[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 Alyssum. - Is a desirable 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. subulata with pink flowers; all of which appear together in May. Raised by seeds or by laying the branches as is done with the carnation.
This is a desirable hardy annual, flowering from June to November, when 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 effective when planted in masses. The plants should not be put out nearer than one foot from each other.
[From the Greek, meaning unfading flower, as the flowers of some species do not wither.]
A genus of annuals, some of which are ornamental, and others are coarse and troublesome weeds.
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 Floramor; 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 colors. But to colour it after my best manner, this I say, floramor 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, whereupon doth grow many leaves, wherein does consist his beauty: 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 Nature 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 hardy, well-known annual, four or five feet high, with numerous heads of purplish-crimson flowers, suitable for the shrubbery. A. superbus is an improved variety of this; flowers dark-red; three to four feet high; from June to September.
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 religieuses" - the Nun's Whipping Rope. There is a variety, with straw-colored flowers, but it is too mean-looking for the flower-garden.
A. melancho1icus var. ruber, is a new variety, with blood-red leaves, pyramidical growth, 1 1/2 foot high, of excellent 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 appearance. The bulb rarely produces more than two flowers, 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.