[Lamium was a celebrated sea-monster. The flowers of this genus are supposed 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 the ancient names of the Viburnum, which this resembles a little in foliage.]
Changeable-colored, is a native of the West Indies and South America, and is probably the species from which so many beautiful varieties, that now decorate our green-houses and gardens, have originated. The plant is tender, but flowers in great profusion from June to October, when planted 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 flower-border, on the lawn, or in front of the shrubbery. The flowers are arranged in numerous hemispherical compact 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 white, with yellow eye; yellow and white; purple and violet-red, etc.; the colors changeable. The heads of flowers are produced in pairs from the axils of the leaves. The stems are angular and somewhat prickly. The foliage 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 flowers drop so soon, that I could not recommend them for bouquets, even if the odor were more agreeable.
[A name employed by Theophrastus, to designate a leguminous plant.]
Lathyrus latifolius, or Everlasting Pea, is a most beautiful, large, diffuse perennial, producing a long succession of large light-purple or pink flowers, in clusters of eight or ten each. The plant is suitable for the shrubbery, arbors, or for training to a trellis. When supported, it attains the height of six feet. "It attaches and supports itself, 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.
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 Ever-bloom-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.
L odoratus. - Sweet Pea, is one of the most beautiful and fragrant of the genus, and is deservedly one of the most popular annuals that enrich the flower-garden. The varieties 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 choose to plant them in rows and support them with brush - or with strong twine running the rows, fastened to stakes set among the plants. The seed should be sown as early as possible in the spring. They will then produce a profusion of flowers from July to October.