[From Greek words, signifying similar to a star; so called in reference to the beautiful star-like dispositions of the involurum of all the species.]
Avena sterilis, 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 spontaneous motion, when they resemble some grotesque insect 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.
[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 considered a handsome border-flower of the easiest culture, is exceedingly hardy and indigenous to some parts of North America. It produces 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.
[The name is derived from the Latin word bellus, handsome. The word Daisy is a compound of day and eye, Day's-eye, in which way it is written by Ben Johnson.]
Bellis perennis. - The Common Daisy. - No flower has been more frequently celebrated by English poets than this. Burns' address to the Mountain Daisy will undoubtedly be remembered by many, beginning
"Wee modest crimson lipped flower."
A native of England and Scotland, a well-known perennial, 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 preserved 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.
[Named after 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 open ground, flower all the season; and small plants, three 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 richness of color, and pleasing form of flower, make them the most useful plants we have for cut-flowers or bouquets. I think there can be no difficulty in preserving the plants by taking up,and potting them, after the foliage is blackened by frost, and placing them in a dry cellar through the winter.
The species B. 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 delicate shades of blue, lilac, and white, with brownish-black centre. A suitable plant to be grown in masses; foliage also delicate.
[From a Greek word, to nod,-in allusion to the hanging 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.
[Named by Linnaeas, in honor of John Browallius.]
Browallia elata. - 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 perfection, 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.