into 
fonciful shapes, or a stake so as to form a standard. 

In this country it is not very common, but it appears to 
succeed well in shady situations. There are some speci- 
mens in the city of Boston, which flourish finely upon the 
rough granite or brick walls of buildings. It is easily 
propagated by cuttings or layers. There are a number 
of varieties of this, all of which are desirable. It grows 
to a great height, and attaches itself firmly to whatever 
it grows upon, without any assistance. 

HYPERICUM.— St. John's-wort. 

Some of the species of this genus have been noticed 
under Herbaceous Plants. 

Hypericum prolificum. — Shrubby St. John's-wort, is a 
native woody species worth cultivating. It is found in 
New Jersey and westward, grows from one to four feet 
high, and from July to September is covered with a pro- 
fusion of yellow flowers. 

HIBISCUS.— Rose op Sharon. 

Hibiscus Syriacus. — Tree Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon; 
also called Althaea frutex^ Shrubby Althaea. — The herba- 
ceous species of Hibiscus have been mentioned in another 
place; this is an old and well-known shrubby species of 
easy cultivation. A great number of varieties have been 
produced, both single and double, and ranging in color 
from white to dark-purple. The single varieties are gen- 
erally more hardy than the double ones. Easily raised 
from seeds and from cuttings. It requires very severe 
pruning to keep it from growing loose and straggling. 

416 beeck's :n^ew book of flowers. 

ILEX— Holly. 

[An ancient Latin name.] 

Ilex Aquifolium.— English Holly. — An evergreen shrub 
or low tree, of which innumerable varieties have been 
raised. The silver and gold edged varieties are very 
beautiful. This S2:)ecies does not succeed well in this 
country, on account of our hot suns. 

I. opaca. — American Holly. — This species is found 
plentifully in some parts of Massachusetts and southward. 
Mr. Emerson says of it : — " The American Holly is a 
handsome low tree, with nearly horizontal branches, and 
thorny evergreen leaves. The berries are scarlet, and re- 
main on the tree into winter. 

The plants, formerly called Prinos, are now considered 
by botanists as deciduous species of Ilex. 

I. verticillata. — {Prinos verticillatus.) — Black Alder. 
— This indigenous shrub, so ornamental in low grounds 
and swamps in autumn, is worthy of a place in every col- 
lection of shrubs. " It is a handsome shrub, five or six — 
rarely ten or twelve — feet high, with crowded branches 
and leaves, conspicuous for its bunches of axillary blos- 
soms and scarlet berries, remaining late in the autumn, or 
even into the winter. The recent shoots are clothed with 
an apple-green bark, Avhich, on the large branches, turns 
to a pearly gray, and, on the older stems, is of a polished 
and clouded dark color, whence the plant derives its com- 
mon name." The flowers are white, and not very orna- 
mental. The berries are of a bright scarlet, covering the 
twigs, the size of peas, in bunches of two or three, and 
remain long on the bush. The flowers expand in June; 
the berries are ripe in September. The Black Alder will 
require a peaty, moist soil. 

I. glabra. — (Prinos glaher.) — The Ink Berry. — "An 
elegant, delicate-looking, evergreen shrub, with slender 
branches, growing in sheltered places, to the height of 


fi'om two to eight or nine feet. The elegance of the ev- 
ergreen foliage causes it to be much sought after to be 
mingled with bouquets in winter ; and for this purpose it 
is brought from considerable distances, and carefully kept 
in cellars, sometimes for months." The leaves are lance- 
shaped, an inch or more long, and one-third or half an 
inch wide. 

INDIGOFERA.— Indigo Shrub. 

[The name means a plant bearing Indigo.] 

Indi^Ofera decora. — Indigo Shrub. — A handsome plant, 
growing four or five feet high, bearing spikes of small 
pur^jle flowers ; suitable for the shrubbery, free flowering, 
and of easy culture. 

JASMINUM.— Jasmine. 

[From the Arabic jasmin, (ysmyn).'\ 

Jasminum officinale.— White Jasmine, is a native of 
the East . Indies ; it is an exceedingly elegant plant for 
training over a wall or arbor, and will bear the winter in 
the Middle States, with some protection. It is a delicate 
and fragrant shrub, not surpassed by any of the species. 
It is of this that Cowper speaks, in the following passage : 

" The Jasmine, throwing wide iier elegant sweets, 
The deep dark-green of whose unvarnished leaf 
Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more 
The bright profusion of her scattered stars." 

In New Haven I have seen it in a garden, and was as- 
sured that it did not require protection there. The proper 
place for the Jasmines in Massachusetts, is the green-house. 


418 breck's xeav book of flowers. 

KALMIA. — American Laurel. 

[A small genus of hanLiSome evergreen indigenous shrubs. Named in honor of 
Peter Kahn, a pupil of Linnaeus.] 

Kalmia latifolia* — Mountain Laurel, Spoon Wood, etc. 
— Its general height is from five to ten feet, but may some- 
times be seen rising from fifteen to twenty feet, among the 
rocks, and forms almost impenetrable thickets, by its 
crooked and unyielding trunks, locked and entangled with 
each other. The leaves are about three or four inches long, 
evergreen, giving much life to the forests in the winter, 
by their deej) shining-green. The flowers are disposed in 
large corymbs, at the extremity of the branches ; numer- 
ous ; of a pure white, blush, or a beautiful rose-color, and 
more rarely, a deep red. The season of flowering is in the 
months of June and July. Nothing can exceed the mag- 
nificence of its appearance when in full bloom. The soil 
in which it best succeeds is soft, loose, and cool, with a 
northern exposure. The foliage is the richest when the 
plant is grown in the shade. The soil suitable for its 
growth, is the same as recommended for the Azalea. 
Young plants, taken up Avith balls of earth attached, will 
succeed well in the garden, in the shade. Those from 
open pastures will flourish best, if such can be found. 
There is no shrub, foreign or native, that will exceed this 
in splendor, when well grown. 

K. an^UStifolia. — Narrow-leaved Kalmia, Sheep-Laurel. 
— This is a low shrub, that covers large tracts of cold, 
moist land, in almost every section of the country. It is 
a great nuisance to the farmer, who looks suspiciously upon 
it, as it has the reputation of being poisonous to sheep 
and other animals, which, for tlie sake of variety or want 
of other food, sometimes feed upon it. Blooms in June 
and July; flowers red, or deep pink, and I have seen a 
white variety ; leaves evergreen ; growing from one to 
two feet hi oh. 


KERRIA.— Japan Globe-Flo wer. 

INamed in honor of Mr. Kerr, a former superintendent of the botanical gar- 
den at Ceylon.] 

K^rria Japonica, — formerly called Corchorus Japon- 
ica — Is an elegant shrub, growing from three to six feet 
high, and producing a profusion of double-yellow, globular 
flowers. The branches are bright greeu, and the foliage 
handsome. In some localities it is a little tender, and the 
tops are killed down ; but it sends up fresh shoots, which 
flower the same season. Easily propagated by suckers. 

LAVANDULA.— Lavender. 

flMamed from lavo, to wash, referring to its use in baths.] 

Lavandula spicatai — Spike-flowered Lavender. — This is 
a most desirable dwarf shrub, with delicate glaucous foli- 
age, and spikes of blue flowers, in July ; three feet high. 
The whole plant is delightfully fragrant, but more partic- 
ularly the flowers. These yield the oil from which the 
Lavender water is made. In some soils and situations 
the plant is tender. In cold, moist soil, it is almost sure 
to be winter-killed ; but, in a dry, loamy, or gravelly soil, 
it endures our winters with but little protection. We 
have been successful in the cultivation of it in a soil of 
the latter quality, and, from the flowers that grow upon 
the edging of a circular bed, six feet in diameter, obtained 
more than one ounce of the pure oil, one drop of which 
would perfume a room. It is sometimes used for e«lgings, 
in milder chmates, but grows too high for general use. 
As an edging for a bed of Moss Roses, we have seen it 
used with pleasing eftect. 

" The agreeable scent of Lavender is well known, since 
it is an old and still a common custom to scatter the flow- 
ers over linen, as some do rose leaves, for the sake of 
their sweet odor." 

420 breck's new book of flowers. 

Lavender is easily propagated by cuttings or slips. It 
is a great pity that it is not j^erfectly hardy ; but as it is, 
with a little choice in its location, it is easily preserved 
through the winter, and worthy of all the care and trou- 
ble that may be given to its cultivation. 


[The ancient classical name.] 

LigUStrum VUlgare. — The common Privet, or Prim. — 
The Privet is a native of Europe, and introduced from 
thence to this country, and now has become domesticated 
in many parts of New England. In England, the Piivet 
is an evergreen, or the leaves remain until driven off by 
new ones. In this climate it is deciduous, shedding its 
leaves late in autumn. " In France and Great Britain, the 
Privet is much used for a hedge plant, either alone or with 
other plants. Its use for this purpose is recommended by 
the beauty of the foliage, the flowers and berries, by its 
rapid and easy growth, and by the fact that it grows well 
under the drip of other trees, except evergreens. It flour- 
ishes in almost any soil, as may be easily seen from the 
variety of ground on winch it has sown itself in the vi- 
cinity of Boston ; and it is propagated by seeds, or by 
cuttings, and requires very littie pruning. It grows in 
clumps, from strong, matted, bright-yellow roots, in height 
six or eight feet. Flowers white, in short, terminal pan- 
icles, in June ; the berries are of a shining black." The 
blossom of the Privet, when exposed to the noonday sun, 
withers almost as soon as blown. In the shade, it not 
only lasts longer, l)ut is much larger. The leaves too, are 
much larger and finer when so placed. 

The English Privet is much used for ornamental hedges, 
and is also desirable in a shrubbery, on account of the 


permanency of its elegant foliage ; it retains its foliage 
much longer than the American variety, and bears green 
berries. In England it is an evergreen, and nearly so 
here. The American variety is also very desirable. It 
sheds its foliage much sooner, and has black berries. 
There are a number of other varieties or species of Privet, 
which are also desirable. 

The Golden-edged Privet is a very striking variety, 
Avith variegated leaves. L. lucida has elegant, thick, 
glossy, green foliage, and is a valuable acquisition. L. 
Japonica has large, long, glossy leaves, of a bright green, 
and where it is hardy, will be very desirable. 

LIPPIA. — Sweet Verbena. 

[In memory of A. Lippi, a French botanist, who was killed in Abyssinia.] 

Lippia citriodora. — Sweet Verbena, Lemon-scented 
Verbena. Aloysia citriodora and Verbena triphylla., of 
the older botanical authors. — A desirable green-house 
shrub, which also succeeds well when planted in the bor- 
der in the summer, and, if in rich soil, will form a neat 
little bush before hard frosts set in in autumn. Before 
freezing weather, the plants should be taken up, and 
housed, either in the green-house or sitting-room. This 
delightful little shrub is a native of South America ; it is 
indispensable in the flower-garden, on account of its ex- 
quisite fragrance, which partakes of the scent of the 
lemon and almond. The leaves are elegant, linear-lance- 
olate, rough, arranged in threes upon the stem. Flowers 
minute, pale-purple, almost white ; numerous, in dense 
upright regular panicles. It may bo increased by cut- 
tings, and also from seeds, when they mature, which is not 
often the case in common cultivation. 

422 breck's new book of flowers. 

LONICERA. — Honeysuckle. — Woodbine, 

[Named after Adam Lonicer, a German botanist of the 16th century.] 

This genus now includes both the erect and climbing 
ones, the latter were formerly called Caprifolium. 

Lonicera Tartarica. — Tartarian Honeysuckle. — This 
species grows to the height of eight or ten feet, and in 
June is covered by a profusion of pink flowers, which are 
succeeded by red berries. It is a desirable shrub, whether 
for its foliage, flower, or fruit, and will thrive in almost 
any soil and situation. A native of Russia and Siberia. 
There are several varieties with white and red-striped 
flowers, and yellow and white berries. Easily propagated 
by cuttings, layers, and seed. 

L. sempervirens. — Scarlet Trumpet-Honeysuckle. — Na- 
tive, from New York southward ; perfectly hardy, and in 
general cultivation. The foliage is evergreen at the 
South, but deciduous at the North ; flowers trumpet-shap- 
ed, of a rich scarlet without, tinged with orange within, 
without fragrance. The plant grows rapidly, throws out 
a multitude of fine branches, and has a singularly rich ap- 
pearance, from the deep green of its leaves and the splen- 
dor of its scarlet flowers. In bloom from June to Octo- 

L. flava. — Yellow Honeysuckle. — A native species, 
found in the mountains at the South and West. It has 
very pale, glaucous, thick leaves, and slender, light yellow 
flowers. In bloom all the season. 

L. hirsuta. — Hairy Honeysuckle. — Tliis is a native of 
the Northern States, found on damp, rocky banks, often 
growing to the height of fifteen to thirty feet ; the flow- 
ers are of a pale-yellow without, hairy, and of a rich 
orange within ; flowers in June and July. 

L. Pcriclymeniini. — Woodbine. — This is a vigorous- 
growing P^nglish species; flowers pale-yellow, in June; 
highly fragrant. 


Tho variety Belgicmn^ or Dutch Sweet-scented Honey- 
suckle, is a well-known fragrant climber, giving a pro- 
fusion of bloom in June, which emits a delightful odor ; 
flowers yellow, variegated Avith red or purple. 

The Dutch Monthly Sweet-scented Honeysuckle is an- 
other variety, with flowers somewhat like the last, but 
produced in succession through the summer and autumn, 
until hard frosts. The buds, before they expand, are of 
a dark-red or purple. When the flower opens, the interi- 
or is pure white, which changes to a cream color, and 
from that to an orange, giving the cluster a variegated 
and rich appearance. A variety has oak-shaped leaves. 

L. Jap6nicum« — Japan, or Chinese Honeysuckle. — 
Botanists seem to be in much confusion about this species 
and its allies, and one botanist has called it L. confusa. 
We give the name adopted by the best authorities. It is 
a very desirable species, with evergreen leaves, and del- 
icate flowers through the season ; stem flexuous and 
twining. It readily supports the rigor of our winters, 
and, blooming with an exhaustless profusion, presents, 
from May till late in autumn, rich wreaths of flowers, va- 
rious in tint, and of an exquisite orange-flower perfume. 

The buds are purple ; as they expand, the spotless 
white of the gaping corolla is exhibited, with its protrud- 
ing stamens tipped with yellow anthers. On exposure to 
the air, the flowers gradually assume a cream-like tint, 
and, finally, a perfect orange color ; and, as they mature 
in succession from the base to the extremity of the branch, 
the colors are all present on the same shoot. The stems 
and nerves of the leaves are purple ; it is nearly ever- 
green. In rich loam, the growth is luxuriant. 

The White Italian Honeysuckle has pale-yellow, almost 
white flowers. There are many other fine varieties and 
species of this beautiful genus, but not much known. 

In raisino^ the Honevsuckle from seeds, thev should be 


sown in the autumn after they are ripe ; otherwise they 
will not come np the first year. Cuttings are sometimes 
ajDt to rot, owing to water lodging in their tubular stems, 
above the last joint. To obviate this inconvenience, some 
make the cuttings of double the usual size, and insert both 
ends into the ground, leaving the part above ground in 
the form of a semi-circle. Commonly, however, such 
cuttings root only at one end. 

LYCIXTM. — Matrimony Vine. 

[Name said to be riained from Lycin. its native counlry.] 

Lycium Barbariim. — Barbary Box-Thorn, Matrimony 
Vine, Willow-leaved Lycium. — A climbing shrub, which 
grows from four to six feet in a season, and valuable for 
covering arbors, naked walls, etc. The foliage delicate, 
and the whole plant is covered with small, but handsome, 
violet flowers, from May to August ; these are succeeded 
by small red berries. It will grow in almost any soil, and 
is easily propagated by suckers or from cuttings. It may 
be permitted to ramble, or trained to suit the fancy. 


[Named for Magnol, a distinguished Freiioli botanist.] 

Most of the genus are lofty trees, some of them, how- 
ever, bloom when quite small, and may be considered as 

Ma.i^nolia ^laiica. — Small, or Laurel Magnolia, Sweet 
Bay. — Tiie most northern boundary of the habitation of 
this beautiful plant is supposed to be in a sheltered 
swamp, near Cape Ann, and not far from the sea. It is, 
however, common along the southern coast. 


" Few ornamental plants are better worth the attention 
of the gardener. Carefully trained, it forms a beautiful 
little tree. No plant is, at any season and in every con- 
dition, more beautiful. The flower, pure white, two or 
three inches broad, is as beautiful and almost as fragrant 
as the Wliite Lily. The fruit is a cone, about two inches 
long, covered with scale-like, imbricated ovaries, from 
which, when mature, escape the scarlet obovate seeds, 
which, instead of falling at once to the ground, remain some 
time suspended by a slender thread. The bark of the 
young shoots is smooth and of a rich apple-green, after- 
Avards becoming of a soft glaucous or whitish color." 

Although naturally growing in wet ground, it will 
flourish in almost any good garden soil, if not exceed- 
ingly dry, particularly if partially shaded from the sun. 
It may be propagated by layers, — which require two 
years to root sufiiciently, — or by seed, if great care is 

IW. conspicua. — White Chinese Magnoha, Yulan. — This 
is called M. Yulan by some botanists. This forms a 
large tree, but flowers when only a few feet high. Flow- 
ers white, appearing before the leaves. 

M, purpurea. — Purple Chinese Magnolia. — Similar in 
habit to the foregoing, with long dark-purple flowers. 
Each of these presents several varieties, and there are 
some hybrids. The late A. J. Downing, says : — 

" They are certainly among the most striking and orna- 
mental objects in our pleasure-grounds and shrubberies in 
the spring. Indeed, during the months of April and the 
early part of May, two of them, the White, or Conspicua^ 
and Soulange's Purple, or SoylangioMa, eclipse every 
other floral object, whether tree or shrub, that the garden 
contains. Their numerous branches, thickly studded with 
large flowers, most classically shaped, with thick, kid-like 
petals, and rich, spicy odor, wear an aspect of novelty 


and beauty among the smaller blossoms of the more com- 
mon trees and shrubs that blossom at that early time, and 
really fill the beholder with delight. The Chinese White 
Magnolia {M. eo?isplcua,) is, in- effect of its blossoms, the 
most charming of all Magnolias. The flowers, in color a 
pure, creamy Avhite, are produced in such abundance, that 
the tree, when pretty large, may be seen at a great dis- 

" The Chinese name, Gulan, literally, Lily-tree^ is an 
apt and expressive one, as the blossoms are not much un- 
like those of the White Lily in size and shape, when fully 
expanded. Among the Chinese poets, they are consid- 
ered the emblem of candor and beauty." 

"The next most ornamental Chinese Magnolia," he 
says, " is Soulange's Purple, {^Magnolia Soulangiana.) This 
is a hybrid seedling, raised by the late Chevalier Soulange 
Bodin, the distinguished French horticulturist. The hab- 
it of the tree is closely similar to that of the consplciia y 
its blossoms, equally numerous, are rather larger, but the 
outside of the petals is finely tinged with purple. It par- 
takes of the character of both its parents, having the 
growth of Magnolia conspicua^ and the color of M. pur- 
purea^ (or, indeed, a lighter shade of purple.) Its term 
of blooming is, also, mid-way between that of these two 
species, being about a week later than that of the white, 
or Gulan Magnolia. It is also perfectly hardy in this lati- 
tude." The Magnolia purpurea is sometimes seen in 
large gardens about Boston, but is a little tender. " It is 
a shrub of six to eight feet high. The blossoms are white 
within, of a fine dark-lilac or purj^le on the outside, and 
(piite fragrant, like the others." The flowers begin to 
open early in May, and continue blooming a number of 
weeks, or, if in the shade, through most of the summe**. 

The same gentleman remarks, that, "If these noble 
flowering trees have a defect, it is onc^ which is insei)ar- 


able from the early period at which they bloom, viz., that 
of having few or no leaves when the blossoms are in their 
full perfection ;" and suggests, that the planting of the 
American Arbor Vitse and Hemlock would remedy this 
defect, by forming a dark-green background on which the 
beautiful masses of Magnolia flowers would appear to 
great advantage. 

PHILADELPHUS.— Syringa, Mock Orai^ge. 

The Syringa is a most delicious shrub ; the foliage is 
luxuriant, the blossom beautiful and abundant, white as 
the purest Lily, and of the most fragrant scent. In a 
room, indeed, this perfume is too powerful, but in the air 
it is remarkably agreeable. There is a variety which has 
no scent, and also a dwarf variety, which does not usu- 
ally exceed three feet in height. The flowers sweet, and 
some double. 

" The sweet Sj'ringa, yielding but in scent 
Id the rich Orange, or the Woodbine wild, 
That loves to hung on barren boughs, remote. 
Her wreatiis of flowery perfume." 

All the species are propagated by suckers, layers, or 
cuttings, and thrive in any good garden soil. 

Philad^lphus grandiflorus. — Large-flowering Syringa. 
— This is the handsomest of the genus, and is properly 
only a variety of P. inodorus. It is perfectly hardy, 
growing in any soil or situation, forming a spreading 
shrub about six feet high ; flowering in June and July. 

P. hirsutUS. — This shrub grows from four to five feet 
high. Like the last, it is a native of North America, and 
was first discovered by Mr. Nuttall. It thrives in the 
shrubbery in any common garden soil, and is propagated 
like the others. 

428 beeck's new book of flowers. 

P. COronarius, — or Common Syringa, — greatly resem- 
bles the others ; grows about five feet high, and is delight- 
fully fragrant when in bloom. Flowers in June and July. 

PRXJNTJS.— Plum and Cherry. 

[The ancient classical name of the plum.] 

The cherry was formerly placed in the separate genus 
of Gerasus^ but it is now united by botanists with the 
Plum in Prunus^ the chief distinction between the two 
being in the form of the stone. 

Prunus candicans. — This is a delightful, hardy, decidu- 
ous shrub, growing about six or eight feet high. It is 
very easy of cultivation, and in May and June, when in 
full flower, is a perfect picture, the white flowers nearly 
hiding the young leaves, which are beginning at that time 
to cover the branches. It may either be propagated by 
layers, or by budding and grafting on the common plum 

P. C^raSUSt — The Common Cherry, in its double vari- 
ety called the Double-flowering Cherry, Gerasvs cominu- 
nis plena^ is a very desirable addition to the shrubbery, 
on account of its immense number of large, double, pure 
white flowers, which cover the tree in the early part of 
May. The flowers are like small white roses, very full 
and beautiful. By proper training, it can be kept in a 
low, shrubby state, if desiiable. It will grow in any gar- 
den soil, and is propagated by budding or grafting. 

The Weeping Cherry is formed by budding a delicate 
drooping species of Bird Cherry upon the Mazzard stock, 
at any height that may suit the fancy. By inserting a 
number of buds, at the desired height, a large drooping 
head may be formed, which continues to increase in diam- 
eter, but not miK'h in height. Its |)cndent branches, 


covered with delicate foliage, are at all times a pleasant 
sight, but more particularly when covered with its pro- 
fusion of bloom. 

RH AMNTJS. —Buckthorn. 

[The ancient Greek name.] 

Rhamnns catharticus. — The Common Buckthorn. — 
The great value of the Buckthorn, with us, is for hedges. 
It is perfectly hardy, grows rapidly, and bears j)runing 
better than any other shrub with which we are acquaint- 
ed. Another important item in its value is, that it is 
never attacked by insects of any description. It is, also, 
very tough, and flourishes in any soil. No animal, ex- 
cept sheep or goats, will feed upon it. We consider it, 
therefore, the only jDlant for general use for the formation 
of hedges. " It puts forth its leaves early in the spring, 
and retains them late in the fall, and its bunches of rich 
berries are very showy in autumn." 

The plants are easily raised from seed, which may be 
planted either in the fall or very early in the spring. 
When planted in autumn, it may be done as soon as the 
berries mature. 

The berries should be first mashed and washed, so that 
they may be planted more evenly. The seed may be 
sown in drills eighteen inches apart, or in beds. The fall- 
sown seed will vegetate very early in the sjjring, while 
those sown in the spring will not appear under four or 
five weeks from the time of planting. The second year, 
the plants may be transferred to the nursery, and should 
be headed down as soon as they begin to grow. This 
causes them to thicken at the bottom ; a very important 
point to be remembered, for unless they are first grown 
with branches from the bottom, no after-cultivation can 
remedy the neglect. 

430 breck's new book op flowers. 

The best hedges we have seen were those where the 
pLmts were placed in a single line, six inches distant from 
each other. 


[The ancient Greek name, meaning rose-free.] 

Rhododendron maximum. — Great Laurel. — In the 
Northern States this is a straggling shrub of very irregular 
growth, but one of the most magnificent in foliage and 
flower the country can boast of It is abundant in the 
Middle States, and in the mountainous tracts of the South- 
ern, but rare in New England. 

It is generally under ten feet in height in this part of 
the country, but sometimes attains the height of twenty 
or twenty-five feet in a less rigorous cUmate. The places 
where it is found in New England, may be considered as 
beyond its proper natural limits, and it is met with only 
in Avarni swamps, under the shelter of evergreens, and 
where the roots are protected by w;\ter, Avhich usually 
overflows these places. 

The flower-buds are often destroyed, even when it is 
thus situated, in very severe seasons. When the leaves 
are beginning to unfold themselves they are rose-colored, 
and covered with red down. When fully expanded, they 
are smooth, five or six inches long, of an elongated oval 
form, and of a thick texture. They are evergreen, and 
partially renewed once in three or four years. It })uts 
forth flowers in June and July, which are, commonly, rose- 
colored, with yellow or orange dots on the inside, and 
sometimes i)ure white, or shaded with lake. They are 
always collected at the extremity of the branches, in beau- 
tiful groups, which derive additional lustre from the foli- 
age that surrounds them. Previous to their expansion. 


the flowers are in one large compound bud. resembling a 
cone, each individual bud being covered by a rhoniboidal 
bract, which falls off when the flower expands. The co- 
rolla is monopetalous, (one piece or i)etal,) funnel-shaped, 
with a short tube, the border divided into five large, un- 
equal segments. There is but a small chance of plants 
succeeding which have been taken from swamps. The 
surest way to propagate it is by seed, from which it read- 
ily grows, but requires time and patience to bring it into 
a flowering state. 

Shade and humidity seem almost indispensable to the 
growth of this shrub. Deeply shaded situations, where 
the atmosphere is laden with vapors, are most congenial to 
its growth. It is, therefore, well calculated for the shrub- 
bery. With a little attention, it may be insured to stand 
the sun, and then forms a stately ornament for the lawn 
or grass-plot. The proper soil is a light, rich, peaty loam, 
with moisture. It will grow, however, in almost any, and 
flourish on a strong, heavy loam. It may be propagated 
from cuttings and layers, from young, healthy branches 
of ripened wood. There are many exotic species, which 
are beautiftd, and highly ornamental to the green-house. 

R. Catawbiense. — A low species from the mountains 
of Virginia and southward. It has shorter and more 
rounded leaves than the preceeding, and large lilac-purple 
flowers. Quite hardy. 

R. Ponticum. — A native of Asia Minor, where it is a 
large shrub. Though usually hardy if protected, it forms 
here only a low bush, with large purple flowers, The>e 
three species are hardy, and from them have been pro- 
duced numerous beautiful hybrids, which are equally har- 
dy, and are among the most interesting and valuable of 
flowering shrubs. 

My friend, Mr. Robert Murray, Landscape Gardener, 
Waltham, Mass., has been very successful in the manage- 


ment of the Rhododendron^ and has, at my request, fa- 
vored me with a letter, from which I extract the folloAving : 
" The beautiful hybrid varieties sent us a few years ago 
from the English nurseries, have proved as hardy and as 
well adapted to our climate, as our native M. maximum ; 
the flower-buds are sometimes killed by severe winters, 
but that may be avoided by a slight covering of white 
pine boughs, laid over the plants before winter sets in ; by 
so doing, I never had a bud injured. I will now state for 
the information of all amateur florists, the best method of 
preparing the soil for a luxuriant growth, and gorgeous 
display of flowers. Tlie following kinds of American 
shrubs, along with the Rhododendrons, will all flourish 
and do well with tlie same soil and treatment : Kalmia 
latifolia, Andromedas, and all the fine, new, hardy, hy- 
brid Azaleas. Select a piece of ground in a partially 
shaded situation, then excavate and cart away all the soil 
to the depth of two feet ; then fill the hole, about one- 
half full, of dry peat mud ; then from the hollow places 
of an old oak wood, dig six or eight inches of the soil, 
which is principally decomposed leaves ; cart and fill up 
the whole excavation ; then lay all over the top six inches 
of clear white sand; then begin at one side, turning, 
breaking up, and mixing the whole together twice, allow- 
ing the bed to stand for some time to settle ; it will ulti- 
mately be no higher than the surrounding ground. In 
the months of April or May, plant all the sorts and vari- 
eties of those I have named, from two to two and one- 
half feet apart, mixing the diflfcrent colors to suit the 
taste.. Afterwards, lay a covering of leaves, six inches in 
depth, all over the ground, amongst the plants, the same 
never to be removed ; and as they have decayed through 
the sum:ner, add more to th')se that have blown amongst 
them by the fall winds. They are all propagated by seeds 
or layers ; but as both methods take a number of years to 


get good-sized flowering plants, I would, therefore, leave 
their propagation to the nurseryman. Fine plants, full 
of flower-buds of all the new, hardy, hybrid Rhododen- 
drons, and Azalias, can be bought at all the principal 
nurseries at very moderate prices, considering the time it 
takes to get good-sized flowering plants." 

Robert Murray. 


[From the Greek word for rose^ from the color of the flowers.] 

Rhodora Canadensis.— False Honeysuckle. — This beau- 
tiful shrub is found on the margins of swamps, and in wet 
meadows, frequently in large masses, many yards in cir- 
cumference, which, when in bloom, in May, present a mag- 
nificent appearance. The flowers appear on the extremity 
of the branches, before the leaves are perfectly expanded, 
are of a fine purple color, and in shape somewhat resemble 
the Honeysuckle. I have been successful with this fine 
shrub, by taking large masses of it from the meadows, 
with the earth attached to the roots, and planting in moist 
soil ; also by taking the suckers, which it throws up as 
freely as the Lilac. It will flourish without difficulty. 

RHUS.— Sumach. 

[The ancient classical name of the genus.] 

Rhus typhina. — Stag-Horn Sumach. — This is highly 
ornamental in the shrubbery, on account of its elegant 
compound leaves, and bunches of ricli scarlet berries. 
The shrub, which grows to the height of twelve to twenty 
feet, is ugly shaped, its branches being rather naked and 
crooked. It must, therefore, be planted with other 


shrubs, so as to conceal, as much as possible, its crooked, 
irregular steins and branches. There is no particular 
beauty in the flowers ; but, in July and August, the heads 
of berries begin to assume a rich scarlet color, afterwards 
turning to jDurple, and remain conspicuous and beautiful 
into winter ; while in autumn the leaves begin early to 
turn, and become of a red color, with various shades of 
yellow, orange, and purple. The ends of the branches, 
from their irregularity, and the abundant down with which 
they are covered, resemble the young horns of the stag, 
whence the poj^ular name. 

R. COpallina. — The Dwarf, or Mountain Sumach, — is 
another beautiful species, " found growing on dry rocks, 
or sandy hills, about the same height of the last, in favor- 
able, protected situations, but usually about three to five 
feet. The varnished polish of the leaves, and the rich 
purple they assume in autumn, as well as the scarlet of 
the leafy heads of fruit, inake this species one of the most 
beautiful of the genus." 

R. glabra* — The Smooth Sumach. — This is a handsome, 
spreading, leafy bush, usually four to six, rarely ten, feet 
high. The leaves are compound, smooth, of a rich green. 
The flowers are disposed in a large green head, of yel- 
lowish-green color, and agreeable fragrance. The velvety 
crimson heads of berries on this plant, as on the others, 
are acid and astringent. The leaves are used in tanning. 

R. Cotinus. — Venetian Sumach or Smoke Tree. — This 
species is much cultivated as an ornamental shrub. It is 
a crooked, straggling growing plant, from ten to fifteen 
fL'ct high. No attempt should be made to make it grow 
straight by pruning, as it looks the best when left to itself, 
clothed with branches to the ground. Persons, ignorant 
of the habits of the shrub, often complain of nurserymen, 
because they do not give them regular-shaped plants; but 
this is impossible, and it is not desirable. 


The foliage is handsome ; the flowers are disposed in 
large panicles, first green, changing to a reddish-brown, 
and afterwards a brownish smoke color. The flowers, or 
appendages to them, have the appearance of downy silk, 
in light, airy masses, and the plant is nearly covered with 
these graceful clusters, which have some resemblance to 
puff's of smoke emerging from among the graceful leaves. 
It is propagated from layers very readily. 

We have two poisonous species of Hhus, which are 
briefly mentioned that they may be avoided. H. venena- 
ta^ the Poison Sumach or Dogwood, is a handsome shrub, 
with foliage somewhat resembling that of H. glabra, but 
the leaflets are entire. The berries are in loose panicles, 
smooth and whitish. H. Toxicodendron, the Poison Ivy, 
is a very common climber upon trees, rocks, stone walls, 
etc. The leaves are compound, of three variously lobed 
or entire leaflets. This character of the leaves will dis- 
tinguish it from the Virginia Creeper, for which it is some- 
times mistaken, as that has five leaflets. To some persons 
these species are poisonous to the touch, and very suscep- 
tible persons are aflTected by being in their vicinity. 

RIBES. — Currant. — Gooseberry. 

[The name said to be of Arabic origin.] 

Ribes Sans^uineum. — Red-flowering Currant. — This is a 
very handsome ornamental species, producing pendent ra- 
cemes of rich deep-red flowers, in May. The shrub is 
about three feet high ; the foliage elegant. The plant is 
easily propagated by cuttings. I find it is rather tender, 
the extremities of the branches being often killed in this 
climate. Probably, if planted the north side of a wall, 
or where it is partially shaded with evergreens, it would 
succeed better. There is a white-flowered variety, and 
one with double flowers, which is very fine. 


R. Speciosum. — Showy Gooseberry. — The flowers are 
of a bright crimson, and far superior in brilliancy to the 
preceeding, and like that somewhat tender. 

R. aureum.— Missouri Currant, Buffiilo Currant.— A 
native of the far West; has in May a profusion of yellow 
fragrant flowers, which j^erfume the whole neighborhood. 
All the species are propagated from cuttings, in the same 
manner as the common Currant. 

B.OBINIA. — Locust-tree, 

[Named in honor of Jean Robin, herbalist to Henry IV., of France.] 

Robinia Viscosa. — Clammy Locust. — This is a small 
tree, with large pale-pink flowers. The branches are cov- 
ered with a gummy substance that is unpleasant to the 
touch. It looks well with other trees and shrubs. 

R« hispida* — Rose Acacia. — Tbis is a beautiful flower- 
ing shrub, growing from three to ten feet high, bearing a 
great profusion of elegant rose-colored flowers, which are 
produced in dense, pendent racemes. The shrub com- 
mences flowering when only two feet high. It has long, 
rambling roots, which throw up numerous suckers. The 
branches are thickly clothed with stiflT hairs. This is a 
very desirable species. 

The Common Locust, H. Pseudacacia, is a well-known 
ornamental tree, but its liability to be destroyed by 
borers, makes it useless to attempt its cultivation. A va- 
riety of it, H. crispa, has curiously contorted leaflets. 

ROSA.— Rose. 

[The ancient Latin name.] 

And first of all the rose ; because its breath 
Is rich beyond the rest ; and when it dies, 
It doth beqiieatli a charm to sweeten death." 


The Rose lias been a favorite flower from time imme- 
morial among the civilized nations of Europe and Asia. 
The Rose, in its wild state, is found in almost every coun- 
try in the temperate zones. We have a few species in 
New England, none of which have been taken in hand by 
the florist for improvement, but are sufiered to remain in 
their wild state for the pleasure of the botanist. 

This well-known and highly esteemed genus, embraces 
many distinct species, which, by the skill of the florist, 
have multiplied into thousands of varieties. They vary in 
height from one to twelve or fifteen feet, producing flow- 
ers, single, semi-double and double, and generally of ex- 
quisite fragrance. The colors are pure white, white-tint- 
ed, shaded, striped, or mottled ; every shade of red to 
purple, and all these shades and colors variously mixed ; 
also a few yellow varieties. There are no black Roses, 
although we sometimes hear of them. Such as are sold 
for Black Roses, are those of dark shades of purple or 
crimson. The foliage is also various in the diflerent spe- 
cies or varieties, but of a general character. They diifer 
also as to the aj^pendages to the plant, some having form- 
idable thorns, while others are entirely destitute. Some 
flower only once in the season — others are perpetual, or 
everblooming. Most are hardy, but many require protec- 
tion. It is a flower beloved by every one, not only in the 
present age, but has been in all ages past, and will, no 
doubt continue to be the most prominent and desirable 
flower as long as the world stands. It may, Vy ith propri- 
ety, be styled the Queen of Floioers. We have not space 
in this w^ork to do justice to its merits, and must refer our 
readers, for the details of its culture, and for a mass of 
valuable and interesting particulars, to a work published 
by S. B. Parsons, Esq., of Flushing, N". Y., a volume of 
280 pages, octavo, upon the Rose, which we heartily com- 
mend to all the lovers of this universal favorite. Mr. Par- 


sons treats of it historically, jDoetically, and scientifically, 
as well as in a practical manner. We must, of course, 
say something of the Rose ourselves poetically, — for who 
can dwell long upon this beautiful flower without some 
aspirations of this kind ? — but not having a faculty of 
soaring upon our own wings, we must cull fi-om others, 
and finding in a work entitled " Flora Domestical'' all we 
desire under this head, we give the following copious ex- 
tracts, which may not be unacceptable to a portion of our 
readers at least : — 

" The Rose is preeminently the flower of love and poetry, 
the very perfection of floral realities. Imagination may 
have flattered herself that her power could form a more 
perfect beauty ; but, it is said, she never yet discovered 
such to mortal eyes. This, however, she would persuade 
us to be a mere matter of delicacy, and that she had the 
authority of Apollo for her secret success : — 

No mortal eye can reach the flowers, 

And 't is light just, for well Apollo knows 

'T would make the poet quarrel with the Rose.' 

It is, however, determined, tliat until the claim of such 
veiled beauty, or beauties, shall rest upon better founda- 
tion, the Rose shall still be considered as the unrivalled 
Queen of flowers. 

* I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields, 
A fresh-blown Musk Rose.' 

"It IS said, however, that the angels possess a more 
beautiful kind of Rose than those we have on earth. 
David saw in a vision a number of angels pass by with 
gilded baskets in their hands. 

' Some as they went, the blue-eyed Violets strew, 
Some spotless Lilies in loose order threw ; 
Some (lid the way with full-blown Roses spread, 
Their smell divine, and color stransely red ; 
Not such as our dull gardens proudly wear, 
Wliotn weathers taint, and winds' rude kisses tear, 


Such, I believe, was the first Rose's hue, 
Which at God's word in beauteous Eden grew ; 
Queen of the flowers that made that orchard gay, 
Tiie morning biusiies of ihe spring's new day.' — Cowley. 

''The Rose, as well as the Myrtle, is considered as 
sacred to the Goddess of beauty. Berkley, in his Utopia, 
describes the lover as declaring his passion by presenting 
to the fair-beloved a Rose-bud just beginning to open ; if 
the lady accepted and wore the bud, she was supposed to 
favor his pretensions. As time increased the lover's affec- 
tions, he followed up the first present by that of a half- 
blown Rose, which was again succeeded by one full-blown ; 
and if the lady wore this last, she was considered as en- 
gaged for life. 

" Poetry is lavish of Roses ; it heaps them into beds, 
weaves them into crowns, twines them into arbors, forges 
them into chains, adorns with them the goblet used in the 
festivals of Bacchus, plants them in the bosom of beauty, 
— nay, not only delights to bring in the Rose itself upon 
every occasion, but seizes each particular beauty it posses- 
ses as an object of comparison with the loveliest works 
of nature : — as soft as a Rose-leaf; as sweet as a Rose ; 
rosy clouds ; rosy cheeks ; rosy lips ; rosy blushes ; rosy 
dawns, etc., etc. It is commonly united with the Lily : — 

' In the lime tliat the morning did strew Roses and Violets on the heavenly 
floor against the coming of the sun.' 

' A bed of Lilies flower upon her cheek, 
And in the midst was set a circling Rose.' 

'Rosed all in lovely crimson are thy cheeks, 
Where beauiies ever flourishing abide. 
And "as to pass his fellow eitlier seeks, 
Seem botli to blush at one another's pride' 

" The Red Rose is said to be indebted for its color to 
the blood which flowed from the thorn-wounded feet of 
Venus when running through the woods in despair for the 


loss of Adonis ; as the White Rose is also said to have 
sprung from the tears which the goddess shed upon that 
occasion. Ample reasons these for dedicating them to her.' 

' AVhite as the native Rose before the change, 
Which Venus' blood did in her leaves impress.' 

Anacreon tells us that it was dyed with nectar by the 
gods when it was first formed ; he speaks of it, too, as the 
flower of Bacchus : — ' 

' With nectar drops, a ruby tide, 
The sweetly orient buds they dyed, 
And bade them bloom ; the flowers divine 
Of him who sheds the teeming vine.' 

Some say they were dyed with the blood of Cupid and 

' 'T is said, as Cupid danced among 

The gods, he down the nectar flung ; 
Which, on the White Rose being shed, 
Made it forever after red.' 

But the general opinion is, that the Rose is indebted to 
Venus for its beautiful blushes. 

" Perhaps the most beautiful season of the Rose is when 
partly blown ; then too she still promises us a continuance 
of delight ; but, when full-blown, she inspires us with the 
fear of losing her. 

"Constance, expatiating on the beauty of her son, says : 

' Nature and fortune joined to make thee great; 
Of nature's gifts thou mayst with Lilies boast, 
And with the half-blown Rose.' 

" The bed of Roses is not altogether a fiction. ' The 
Roses of the Sinan Nile, or garden of the Nile, attached 
to the Emperor of Morocco's palace, are unequalled ; and 
mattresses are made of their leaves, for men of rank to re- 
cline upon.' 

"The Eastern poets have united the Rose with the 
nightingale ; the Venus of flowers with the Apollo of 


birds ; the Rose is supposed to burst forth from its bud at 
the song of the nightingale. 

" A festival is held in Persia, called the Feast of Roses, 
which lasts the whole time they are in bloom. 

'And all is ecstasy, for now 
The valley holds its Feast of Roses ; 
That joyous time when pleasures pour 
Profusely round, and in their shower 
Hearts open, like the season's Rose, — 
The flowret of a hundred leaves, 
Expanding while the dew-fall flows, 
And every leaf its oalm receives ! ' 

" ' Persia is the very land of Roses. — " On my first en- 
tering this bower of fairy land," says Sir Robert Kerr 
Porter; speaking of the garden of one of the royal palaces 
of Persia, "I was struck Avith the appearance of two Rose- 
trees, full fourteen feet high, laden with thousands of 
flowers, in every degree of expansion, and of a bloom and 
delicacy of sceut that imbued the whole atmosphere with 
exquisite perfume. Indeed, I believe that in no country 
in the world does the Rose grow in such perfection as in 
Persia ; in no country is it so cultivated and prized by the 
natives. Their gardens and courts are crowded by its 
plants, their rooms ornamented with vases filled with its 
gathered bunches, and every bath strewed with the full- 
blown flowers, plucked with the ever-replenished stems. 
* * * * But in this dehcious garden of Negaaristan, 
the eye and tlie smell are not the only senses regaled by 
the presence of the Rose. The ear is enchanted by the 
wild and beautiful notes of multitudes of nightingales, 
whose warblings seem to increase in melody and softness 
with the unfolding of their favorite flowers. Here, indeed, 
the stranger is more powerfully reminded that he is in the 
genuine country of the nightingale and the Rose." — 
{Persia in Miniature^ vol. iii.) 

"Sir William Ouseley, accompanied his brother, the am- 
bassador, on a visit to a man of high rank at Teheran; 

442 bkeck's new book of flowers. 

and though there was a great profusion of meat and fruit 
at this entertainment, 'it might,' he says, 'have been 
styled the Feast of Roses, for the floor of the great hall, 
or open-fronted talar^ was spread in the middle, and in the 
recess, with Roses forming the figures of cypress-trees ; 
Roses decorated all the candle-sticks, which were very 
numerous. The surface of the hawz^ or reservoir of wa- 
ter, was completely covered with rose-leaves, which also 
were scattered on the principal walks leading to the man- 

" He says that the surface of this reservoir was so en- 
tirely covered with rose-leaves, that the water was visible 
only when stirred by the air, and that the servants, during 
the entertainment, were continually scattering fresh Roses 
both upon the waters and the floor of the hall.* 

" We must not dismiss the subject of the Rose, without 
recalling to the minds of our readers those beautiful lines 
from Milton : — 

Eve separate he spies, 

Veiled in a cloud of fragrance where she stood, 
Half spied, so thick the Roses blushing round 
About her glowed ; oft stooping to support 
Each flower of tender stalk, whose head, though gay 
Carnation, purple, azure, or speck'd with gold. 
Hung drooping unsustained ; them slie upstays 
Gently with myrtle band, mindless the while 
Herself, though fairest unsupported flower. 
From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh.' 

" In two difierent poems, where Venus is represented, 
she has a crown of white and red flowers : — 

' 1 saw anone right her figure 
Nakid yfletyng in a se. 
And also on her liedde parde 
Her rosy garland white and redde.' 

' Then father Anoiiises decked a capacious bowl witli garlands, and filled it 
up with wine.' — \UavidsorCs Translation.) 

See Sir W. Ouseley's Travels in the East, vol. iii., pp. 352 and 353. 


" ' To crown the bowl,' says Mr. Davidson, ' sometimes 
signifies no more than to fill the cup to the brim ; but 
here it is to be taken literally for adorning the bowl with 
flowers, according to the ancient custom. Otherwise, 
implemtque mero would be mere tautology.' Horace re- 
peatedly speaks of crowning the bowl with Roses. 

" The Romans were at great expense to procure Roses 
in winter ; Suetonius affirms that Nero spent upwards of 
4,000,000 of sesterces, about thirty thousand pounds, for 
Roses, at one supper. Horace alludes to this custom in 
his thirty-eighth Ode, Book i. 

• Seek not for late-blowing Roses ; I ask no other crown than simple Myrtle. 

" It is said that the Turks cannot endure to see a Rose- 
leaf fall to the ground, because says Gerarde, ' some of 
them have dreamed that the first Rose sprang from the 
blood of Venus.' 

"It may, perhaps, be worth while to quote Gerarde's 
translation of a passage from Anacreon, rather for its cu- 
riosity than beauty : — 

' The Rose is the honor and beauty of flowers, 
The Rose is the care and tiie love of the spring, 
The Rose is the pleasure of th' heavenly powers ; 
The boy of fair Venus. Cythera's darling, 
Doth wrap his head round with garlands of Rose, 
When to the dances of the Graces he goes.' 

" Many species of the Rose preserve their sweet per- 
fume even after death ; as the poet observes in the follow- 
ing passage : — 

' And first of all, tlie Rose ; because its breath 
Is rich beyond the rest ; and when it dies. 
It doth bequeatii a charm to sweeten death.' 

" The very essence of this sweet perfume is extracted 
from the flowers ; and the attar of Roses is dearer than 
gold : — 


♦ The Rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem 
For that sweet odor which doth in it live. 
The canker blooms have full as deep a dye 
As the perfumed tincture of the Roses, 
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly, 
When summer's breath tlieir masked buds discloses. 
But, for their virtue only is their siiovv^. 
They live unmoved, and unrespected fade ; 
Die to themselves ; sweet Roses do not so ; 
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odors made.' " 

*'The Moss Rose, or Moss Provence Hose, is well-known 
as an elegant plant. The flowers are deeply colored, and 
the rich mossiness which surrounds them, gives them a 
luxuriant appearance not easily described ; but it is famil- 
iar to every one. It is a fragrant flower ; its country is 
not known to us, and we know it only as a double flower. 

" The origin of its mossy vest has been explained to us 
by a German writer : — 

' The angel of the flowers one day 
Beneath a Rose-tree sleeping lay : 
That spirit to wliose charge is given 
To bathe young buds in dews from heaven ; 
Awaking from his light repose, 
The angel whispered to the Rose : 
' O fondest object of my care, 
Still fairest found where all are fair. 
For the sweet sliade thou'st given to me, 
Ask what thou wilt, 't is granted thee.' 
' Then,' said the Rose, with deepened glow, 
' On me another grace bestow.' 
Tiie spirit paused in silent thought ; 
What grace w as there that flower had not ! 
' T was but a moment ; — o'er the Rose 
A veil of moss the angel throws; 
And, robed in nature's simplest weed. 
Could there a flower that Rose exceed ? ' " 

We now proceed to give some practical instruction in 
relation to the Rose. 

Soil. — Roses will succeed well in any good garden soil, 
but to have them in perfection, it is necessary that the 
soil be well enriched and deeply dug. The Rose, like the 
vine, is a gross feeder, and is not injured by heavy ma- 


nuring. In a poor, lean, shallow soil, it is impossible to 
bring out the beauties of any variety of the Rose. A 
strong, rich loam, or vegetable mould, with about one 
quarter of its bulk of well decomposed stable manure, is 
recommended by Pai'sons as a standard for the quality 
of the soil in which to grow the Rose ; and if the soil of 
the garden, where the Rose is to be j^lanted, diifers ma- 
terially from this, the requisite materials should be added, 
that it may approach as near as possible to that standard. 
In my own experience, I have found that the more ma- 
nure, if not an extravagant quantity, the better the bloom ; 
but, in addition to the quality and richness of the soil, a 
good depth is absolutely necessary. My general practice 
is to plant out Roses in beds, which, for all the hardy 
Roses, I prefer to do in November. First, the ground 
should be trenched two spades deep, and a liberal supply 
of stable, barnyard, or night-soil manure, with bone-dust 
incorporated with it, as the digging proceeds, but not 
buried too deep. I have not been very particuliar as to the 
quantity or quality of the manure. After the ground is 
settled, the Roses may be planted. Four feet each way 
is about the proper distance to plant the different varieties 
of Roses, in the rosary. 

Rivers recommends, as the best comjDOst for Roses, rot- 
ten dung and pit sand for cold, clayey soils ; and for warm, 
dry soils, rotten dung and cool loams. He finds that 
night-soil, mixed with the drainings of the dunghill, or 
even with common ditch or pond water, so as to make a 
thick liquid, the best jjossible manure for Roses, poured on 
the surface of soil twice in the winter, one or two gallons to 
each tree. In our climate, it may be applied in Novem- 
ber and in April. In my beds of established Roses, I 
cause manure from the stable to be applied to the surface 
of the ground about the bushes, in November, Avhich 
serves as a protection ; some of the tender sorts are fast- 


ened down and covered with the same. As soon as the 
ground is in a fit state to dig, in the spring, this manure is 
carefully incorporated with the surfoce soil, but not so as 
to injure the fibres or roots of the plants. A wet, reten- 
tive soil is injurious to the Rose, as I have found by sad 
experience ; but in a rich, dry loam, my labors have been 
amply rewarded. 

When Roses are to be planted out singly, as many of 
the climbing sorts are, the soil should be dug out two and 
a half feet deep ; the bottom may be filled, to the depth 
of six inches, with small stones, or, what is better, with 
bones, and then filled up with prepared soil. 

Situation. — The Rose will flourish in any situation 
where the soil is well prepared ; but it is best to plant the 
Rose where it can be shaded from the intensity of the 
mid-day sun. If it can be so located as to receive the 
morning and evening sun, and shaded during its greatest 
heat, the bloom will be more perfect, and continue longer. 
Some varieties are very delicate, and their blossoms are 
almost ruined by a full exposure. An eastern or northern 
exposure is, therefore, the best. Roses should not, how- 
ever, be wholly shaded. 

Planting. — The best season for planting all the hardy 
Roses, as before stated, is in autumn ; or, if necessary to 
defer till spring, it should be done as early as possible. 
If planted late in the spring, it will be best to cut the 
plants down to a few buds. Any time, after the first 
severe frost, is a proper time to commence j^lanting. The 
plants should be taken up with great care, disturbing the 
roots as little as possible, remembering that the breakhig 
of a single fibre diminishes the strength of the growth 
and future prosperity of the plant. Presuming that the 
ground is all ready, the holes should be dug somewhat 
larger than the roots. When the planting is completed, 
the plant should stand but a very little lower in the ground 


than it stood before. The operation of placing the roots 
and fibres should be done with the nicest care. In my fall 
planting, I place the plant in an oblique direction, so that 
the plants may be easily bent down and covered. Fall- 
jDlanted Roses are liable to be more or less winter-killed, 
which is prevented, if covered with coarse litter, or manure. 

We have seen Pillar Roses, in the grounds of Mr. 
Charles Hoffman, of Salem, — which, without protection, 
are liable to be killed down to within two or three feet of 
the ground, — grown in great magnificence, forming beau- 
tiful pyramids of Roses from twelve to fifteen feet high. 
We had never seen the Pillar Rose in such perfection. 
They were the same varieties which in our own ground 
did not exceed more than five or six feet, as the greater 
part of the new wood is every winter killed down. We 
were informed that the supports to which these Roses 
were trained, consisting of nothing more than three or 
four strong spruce poles, were taken away in autumn, and 
the plants laid down and covered with earth, or coarse 
manure. The only time to plant tender Roses, as fiir 
north as Boston, is in the spring. The China, Bengal, and 
Tea Roses may be grown in the open ground, in New 
England, if they are taken up in autumn. They may be 
kept in a dry, cool cellar, with the roots packed in loam or 
sand ; or they may be laid in by the heels, on a dry knoll, 
and covered with earth, where they will remain secure till 
spring. In planting them out, they should be cut down 
to a few buds, and they will bloom after the summer Roses 
have passed away, provided the roots were taken up well- 
In replanting Roses, the roots should be carefully exam- 
ined, and all broken or bruised parts should be cut off with 
a sharp knife. 

A young, healthy plant is much better than one that is 
old and overgroAvn, to plant out ; indeed, old plants should 
be rejected. 


Plantations of Roses should be made to succeed each 
other. In the second and third years after planting, the 
Rose will be in its greatest perfection. After the plants 
become old, they do not do so well ; and I have found, in 
my own experience, that five years was long enough to 
contmue a plantation. It is best then to prepare a new 
place, or, in fact, it should be prepared, and the new plan- 
tation made, a year before the old one is given up, as a 
general and perfect bloom cannot be expected the first 

It is becoming fashionable, at the present time, to j^lant 
out Roses in masses, which have a fine efiect, where the 
white, the crimson, or other distinct colors, are planted 
by themselves. Many of the strong-growing sorts are 
suitable for planting with other shrubs in the shrubbery. 

Pruning. — Roses, in tliis climate, should be j^runed 
early in the spring. For Roses that are grown as dwarfs, 
it is necessary to prune them down to a few buds ; all the 
old wood, and the weak, last year's growth, should be 
taken entirely away. The young wood generally produces 
the finest flowers, which, when properly pruned, are larger 
and much more double than when the bushes are suffered 
to grow at random. 

In pruning climbing Roses, the operation must be dif- 
ferent, as it is necessary to retain the whole length of the 
most vigorous shoots, cutting out all the old Avood that 
will not be likely to produce fine flowers, and pruning 
down the lateral branches to one eye. The manner of 
pruning must, in a measure, depend upon the variety of 
the Rose, and more particularly upon the style in which it 
is to be trained. This must be left to the ingenuity and 
taste of the cultivator ; and whether it is to be trained to 
a trellis, over an arch, pillar, or in whatever shape it is 
wanted, the proper way will generally suggest itself. 

Propagation. — The Rose is propagated in various A^^ays. 


Some varieties succeed well by cuttings, as the China and 
many of the tender Roses ; but, with most of the hardy 
kinds, this is only resorted to by skillful gardeners. 

By Layers. — All the summer-blooming Roses may be 
propagated in this way. It can be performed in mid- 
summer, and for several weeks afterwards. Young shoots, 
at least one foot long and well matured, should be selected 
for this purpose. The mode of operation is the same as 
in all shrubby plants. The soil should be well dug about 
the plant, and increased by a little fresh loam, well en- 
riched with rotten manure, raised about it, so as to form 
a little bed. Proceed, then, with the usual process of 
layering, "by making a slit with a sharp knife just below 
a bud, making a slanting cut, upwards and lengthwise, 
about half through the branch, forming a tongue from one 
to two inches long, on the back part of the shoot, right 
opposite the bud. A chip, or some of the soil, can be 
placed in the slit to prevent it from closing, and the shoot 
can then be carefully laid and pegged down at a j^oint 
some two or three inches below the cut, keeping, at the 
same time, the top of the shoot some three or four inches 
out of the ground, and making it fast to a small stake to 
keep it upright." The prepared shoot should be buried 
about three or four inches deep. Great care will be ne- 
cessary to prevent the branch from injury. The ground 
over the layer should be covered with moss, or coarse ma- 
nure, or some substance to screen it from the sun. Li 
some varieties, the layers will be sufficiently rooted in au- 
ituinn; but in many kinds, j^articularly the hardy perpet- 
uals, they will not be sufficiently established to separate 
from the parent plant till the autumn following the year 
in which they were laid. 

By Suckers. — Many varieties of Roses are inclined to 
throw up suckers. With these sorts there is no difficulty 
in increasing the stock. These should be taken off with 

450 breck's new book of flowers. 

as much root as possible, every autumn, and planted out 
in nursery rows, or where they are to remain, if strong 
plants. The parent plant is also very much benefited by 
this operation. 

JBuddifig. — All the varieties of the Rose can be prop- 
agated by budding, and, to increase new and rare varieties, 
this mode is always resorted to. There are some sorts, 
naturally weak, which flower much more perfectly when 
budded on some strong-growing species ; but we hate a 
budded Rose-bush, and will not have one in our own 
grounds, if we can get them on their own roots. It re- 
quires much care and attention to keep them in order, as 
the stock is continually throwing up suckers, which draw 
all the nourishment from the budded variety. Where 
there are but few varieties, and a skillful gardener to look 
after the plants, there is no doubt but that it is desirable 
to have some upon strong-growing stocks. We were not 
a little amused, a few years since, upon a visit at the 
house of a horticultural friend, who, by the Avay, was 
better acquainted with the management of his fruit trees 
than he was with the flower-garden. His garden was well 
laid out and kept very neat. He was taking me around to 
show the various plants, and getting what information 
he could out of one he supposed knew more than lie did 
about them. Presently he came to a wilderness of the 
French Dog Roses. " There," says he, " is a lot of the 
choicest Roses that could be obtained in France." " In- 
deed,'' says I, "they certainly look very vigorous." 
" They do, to be sure," he replied ; " but somehow or 
other, they look very much alike, and the few that flow- 
ered this year were very single." " That is very prob- 
able," I replied, " for Dog Roses have great resemblance 
to each other, and ai-e always single." Great was his sur- 
])rise, when I convinced him that the Roses he had im- 
ported and cultivated with so much care, were only 


suckers from the stocks on which his imported Roses 
were budded. He had jDlanted them out, suj^posing they 
were on their own roots, and had not perceived the neces- 
sity of keeping down the suckers. 

Tree Moses. — The Tree Rose is a beautiful object when 
in bloom. It is formed by budding the desired variety 
upon a standard, some four or five feet in height, gener- 
ally the Dog Rose, as it is called in France, or the Eglan- 
tine. Many have been imported from France, and succeed 
well the first or second year ; but from some cause they 
soon die. Either the severity of our wmters, or our pow- 
erful summer's sun, causes their death. 

New varieties are produced from seed raised from flow- 
ers, which have been crossed with others of opposite 
characters; but none but amateurs will attemi^t this, so 
this mode of propagation will not be dwelt upon. 

Of the diseases of the Rose, and of the insects that in- 
fest it, we shall have something to say in another place. 


On the subject of Classification of Roses, there has 
been much difiiculty and confusion among amateurs ; and 
even Rivers himself, one of the most correct of Rose 
amateurs in England, remarks : " Within the last ten 
years, how many plants have been named and unnamed, 
classed and unclassed! Professor A. placing it here, and 
Dr. B. placing it there ! I can almost imagine Dame 
Nature laughing in her sleeve, when our philosophers are 
thus puzzled. TVell, so it is, in a measure, with Roses ; a 
variety has often equal claims on two classes. First im- 
pressions have placed it in one, and there rival amateurs 
should let it remain." 

We are pleased with Mr. Parsons' classification, as be- 
ing the most simj^le of any we have seen, and also as 
distinctive as possible, in a family so intermixed as the dif- 
ferent varieties or species appear to be. 

452 breck's new book of flowers. 

After speaking of the great confusion that has arisen in 
Kose nomenclature, he says : — 

" If there exists, then, this doubt of the proper class to 
which many Roses belong, we think it would be better to 
drop entirely this sub-classification, and adopt some more 
general heads, under one of which every Rose can be 
classed. It may often be difficult to ascertain whether a 
Rose is a Damask, a Provence, or a Hybrid China ; but 
there can be no difiiculty in ascertaining whether it is 
dwarf or climbing, whether it blooms once or more in the 
year, and whether the leaves are rough as in the Remon- 
tants, or smooth as in the Bengals. We have, therefore, 
endeavored to simplify the old classification, and have 
placed all Roses under tliree principal heads, viz. : 

" I. Those that make distinct and separate periods of 
bloom throughout the season, as the Remontant Roses. 

"II. Those that bloom continually, without any tem- 
porary cessation, as the Bourbon, China, etc. 

" III. Those that bloom only once in the season, as the 
French and others. 

"The first of these includes only the present Damask 
and Hybrid Perpetuals, and for these we know no term so 
expressive as the French Remontant. Perpetual does 
not express their true character. 

"The second general head we call Everhlooming. This 
is divided into five classes : 

"1. The Bourbon^ Avhich are easily known by their 
luxuriant growth, and thick, large, leathciy leaves. These 
are not perfectly hardy in New England. 

"2. The Ghina^ which includes the present China, Tea, 
and Noisette Roses, which are now much confused, as 
there are many among the Teas, which are not tea-scent- 
ed, and among the Noisettes which do not bloom in clus- 
ters. They are, moreover, so much alike in their growth 
and habit, that it is better each sliould stand upon its own 


merits, and not on the characteristics of an imaginary 

" 3. MiisJc^ known by its rather rougher foUage. 

"4. Macartney^ known by its very rich, glossy foliage, 
almost evergreen. 

"5. Mieropliylla^ easily distinguished by its peculiar 
foliage and straggling habit. 

" The third general head we divide into five classes : 

" 1. Garden Moses. — This includes all the present French, 
Provence, Hybrid Provence, Hybrid China, Hybrid Bour- 
bon, White, and Damask Roses, many of which, under 
the old arrangement, differ more from others in their own 
class than from many in another class. 

" 2. Moss Boses^ all of which are easily distinguished. 

" 3. Brier Boses, which Avill include the Sweet Brier, 
Hybrid Sweet Brier, and Austrian Brier. 

" 4. The Scotch Bose. 

"5. Climbing Bose ; which are again divided into all 
the distinctive subdivisions." 


Bemontant Boses. — " The term Remontant," says Mr. 
Parsons, "signifying, literally, to grow again, we have 
chosen to designate this class of Roses, there being no 
word in our language equally expressive. They were 
formerly called Damask and Hybrid Perpetuals, but are 
distinguished by their peculiarity of distinct and separate 
periods of bloom. They bloom with the other Roses in 
early summer, then cease for a while, then make a fresh 
bloom, and thus through the summer and autumn, differ- 
ing entirely from the Bourbon and Bengal Roses, which 
grow and bloom continually through the summer." This 
class of Roses require longer time to establish themselves 
from layers than any others, as they are not often fit to 
detach from the old plant till tlie second year. Budding 

454 breck's new book of flowers. 

is resorted to for extensive propagation with tliis class. 
Some of the varieties, when grown upon their own roots, 
do not do justice to themselves ; but when worked on 
strong-growing stocks, grow much more luxuriantly, and 
give more perfect flowers. Mr. Parsons has described 
two hundred varieties of Roses from the various classes 
of those sorts he thinks most desirable for the amateur to 
select from. There are but few persons who will be disr 
posed to cultivate that number. His selection is a very 
choice one^ and I should hardly know myself which to re- 
ject. Fifty varieties, well chosen from the various classes, 
are as many as most persons, unless they have money 
enough and to spare, would be likely to cultivate ; and 
the great majority would probably be happy to possess 
half that number. 

Everhloommg Roses. — These Roses are distinguished 
from the Remontant, by blooming continually through the 
season, without any temporary cessation. They include 
the Bourbon, the Bengal and its sub-varieties, the Tea 
and Noisette, the Musk, the Macartney, and the Micro- 
phylla Roses." 

The Everblooming Roses are very desirable, wherever 
the climate renders it possible to preserve them through 
the Avinter. As fir north as Boston, the greater part of 
them can only be cultivated to perfection in the green- 
house, but further south, they endure the winter, even, 
without protection. 

Bourbon Roses. — This section of the Everblooming 
Roses has not succeeded in my own grounds. Mr. Par- 
sons says they are perfectly hardy with him, (Long 
Island,) which is much warmer than in this State. Pie 
says, in speaking of it as having superior qualities to tlie 
Tea-scented Rose, " These qualities are, its perfect hard- 
iness, its very tliick, leathery foliage, its luxuriant growth, 
its constant bloora, and its thick, velvety petals of a con- 


sistency to endure even the burning heat of a tropical 

China Hoses. — This class of Roses we must set down 
as the proper inhabitants of the green-house, in this sec- 
tion of the country ; although, by planting in frames, tak- 
ing up the plants and laying them in the ground in a dry 
place, or preserving them in a dry, cool cellar, they will 
do very well to plant out in the spring, and make a fine 
bloom after the summer Roses have passed away. Mr. 
Parsons remarks, that, " next to the Bourbon, this is per- 
haps the most valuable class of Roses ; but in this climate 
they need protection from the cold. This, however, can 
be easily afibrded by salt hay, or straw." I have tried 
to keep this class of Roses in the open ground, by protec- 
tion of all kinds, but unfortunately their location was 
rather too wet in winter ; perhaps, in a dry, loamy soil, 
they would succeed better. Further south, this is a most 
desirable class for out-door culture. 

Tea and Noisette Roses. — What has been said in rela- 
tion to the tenderness of the China Roses, will apply to 
the Tea and Noisette Roses. "The Tea and Noisette 
Roses have been generally classed distinct from the China." 
" They are, however, but varieties of the latter ; and there 
is so much confusion in the old classification, that the ama- 
teur is frequently misled. Many of the Roses now clas- 
sed among the China, have a strong tea scent, and many 
of the present Tea Roses have very little fragrance. The 
characteristic of the Noisette Rose is understood to be 
its cluster-blooming habit." The Southern States must be 
the congenial climate for the whole class of China and Tea 
Roses. The author of the work already alluded to, how- 
ever, says, " Tliey will endure our winters, with the ther- 
meter at zero, but it is better to protect them by means 
of straw and hay, or by boards upon low stakes. Perhaps 
the least troublesome Avay of protecting them, is to have 

456 breck's xew book of flowers. 

one or more hot-bed frames, six feet by twelve, and about 
a foot and a half or two feet deep. This can be set sev- 
eral inches in the ground, and litter of any kind placed 
around the sides. The Roses can be carefully taken up, 
and planted in this frame as thick as they will stand. The 
top can then be covered with boards, a little slanting, to 
carry off the rain, and the plants wall be sufficiently pro- 
tected. If the weather is severe, some litter can also be 
placed on the top." This class of Roses is so desirable, 
that if, by any means, they can be protected without the 
expense of a green-house, it will be a great desideratum. 

Musk Roses. — The Musk Rose stands pretty w^ell here, 
in a warm, dry situation, but, in wet ground, rather ten- 
der. In the latitude of Long Island, Mr. Parsons says it 
is quite hardy, having a plant of the old White Musk, 
that has braved the severity of more than twenty winters, 
in his grounds. "It has already, this season, made shoots 
of more than six feet ; and in our Southern States more 
than double the growth would probably be attained." It 
produces its flowers m lai-ge clusters. We are familiar 
with the old white cluster, which commences flowermg 
late, and continues till cold weather. Other fine varieties 
are, Eponine, and Princess of Xassau. 

Mfxcartney Roses. — " This Rose was brought from 
China to England, by Lord Macartney, in 1793. Its habit 
is luxuriant, and its foliage is more beautifiil than of any 
other Rose, its leaves being thick, and of a rich glossy- 
green." As to hardiness, it is about the same as the 
China Rose. " It is one of the most desirable Roses for 
beds or borders. When covering the whole ground, and 
kept well pegged down, its rich, glossy foliage, gemmed 
with fragrant flowers, produces a fine effect." 

Microphylla Roses. — " This Rose came originally from 
the Himalayan Mountains, and was brought to Europe in 



The time of dowering of this class of Roses is in June, 
and tliev are therefore frequently called June Roses. The 
class includes many varieties, most of them hybrids, 
raised by cross impregnation between the various species, 
and are arranged uiider^ the heatls of French, Provence, 
Damask, Hybrid Damask, Wiiite, Hybrid Bourbon, Hy- 
brid China, etc. etc. All of this class are hardy, or nearly 
so. Some of the Hybrid China and Bourbon are a little 
tender, and will sometimes suifer in the young wood, but 
not much more of the Avood will be injured, than would 
have been necessary to prune otf m the spring. For se- 
lections from these sections of the Rose family, I must re- 
fer the reader to the catalogues of the nurserymen, as it is 
next to impossible to point out from the innumerable va- 
rieties in cultivation, such as would suit all tastes. There 
is a greater diversity and more brilliancy of color among 
the June Roses, than in any other class. Every shade of 
color may be found in flowers, from a pure white, 
blush, rose, red, crimson, to dark-purple, some shades ap- 
proach to a scarlet ; also shaded, mottled, and striped, 
with various sliades and colors. All are more or less fra- 
grant, and some of them pre-eminently so. 

Moss JRoscs. — This is a well-known and elegant class of 
Roses, of which the connnon ^[oss is about the only one 
that is very tamiliar. The Luxembourg Moss has dark 
crimson- cupped flowers, and is a vigorous grower. Per- 
petual White Moss is handsome only in bud. It produces 
a large cluster of beautiful mossy buds, but the flowers 
are inferior. It is not properly a perpetual, but produces 
a long succession of buii^. The White Bath Moss has 
flue wliite flowers, which are sometimes lightly striped 
with pink. 

Princess Adelaide is one of the most vigorous-growing 
Moss Roses, and one of the varieties we recommend. 

458 breck's new book op flowers. 

Cristata, or crested, is a singular and beautiful variety. 
Excepting when in bud, it does not have the appearance 
of a Moss Rose. The calyx has a beautiful crested appear- 
ance. "In a rich soil, this fringe-like crest most beauti- 
fully clasps and surmounts the bud, and gives the rich 
clusters a truly elegant appearance. Its form is globular, 
and its color rose." 

Scotch Moses. — This class of Hoses are distinguished 
by their small leaves, prickly stems, abundant bloom, del- 
icate habits, early bloom. They flower about two weeks 
before the summer Roses. They are suitable for growing 
in masses, or borders, and the shrubbery. The original, 
from which all the varieties sprang, was found growing 
Avild in Scotland and the north of England. In some of 
the catalogues two or three hundred varieties are describ- 
ed, but many of them are so near alike, it would be diffi- 
cult to see the difference. 

Brier Roses. — " These Roses are distinguished by their 
small, rough foliage, and brier-like habit. They include 
the Sweet Brier, the Hybrid Sweet Brier, and the Austrian 
Brier." The Sweet Brier or Eglantine is generally sup- 
j^osed to be indigenous, as it is found growing plentifully 
on road-sides, and in pastures ; but it is believed by botan- 
ists to have been imported from England, and has been 
extensively disseminated by birds, who feed upon its 
abundant fruit, or hips, as they are called. The botanical 
name is JR. ruhiginosa. A plant of this species should 
find a place in every collection of shrubs, on account of 
the agreeable strong perfume of the flowers, and also of 
the leaves, when rubbed, or when wet, with dew or rain. 
The plant is armed with sharp-hooked prickles. In rich 
soil, new shoots will sometimes attain the height of eight 
or ten feet. These new shoots form the flowerhig stems 
for the next season. The old wood should be cut out ev- 
ery spring. The delicate Eglantine has scarcely been less 


honored by the poets, than the more luxuriant Roses. It 
is usually coupled with the European Woodbine, as the Lily 
with the Rose, etc. 

" Shenstone, in describing the delights of a country 
Avalk, after long confinement in sickness, makes particular 
mention of the fragrant pair." 

« Come gentle air ! and while the thickets bloom, 
Convey the Jasmine's breath divine ; 
Convey tlie Woodbine's ricii perfume, 
Nor spare the sweet-leaved Eglantine." 

"The Eglantine boasts that even in winter she has 

" Though of both leaf and flower bereft, 
Some ornaments to me are left — 
Rich store of scarlet liips are mine." 

*' Keats alludes more than once to the sweet perfume 
of the Eglantine, when moist, with rain or dew." 

" Its sides I'll plant with dew-sweet Eglantine 
And Honeysuckles full of clear bee wine" 

The Double Yellow Provence Rose is sujDposed to have 
had its origin from the Austrian Brier. It is an old inhab- 
itant of some gardens, but a very shy bloomer, showing 
its flowers very sparingly, and, some years, none. We 
have seen the bushes bending with their load of flowers. 
They are large, very double, of a pale-yellow. On account 
of its peculiar habits, it is not worth its room in the gar- 
den. Copper Austrian " is a very singular-looking Rose, 
blooming well in this climate, is of a coppery-red, and the 
outside inclining to pale-yellow, or sulpliur." It has single 
flowers, but they are truly beautiful. The Yellow Harri- 
son Rose was considered a great acquisition, a few years 
since, but this is now entirely eclipsed by the Persian 
Yellow. Its flowers are more double, and of a more bril- 
liant yellow, than the Harrison ; and this is the only hardy 

460 breck's new book of flowers. 

yellow Rose we know of, really worth growing, except 
the Copper Austrian. The flowers of the Austrian Roses 
are produced on short joints all along the stem ; they will 
not, therefore, bear nuich pruning, 

"Double-margined Hip is a Plybrid Sweet Brier, of lux- 
uriant growtli, ahnost adai)ted to a pillar. Its form is cup- 
peel, and its color creamy-white, sliaded with pink." 

Climbing Moses. — The Climbing Roses may be divided 
into four or five sub-classes, viz. : Boursalt, Ayrshire, 
Prairie, Hybrid China, Noisette or Bourbon, and Miscel- 
laneous. In the Miscellaneous class, the old-fashioned 
Cinnamon may be placed, not knowing where else to put 
it ; and it should most assuredly have a place somewhere, 
"for auld lang syne," if nothing more. It deserves a 
place in the shrubbery, on account of its early flowering 
and bloom. It opens its blossoms the last of May, 
in this climate, and, with a little attention, will make a 
bush ten or twelve feet high. 

Boursalt Roses. — The Boursalt Roses come next in 
bloom after the Cinnamon. They are all desirable on ac- 
count of their hardy character and vigorous growth. 
"Their smooth bark renders them desirable for stocks to 
bud upon." For the extreme North, this whole class, 
next to the Prairie, are the most desirable for pillars and 

Amadis is one of the handsomest of the Boursalt Roses, 
producing its large purplish-crimson flowers in pendulous 

For distant effect, the Common Purple Boursalt is not 
without its merits. The flowers are semi-double, but are 
produced in immense numbers ; and, then, it is very hardy. 

Do Lesle, or Blush Boursalt. — Tliis is one of the earliest 
of the sub-class, producing large blush flowers, Avith a 
deep rose center, and perfectly double. All the Boursalts 
have quite smooth stems, but none more so than the Thorn- 


less Rose, which comes into bloom soon after the Cinna- 
mon. Its stems are perfectly smooth ; it makes a stout 
bush, ten or twelve feet high, and is covered with a pro- 
fusion of pretty pink Roses. This is suitable for the 
shrubbery. The Old. White Rose makes a handsome bush 
for training. The flowers are semi-double, of a fine rose- 
white, and, when properly managed, in rich soil, will grow 
twelve to fifteen feet high. 

Prairie Roses. — Samuel Feast, Esq., of Baltimore, has 
the honor of originating the first Prairie Rose, — the 
Queen of the Prairies^ — for which the Massachusetts 
Horticultural Society awarded him their large gold medal, 
as a special premium. This is the type of a new class of 
hardy Roses, and proves to be a most valuable acquisition 
for the North, it being as hardy as the oak. The tribe 
bloom after the summer Roses are passed. 

Queen of the Prairies is a most superb variety of Posa 
setigera, a native of the West, sometimes known as the 
Michigan Rose. This is Mr. Feast's first seedling, and 
considered by some the best. The flowers are of a deep 
rose color, with a white strij^e in the center of each petal. 
They have a peculiar globular, cup-shaped form. This 
variety is the most luxuriant grower of any of the class, 
making a surprising growth in rich soil. The flowers of 
all the varieties are produced in clusters. 

Baltimore Belle. — The flowers are a pale, waxy blush, 
almost white, very double, in large clusters ; like the other 
perfectly hardy. 

Rosa superba, has j)ale, delicate blush blooms, in large 
clusters, the flowers not so large as the Baltimore Belle. 

Perpetual Pink, produces flowers in great profusion, 
which continue in long succession ; rather small, but in 
clusters, varying from light-pink to purple. In addition to 
those described there are many other varieties equally de- 
sirable, and new sorts are produced every year. This 


class of Roses lack one important quality, that is, fragrance. 

Ayrshire Hoses, — This family of Roses are great ram- 
blers, producing a long, slender, luxuriant growth ; but, 
in a northern climate, they cannot be relied on as being 
perfectly hardy, unless laid down and covered over. They 
produce very pretty flowers, in clusters, mostly white. 
They are desirable for covering " unsightly places, old 
buildings and decayed trees." " The Ayrshire Roses are 
also valuable for weeping trees. When budded on some 
stock eight or ten feet high, the branches quickly reach 
the ground, and protecting the stem by their close foliage, 
present a w^eeping tree of great beauty, loaded with flow- 

One of the most desirable varieties is the Dundee 
Rambler; flowers in large clusters, white, edged Avith 
pink, and the double blush. 

Hybrid China^ Moiirhons,, etc. — Of this class there are 
many varieties, suitable for pillars, or poles, but which it 
will be the safest course to be careful of in the winter, in 
the New England States. In climbing Roses, length is 
an important feature; and if these hybrids are left 
Avithout protection, they may lose a large portion of the 
new wood, unless laid down and covered cover. Rivers's 
George the Fourth is a Hybrid China ; grows about ten 
feet high; flowers large, of a very rich crimson color. 
This is also a fine dwarf Rose, when pruned down, and, 
like most of the Hybrid China Roses, stands perfectly 
well ii\ the open ground, but the tops are always winter- 
killed here. 

Belle Theresa. — Hybrid Cluna. — A rampant grower, 
wnth rich dark purple-crimson flowers, in clusters, under 
medium size. 

Fulgens. — Hybrid China, — has beautiful l)right scarlet- 
cupped flowers. 

Gloire de Rosemene. — Bourbon. — This fine Rose gives 


a succession of fine bright crimson-scarlet flowers, but 
rather tender. 

Brennus. — Hybrid China, — has large bright scarlet-crim- 
son flowers. 

Blanchfleur. — Hybrid China. — Pure white ; of a very 
double and compact form, and an abundant bloomer ; 
about six feet high. 

Madame d'Arblay. — Hybrid climber, of great luxuri- 
ance, flowers white ; too tender for the North. 

La Tourterelle, or Dove Rose, — Hybrid China, — a very 
luxuriant grower, but succeeds well as a dwarf Rose, 
when pruned down. The flowers are large, cup-shaped, 
of a purplish-lilac or dove color. 

Phillipar. — Noisette, or Bourbon, — admired for its pro- 
fusion, and peculiar rosy-lilac hue of the flowers, blooming 
without intermission from June to November. 

Of the Hybrid Perpetual Roses, suitable for training, 
are Madame Laflay, blooming three or four times in the 
season, with bright rosy flowers; Prince Albert, with 
large flowers, of a rich crimson color and perfect shape ; 
and Youland d'Arragon, with fine, deep flowers. There 
are some of this class that can be made to grow in rich 
grounds five to six feet high. 

In planting climbing Roses, they should always be cut 
down to within a few inches of the ground, as it is import- 
ant to get a clean, vigorous growth for the next year's 
bloom. Another important matter is, to dig the ground 
deep and have it thoroughly enriched. A third is, in prun- 
ing. The w^ood of climbing Roses does not produce so 
fine flowers after it is two years old. It is necessary, 
therefore, to encourage the growth of one or more new 
shoots every year, cutting out the old wood as fast as 
there is new to supply its place. The lateral branches are 
to be pruned in, while the main stems are to be kept the 
whole leno^th. 

464 breck's new book of flowers. 

We had almost forgot the Multiflora Hose^ a class dis- 
tinct from those already named ; they produce flowers in 
large clusters, but rather small. Some of the varieties are, 
the Cottage Rose, Laure Davoust, Garland, etc. In New 
England they are all rather tender. 

In closing our remarks on Roses, we cannot refrain from 
giving Gerarde's account of it some two hundred and fifty 
years ago. His mode of classification was, among thorny 
plants. " This plant of Roses, though it be a shrub full 
of prickles, yet it had been more fit and convenient to 
have placed it with the most glorious flowers of the world, 
than to insert the same here, among base and thorny 
shrubs, for the Rose doth deserve the chiefest and most 
principled place among all flowers whatsoever, being not 
only esteemed for its beauty, vertues, and his fragrant, 
odoriferous smell, but also because it is the honour and or- 
nament of our English sceptre, as by the conjunction ap- 
peareth in the uniting of those two most royal houses of 
Lancaster and York. * * * * The Holland, or Provence 
Rose, hath divers shoots, proceeding from a woody root, 
full of sharp prickles, dividing itself into divers branches, 
whereon do grow leaves, consisting of five leaves set upon 
a single mid-rib, and those snip about the edges ; the flow- 
ers do grow on the tops of the branches, in shape and 
color like the Damask Rose, but greater and more double, 
insomuch that the yellow chives in the middle are hard to 
be seen ; of a reasonable good smell, but not full so sweet 
as the common Damask Rose ; the fruit is like the other 
of his kinde." 


" Crop the gay Rose's vermeil bloom. 
And waft its spoils, a sweet perfume, 
In incense to the &V\e^:^—OgUvie. 

" Of their sweats there are sweetest odors made."— SAatespearc- 


" This Queen of the garden loses not its diadem in the 
perfuming world. The oil of roses, or, as it is commonly 
called, the otto or attar of roses, is abstracted by various 
processes from the Cabbage Rose in Turkey, Persia and 
India ; the finest is imported from Ghazepore, in the latter 
country. For obtaining it, the procurers at each place 
have their own mode of operation ; the best method, how- 
ever, is to stratify the flowers with a seed containing a 
fat-oil; they will absorb the essential oil of roses, and 
swell a good deal if the flowers are changed repeatedly. 
They are then pressed, and the product allowed to stand 
for a time ; the otto rises to the surface, and is finally puri- 
fied by distillation. Pure otto of roses, from its cloying 
sweetness, has not many admirers ; it is, moreover, likely 
to produce headache and vertigo in this state ; when di- 
luted, however, there is nothing to equal it in odor, espe- 
cially if mixed in soap, to form rose soap, or in the pure 
spirit form, '•Esprit de Hose.'* The former preparation 
not allowing the perfume to evaporate very fast, we are 
not so readily surfeited with the smell as in the latter. 
The finest preparation of Rose as an odor, is made at 
Grasse, in France ; here the flower is not treated for the 
otto, but simi^ly by maceration in fat, as mentioned with 
other flowers. 

" The Rose Pomade, thus made, if digested in alcohol, 
yields Esprit de Rose of the first order, very superior to 
that which is made by the addition of otto to spirit. It is 
difficult to account for this difi'erence, but it is sufficiently 
characteristic to form a distinct odor. It is never sold by 
the perfumer ; he reserves this to form part of his recher- 
che bouquets. Roses are cultivated to a large extent in 
England, near Mitcham, in Surrey, for perfumers' use, to 
make rose-water ; the odor of the English flower is not 
strong enough to use for any other purpose. Though the 
dried rose-leaves are used for scent-bags, they retain but 

466 breck's new book of flowers. 

little of their native fragrance. In the season when suc- 
cessive crops can be got, they are gathered as soon as the 
(lew is off, and sent up to town in sacks. When- they ar- 
rive, they are immediately spread out on a cool floor, oth- 
erwise, if left in a heap, they will heat to such an extent 
in two or three hours, as to be quite spoiled ; to preserve 
theni for use they are immediately pickled ; for this pur- 
pose the leaves are sej^arated from the stalk, and to every 
bushel of flowers, equal to six pounds, one pound of com- 
mon salt is tlioroughly rubbed in ; the whole becomes a 
pasty mass, and is finally stowed aw^ay in casks. In this 
^vay tliey Mill keep almost any length of time without se- 
riously injuring their fragi-ance. For rose-water, which is 
best prepared from time to time, take 12 lbs. of juckled 
Roses, and 2|- gallons of water, ^jlace them in a still, and 
draw off 2 gallons; this product will be the 'double dis- 
tilled rose-w^ater' of the shops." — English paper. 

RTJBTJS.— Bramble. 

[Name fioin the Celtic word rub, which signifies reJ.] 

This genus embraces rambling rough plants, well-known 
and highly prized for their grateful, delicious, and whole- 
some fruits ; the Raspberries, Blackberries, and Thimble- 
berries, with their varieties. The High Blackberry pro- 
duces clusters of handsome white flowers, succeeded by 
delicious fruit, and when cultivated in the garden, is much 

Rllbus Odomtus. — The Flowering Raspberry. — This is 
the only ornamental variety; found growing freely in 
mountainous districts, "giving a charm to many a solitary 
spot by its large, rose-like flow^ers." The leaves are large 
and handsome. The fruit is inferior to the other species. 
It deserves a place among other shrubs. It should be 
planted in a shady jilace. 


[Name from an ancient musical instrument, supposed to liave been made 
from the wood of this tree.] 


•nt musical instrument, suppo 

Sambucus Canadensis. — Common Elder. — This very 
common shrub grows about eight or ten feet high in low 
ground, and conspicuous in June and July for its broad 
cymes of white flowers, succeeded by clusters of small, 
dark-purple, or nearly black, berries. An infusion of the 
bruised leaves is used by gardeners to expel insects from 
vines. The flowers are highly esteemed, as having im- 
portant medicinal qualities. The plant, on account of its 
ornamental flowers and berries, may be introduced into 
extensive shrubberies. 

S. nigra. — European Elder. — This species is very com- 
mon in Eui'ope, and is the original of several ornamental 
varieties, among which are, S. laciniatt/s, or Parsley- 
leaved, which is a variety of the European S. nigra^ a shrub 
eight feet high, with deeply cut or laciniated leaves and 
white flowers. There a number of other curious varieties, 
one the Golden-striped, in which the leaves are striped or 
blotched with yellow. A variety of the Parsley-leaved, 
or Silver-striped, has leaves beautifully variegated with 
white. There is also a variety with double, pure white 
flowers, of which the shrub has some resemblance to our 
Common Elder. The flowers, however, are so oflensive 
to the smell, that they are not desirable to cut, but hand- 
some on the bush. 


[So named by Nuttall, in compliment to Mr. Thomas Shepherd, of the Bo- 
tanic Garden, Liverpool.] 

Slieph^rdia arj^^ntea. — Bufialo Tree. —This graceful 
shrub, or low tree, is found in the neighborhood of the 
Rocky Mountains, in large clumps, or clusters. It is oaten 

468 breck's new book of flowers. 

or browsed by the Buffalo, from which it derives its com- 
mon name. The tree is graceful in its appearance, grow- 
ing from ten to thirteen feet high ; the branches are rather 
pendulous ; the leaves are small, of a soft, woolly nature, 
and have a silvery appearance. It has staminate and 
pistillate flowers on different plants, hence both kinds 
should be grown together. The branches of the female 
trees are thickly studded with clusters of small crimson 
berries, nearly the size of the red currant. The fruit has 
a pleasant acid flavor, and is sometimes used for jelly or 
preserve. There is an astringent taste in addition to the 
acid, which makes the fruit of little value, in comparison 
with the common currant. For an ornamental tree or 
shrub, it deserves a place among other plants. It is beau- 
tiful in fruit. The flowers cannot boast of much beauty. 

SPARTIUM. -Broom. 

[From the Greek, signifying cordage ; the earliest ropes were made of this 
and similar plants.] 

Spartium SCOparium. — Common Broom. — A shrub, 
thick-set with verdant, flexible, rush-like twigs, which are 
very ornamental in winter, and generally profusely cov- 
ered with showy, white, or yellow, pea-shaped flowers in 
summer. A very ornamental shrub in the garden scenery. 
It is not very common in New England, as our winters 
are rather severe upon it. In the interior of the country, 
we find no difficidty in keeping it, when the snows are 
deep. If i)lanted on the north side of a wall, and covered 
with snow, it will be found i)erfeotly green in the s^mng, 
and will flower abundantly. 



Spiraea hypericifolia. — Hypericum-leaved Spiraea, or, 
St. Peter's Wreath. — This is a very elegant shrub, pro- 
ducing its numerous small white flowers in long garlands, 
upon the delicate curving branches of the plant. The 
bush, when in flower, has the appearance of being covered 
with a light fall of snow. The foliage is elegant ; it is in 
flower in May and June ; grows about four feet high ; the 
extremities of the branches are sometimes winter-killed ; 
easily j^ropagated by suckers, divisions of the root, or by 
layers, as all the species are. 

S* opulifolia. — Nine-Bark. — "An ornamental native 
shrub, found from Canada to Georgia ; from five to seven 
feet high, distinguislied for the abundance of its showy 
heads of flowers, and for its conspicuous fruit. The stem 
is rugged, with loose, gray bark, easily detached, and fall- 
ing ofi*. Flowers in hemisj^herical heads, on a short stalk, 
— each flower on a slender, downy thread ; white, with a 
rose tiuge." 

S. salicifolia. — The Queen of the Meadows. — ^This is a 
very pretty native shrub, from two to four, and sometimes 
six, feet high, with terminal heads of neat, white, some- 
times rose-tinted flowers, in June and July. 

S. tomentosa. — Steeple Bush, — Hard-Hack. — This is a 
very common, leafy shrub, from two to five feet high, 
growing in wet ground, and distinguished in the flower- 
ing season for its long, tapering spire of purple flowers. 
A few years since, we ordered all the handsome Spiraeas 
from England, excluding all that we possessed. When 
they came into flower, we found among them, this old, 
familiar country friend. It is, however, handsome when 
cultivated and pruned of the previous year's stems, which 
disfigure it very much, when growing in the pastures. 

S. prunifolia plena. — Double Plum-leaved Spiraea. — This 
is one of the most desirable species or varieties of the Spi- 

470 breck's new book of flowers. 

raea, and is perfectly hardy. The following account is from 
the Gardener's Chronicle. " This charming shrub was in- 
troduced into Europe by Dr. Siebold, to whom our collec- 
tions are indebted for so many novelties, only to be pro- 
cured with the utmost difficulty. It deserves the atten- 
tion of all amateurs, as well for its hardiness as its elegant 
habit and beautiful flowers. The Dutch traveller found it 
cultivated in the Japanese gardens, and supposes its na- 
tive country to be Corea, or the north of China. It is a 
shrub, from six to nine feet high, and has upright, close, 
bushy, slender branches, which are covered with a smooth, 
ash-colored bark, that detaches itself at later periods in 
tliin scales. The leaves are oval, or ovate-elliptic, rounded 
at their base, obtuse or a little acute at their apex, downy 
beneath, denticulated at the edge. The flowers, which 
grow by threes or sixes, cover the whole length of the 
branches, are as white as snow, and very double, in conse- 
quence of a complete abortion of their stamens. Their 
shape is exactly like that of the Ranunculus aconitifolius 
with double flowers, and their number and arrangement, 
with a light and elegant bright-green foliage, render this 
plant a charming addition to the shrubs which grow in 
the native air." It flowers in this climate in May. 

S. Douia^lasii. — Mr. Douglas's Spirrea. — This shrub is 
from California, and has some resemblance to S. tomentosa^ 
flowering in the same manner ; flowers fine rosy-lilac, con- 
tinuing in bloom from July till the autumnal frosts com- 

S. SOrbifolia. — Pinnate-leaved Spiraia. — This is a vigor- 
ous shrub, a native of Siberia. It develops its handsome 
pinnate foliage very early in the spring. The leaflets are 
serrated, or with notched edges. The flowers are yellow- 
ish-white, produced in large, dense panicles, in June. The 
flowers seem to be peculiarly attractive to the rose-bugs, 
which sometimes disfigure and spoil their beauty by the 


immense numbers which delight to revel in its sweets. 
This shrub propagates itself too fast, as it throws up its 
suckers in great j^rofusion, and makes itself quite too com- 
mon ; otherwise it would be a desirable plant for the 

S. Reeresiana. — Mr. Reeves's Spiraea. — We consider 
this one of the most elegant and desirable species of the 
whole genus. The flow^ers are of a snowy wdiiteness, 
produced in clusters, the whole length of its graceful, 
arching stems, w^iich, intermingled with the handsome fo- 
liage, produce a ple:ising effect. The shrub is delicate in 
its growth, about four feet high, and flowers in June. It 
is propagated by cuttings, layers, and suckers. 

S. airaefolia. — This is a very delicate sj^ecies which we 
have in our collection, with exceedingly graceful foliage, 
with small heads of white flowers ; tw^o or three feet high. 

S. laevigata. — Smooth-leaved Spiraea. — This species has 
smooth lanceolate leaves, without serrature or notch. The 
flowers are w^hite, in compound racemes, somewhat fra- 
grant. It is not very shovv'v, but, in a collection, makes 
up a variety ; about two or three feet high. 

S. trilobata. — Three-lobed-leaved Spiraea. — The leaves 
of this species are bluntly three-lobed, and toothed, or 
notched. The flow^ers are wdiite, in stalked umbels, about 
three or four feet high. 

Altogether, we do not know any genus of plants where 
the foliage is so diversified. When grouped together, 
they make a fine appearance, either in flower or fohage. 
There are many other species that have not come under 
our observation, which, no doubt, are as valuable for the 
shrubbery as those described. 



[Tlie name is from a combination of Greek words, signifying " a plant which 
bears its fruit togetiier in clusters."] 

Symphoricarpus racemosus. — Common Snowberry. — 
This is a delicate, hardy, North American shrub, extensive- 
ly known and much cultivated on account of its fine 
white berries, which are quite ornamental, after the leaves 
have fallen. The flowers are pink, and rather inconspicu- 
ous ; the shrub grows about four feet high ; easily prop- 
agated by suckers. 

S. vulgaris. — Indian Currant, Coral Berry. — This has 
no claims to beauty, as to the flowers, which, like the last, 
are small and inconspicuous, of a pink color. These are 
succeeded by dark brownish-purple berries, which are 
thickly clustered upon the branches, three feet high. It 
is propagated in the same way. Both these species thrive 
in the shade and under the drippings of trees. 


[A Persian name.] 

" Various in array, now wliite, 
Now sanguine, and lier beauteous head now set 
Witli purple spilies pyramidal." 

All the species are most beautiful flowering shrubs, 
readily j^ropagated by suckers, which they throw up in 
abundance. The common Lilac seems to have been intro- 
duced before or dui-ing the reign of Henry VIII., for in 
the inventory, taken by the order of Cromwell, of the ar- 
ticles in the gardens of the palace of Nonsuch, are men- 
tioned six Lilacs, — '^ trees which bear no fruit, but only a 
pleasant smell." — {Loudoti.) 

Syringa VUli^aris. — The Common Lilac. — Tliis is so welf 
known that it needs no description. The purple variety 


is found in almost every garden ; the Avhite is more scarce. 
Grown together, they are very beautiful ; and, notwith- 
standing they are old-fashioned, common, and vulgar, 
with some people, we esteem them as some of our most 
valuable and ornamental shrubs of the season. 

S. Persica. — Persian Lilac. — This species is " far more 
delicate and pretty than the common Lilacs, both in leaf 
and blossom. The bunches of flowers are frequently a 
foot long, and weigh down the tender terminal slender 
shoots so as to give the plant a very graceful appearance. 
The white and purple^ both beautiful ; the Cut-leaved 
Lilac has interesting and delicate foliage." The Persian 
Lilac grows about four or five feet high. All the species 
bloom the last of May and the first of June. 

The common Lilacs are suitable for the back of the 
shrubbery. " This was one of the first plants introduced 
by our forefathers, and is universally found ; often in the 
front of ancient houses, growing almost to the size of a 
tree." To make a small tree of it, care must be taken to 
destroy all the suckers and keep a clean stem. The Persian 
varieties are suitable for planting in clumps, or in the front 
of the shrubbery. Some beautiful new varieties have 
been imported within a few years, producing immense 
clusters of flowers. There is one variety with double 
flowers, but it is not an improvement. 

T AM ARIX. —Tamarisk. 

[From Tamarisci, a people who inhabited the Sp-dnish side of the Pyrenees, 
wliere one species grows abundantly.] 

Tamarix Gallica.— French Tamarisk. — An elegant, de- 
ciduous, hardy shrub, which, for some reason, has not re- 
ceived much attention in New England. The foliage is 
very graceful, and has some resemblance to that of the 
Heath. The pink flowers are produced in lateral spikes, 


ill July and August ; small, but very numerous. It grows 
about ten feet high. On account of its delicate, graceful 
liabit, and heath-like flowers and foliage, it makes a desi- 
rable addition to the shrubbery. The German Tamarisk is 
a hardy shrub of similar habits. There are also a number 
of other species and varieties. 

TECOMA.— Trumpet-Flower. 

[Said to have been altered from the Mexican name.] 

The species are trees or shrubs, inhabitants of hot cli- 
mates ; the leaves are opposite, piimate, ternate, or conju- 
gate ; the flowers in panicles, large and handsome, of 
various colors, red, yellow, blue or white, and eminently 
beautiful. The hardy species will grow in almost any 
good soil, and easily propagated by layers or cuttings of 
the root. The species here mentioned were formerly in- 
cluded in the Genus Bignonia. 

Tecoma radicans. — Scarlet Trumpet Flower. — This is 
a magnificent climbing plant, producing large, trumpet- 
shaped, orange-scarlet flowers, of great beauty, from July 
to October. They are produced in clusters ; handsome 
in bud, as well as when fully expanded, and when con- 
trasted with the elegant glossy, pinnate foliage, present a 
most splendid sight when trained to a pillar or trellis. 

The plant is a little tender in some locations, and will 
do best to be laid down and covered over, or secured with 
straw or mats. 

T. J^randiflora has flowered with us, but it is rather 
tender in this climate. It is a native of China and Japan. 
" In the growth of the Avood it is rather more slender, 
and the leaves more coarsely serrated than those of T. 
radicans. The vine has the same habit of attaching itself 
firmly to a wall, or building of stone, brick or wood, or 


to the trunk of a, tree within its reach, by the numerous 
small aerial-rootlets, which it sends out from the inner 
sides of its shoots. 

" In the blossoms of the T. grandlflora^ however, lies 
its peculiar beauty. These are produced, in great profu- 
sion of clustei's, in July and August, so as to give the 
Avhole plant an exceedingly gay and lively appearance. 
They are not long and tubular, like those of the common 
Trumpet Flower, but somewhat cup-shaped. * * * The 
color is beautifully varied, the outside being a rich pure 
orange-scarlet, marked with brighter streaks. These gay 
clusters open their blossoms in succession, so as to keep up 
a brilliant appearance for a long time ; and we are ac- 
quainted with no climbing shrub, except the Chinese 
Wistaria, which at all vies in elegance or brilliancy of ef- 
fect, in the garden or pleasure-ground, with this during 
the season of bloom. Last season, we counted over three 
hundred in bloom, at once, upon a plant in our neighbor- 
hood ; and the same profuse display continued a fortnight 
or more. 

" T. grandiflora may be grown with perfect ease where 
the old Trumpet Flower (2! radicans) thrives. North 
of this (Xewburg, N. Y.) it will, perhaps, require a little 
protection in winter, such as a layer of straw tied over the 
larger shoots, or some branches of evergreens laid against 
them at the approach of winter. A northern site will al- 
so be found the better one at the north, wherever there is 
a doubt of its hardiness, since the temperature will, in 
such a site, be more uniform and less injurious than in a 
southern aspect. Wherever the Isabella grape ripens, 
this handsome climbing shrub will be easily cultivated in 
almost any situation. If there are any fears of its hardi- 
ness, it may be protected, as we have pointed out, for a 
couple of years, till the wood gets strong and well hard- 
ened. Any dry, light, well-drained soil, suits this climb- 

476 breck's new book of flowers. 

er. It sliould be made moderately rich, and in such soil, 
when planted against a wall, it will cover a space twelve 
or fourteen feet square, in two or three seasons. It is well 
worthy the attention of those who are looking for climb- 
ers of a permanent kind, to cover unsightly walks, or close 
fences, or to render garden buildings of any kind more 
ornamental, by a rich canopy of foliage and bloom." — 

VIBURNUM.— Snow Ball. 

[An iincient Latin name.] 

Viburnum LentagO. — Sweet Viburnum. — A native spe- 
cies of great beauty. Mr. Emerson describes it as a 
"beautiful small tree, rising to the height of fifteen to 
twenty feet, with rich foliage, and clothed, in June, with 
a profusion of delicate, showy flowers." The flowers are 
produced in terminal cymes, and from them a very agree- 
able fragrance is diff'nsed. "There is a softness and rich- 
ness about the flowers and foliage of the Sweet Viburnum 
which distinguish it above all others of the same genus. 
It is hardly less beautiful in fruit, from the profusion of 
the rich blue berries hanging down among the curled 
leaves, which are beginning to assume the beautiful hues 
of autumn. A tree of this kind makes a fine appearance 
at the angle of a walk, or in the corner of a garden, as its 
delicacy invites a near approach, and rewards examina- 
tion. With this delicacy of appearance, it is a hardy plant, 
and may sometimes be seen on the bleak hillside, where it 
has encountered the north-west stormy winds for a score 
of years." 

We think this Viburnum much more desirable tlian the 
common Snowball. As it is found growing in uplands, 


no doubt it will flourish in any garden loam, and is prop- 
agated the same as the Snowball. 

We have a number of other species, which would well 
repay cultivation. Most of them would require the same 
treatment as the Azalea^ and that class of plants, as they 
are found in swamps and woods. Some of them are very 
beautiful, viz. : Y. dentatum, nudum^ acerifolmm^ etc. 

V. lantanoides. — Wayfaring Tree, Hobble Bush. — This 
fine native plant " received its specific name, lantanoides^ 
from its resemblance to the English Wayfaring Tree, 
Fi lantana^ the tree which Wilham addresses, when he 
says : — 

' Wayfaring Tree ! what ancient claim 
Hast thou to that right pleasant nanie ? 

Whate'er it be, I love it well, — 
A name, methinks, that surely fell 
From poet, in some evening dell. 
Wandering with fancies sweet.' 

" That tree rises to the height of eighteen or twenty 
feet, and has an ample head of white flowers. Ours, less 
fortunate in its name, is a stout, low bush, found in dark, 
rocky woods, and making a show, in such solitary places, 
of a broad head of flowers, the marginal ones often an inch 
across." * * * u 'pj^^ leaves are from four to six 
inches in length and breadth, roundish, heart-shaped at 
base, ending in a short, abrupt point, and unequally ser- 
rate on the margin. They are smooth above, but beneath 
downy on the veins, which are thereby rendered striking- 
ly distinct. * * -^ q^he fruit is ovate, large, of bright 
crimson color, turning afterwards almost black." — [Emer- 
son.) The first time we beheld this crooked, straggling 
shrub, in flower, in its native haunts, a dark swamp, we 
thought it one of the most ornamental shrubs of the coun- 
try. It is certainly worthy of a place in every collection 
of shrubs. It will no doubt succeed with the same treat- 

478 breck's new book of floavees. 

ment as the Rhododendron or Azalea, and may be propa- 
gated by seeds, layers, or cuttings. 

V. Opulus. — Cranberry Tree, High Cranberry. — " A 
handsome low tree, five to ten feet in height, ornamented 
throughout the year with flowers or fruit. In May, or 
early in June, it spreads open at the end of every branch, 
a broad cyme of soft, delicate flowers, surrounded by an 
irregular circle of snow-white stars, scattered, apparently, 
for show. The fruit, which is red when ripe, is of a pleas- 
ant acid taste, resembling cranberries, for which it is 
sometimes substituted." This is the parent of 

V. Opulus, Var St^rilis, the Guelder Rose or Snow- 
ball. — A common ornament of the garden, producing 
large bunches of white flowers, shaped like those of the 
Hydrangea. When grouped with the Laburnum, Lilacs, 
— the dwuble-flowerins; Thorns, etc., it has a fine effect. 
In flower the last of May, and early in June ; eight or 
ten feet high ; readily propagated from suckers, layers 
and cuttings. 

V. macroc^phalum. — Great-clustered Snowball. — " This 
is a new and splendid species, that has not been much, if 
any, cultivated in this country. M. Van Houtte describes 
it as found growing in the gardens about Chusan, China, 
where it forms a shrub, or tree, twenty feet high. It 
flowers every year, in May, producing its enormous clus- 
ters, which equal those of the old garden Snowball^ or 
' Guelder Rose,' in purity of color, and fiir eclipses them 
in size and beauty. Each blossom is more than an inch 
across, and the clusters measure eiglit or ten inches in di- 
ameter. The leaves are regularly oval, with short i)etioles 
and about three inches long. It flourishes in the opeu 
border, in the same soil as the common Snowball ; and M. 
Van Houtte considers it one of the most beautiful addi- 
tions to the shrubbery." — {^Downing.'] 



[Named Iiy Nuttall, in honor of Dr. Caspar Wistar.] 

W. Sin^^nsis. — The Chinese Wistaria. — This, which is 
sometimes called Glycine, is one of the most magnificent 
climbmg shrubby plants in cultivation. It was formerly 
treated, at the North, as a tender plant, and might be 
seen trained to the rafters of the green house, in full flow- 
er, in March, with its thousands of rich clusters, or pendu- 
lous racemes of delicate pale-purple blossoms, so numerous 
that the whole space it occupied seemed to be covered 
with them. Each raceme is from ten to twelve inches 
long, and densely filled with its delicate and richly per- 
fumed flowers. It is easily raised from cuttings or layers. 
In the open ground, we have known it to make a growth 
of thirty feet in one season; and, with us, has not failed, 
excepting one year in the last twelve, to produce an abun- 
dant bloom, and that without the least protection. The 
December previous to the year in which it did not bloom, 
was a very warm one. The buds prematurely started, 
and were winter killed; it however, flowered in August, 
but not so perfectly as it would have done in the spring. 
In another locality, in low ground, which is not well 
drained, the flower buds are frequently killed. The foliage 
is abundant, and its color a lively, pleasant hue of green. 
The flowers make their appearance before the foliage 
starts, the last of May, in the open ground. The plants 
for the first few yesirs are somewhat tender, at the North, 
and should be laid down before the winter sets in, and 
covered with earth, or coarse manure. It grows freely in 
almost any soil ; but to have strong plants, it is important 
to have a rich, deep loam. It will not flower till the plant 
gets strong. 

A new variety with white flowers, has been introduced 
from China hito England, by Mr. Fortune, and can, at the 
present time, be obtained at many of our nurseries. 

480 breck's new book of floavees. 

Plants generally produce a few scattering racemes of 
flowers, in the last summer months, but are not to be 
compared with the clusters produced in the spring. In 
planting out young vmes, they should be cut down to a 
single bud. Long shoots should be shortened in February 
or March.