Lavatera

[In memory of the two Lavaters, physicians of Zurich.!]

Lavatera Trimestris. Common Lavatera

A popular hardy annual, of easy culture and handsome appearance, with large, Hollyhock-shaped, red flowers. There is a variety with white flowers. Two feet high, in bloom from July to October. Cultivated the same as the Mallows, to which it is closely related.

Lilium. The Lily

[The classical Latin name.]

"Have yon seen but a bright Lily grow, Before rude hands have 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 simplicity of its structure, and the size and distinct character of its different parts or organs. The root of the Lily, or what is generally denominated the root, is a scaly bulb, the scales being laid over each other in an imbricate form, inclosing the bud. The bulb is not a root, strictly speaking, 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 elapse 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 taking them up annually after flowering. The Lily will flourish 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 remaining 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-growing varieties, are enough for one group, or five, of the weaker sorts. They have a pleasing effect when in masses; 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 White Lily

This species has always been considered the emblem of purity, and is toowell 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 flore pleno. - The Double White Lily. - A variety of the double white; it is curious, but not beautiful. The inflorescence appears to be a continuation of the foliage, 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 fancied by some. The Variegated White Lily is another variety, 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. Candidum Folia Vari-Egata. The Gold-Striped Lily

There are two varieties of the White Lily with striped leaves, one having yellow, the other white-striped foliage; both pretty in a collection.

L. Longiflorum. 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.

L. Martagon. Turk's-Cap Lily

There are many varieties 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.

L. Croceum

The Umbel-flowered Orange Lily, a variety of which is called L, umbellatum, is a strong-growing species, producing quite a number of large, upright 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 L. 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 peculiarity 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 propagated, as all the axillary bulbs, when planted in the ground, soon produce flowering plants.