[Name derived from the conical shape of the disk, on which the florets are placed.]
Conoclinum coelestinum. - 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 smalt or sky-blue. The roots of this species are creeping, from which it is easily propagated. It was formerly called Eupatorium coelestinum.
"No flower amid the garden fairer grows Than the sweet Lily of the lowly vale. The queen of flowers."'
Convallaria majalis. - 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 slender, creeping 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 with many white floures, like bels, with blunt and turned edges, of a strong savour, yet pleasant enoughf, which being past, there come small, red berries, much like the berries of asparagus, wherein the seed is contained." That, which was formerly called G. racemosa, will be found under Smilacina and G. multiflora is now Polygonatum - which see.
[From convolvo, to entwine.]
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 than the Hedge Bind-weed; for that, for the sake of climbing, confines its ravages to the borders of the field and garden, while this wanders over the whole ground, and is with difficulty 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 suffer the consequence of its impertinence, not only in being avoided, but positively turned out. Like the Calystegias, notwithstanding its great beauty, it must not be encouraged in the garden.
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 beautiful kind is a bright blue, fading by delicate gradations to a pure white in the centre. It resembles the blue atmosphere, relieved by fleecy clouds on a fine summer day.
"When on high Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the cerulean sky."
Nor is the form of this flower less beautiful than the color, either when 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 direction from the center, so that a bed of them, with the plants two feet distant from each other, will interlock. It 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 resemblance. 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 which gives it very much the appearance of some insect.]
The genus has been divided, and G. 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-plants, with yellow flowers and most of them quite showy. The most desirable are G. tenuifolia, with very delicate pinnated foliage, about one and one-half foot high; G. Ianceolata with lance-shaped and large flowers; C. latifolia, C. verticitta-ta, C. tripteris, and others, all continuing long in bloom. Propagated by dividing the roots. The following are annuals.
Coreopsis Drummondii is a fine bedding plant, where a mass of brilliant yellow flowers are wanted; the flowers being very 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 this many superb varieties have been obtained. G. 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 G. tinctoria. But the most beautiful are the dwarf-varieties, which are from 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 appear.