(Named in honor of Dr. Maurandy, the botanical professor at Carthagena.]
Maurandia Barclayana, is an elegant green-house, climbing perennial, but may be raised from seed, and brought forward in a frame, so as to flower profusely from August to October, or till severe frosts later in the season. Plants may be had at most green-houses, at small expense, which, put out in the border with a little frame to which to attach their twining leaf-stalks, will be loaded with its rich purple, white, rose, etc., foxglove-shaped flowers, every day, through the season. There are a number of other varieties, all handsome. The plants will grow from five to ten feet high.
[A name applied to Lucerne, because it came from Greece to Media.]
The Lucerne, Medicago sattva, is cultivated as a forage plant. M. lupulina, or Nonsuch, is not rare as a weed, and a few are cultivated on account of the curious forms of their curved seed-pods. The flowers are not showy. Those enumerated here are annuals of easy culture.
The seed-pod is neatly curled so as to resemble a small snail.
Has its pod clothed with short stiff hairs, and it appears very much like a green caterpillar. M. intertexta, having the pod covered with spines, is called Hedgehog. The pods of these are sometimes placed in dishes of salad to cause surprise to those who are unacquainted with them.
[Named in honor of Mentzel, a botanist of Bradenburgh.]
This is generally and incorrectly called Bartonia aurea in the catalogues. The name Bartonia, in honor of the late Doct. B. S. Barton, of Philadelphia, properly belongs to a small native annual of the Gentian Family. A very pretty flowering annual from California, one foot high. The plant produces a profusion of showy flowers, of a fine golden-yellow color. Each bloom about two and one-half inches across. It delights in a sheltered sunny situation, and, if grown in a rich light soil, will bloom profusely. The plant requires to be raised as a frame annual, and to be planted in the border in June.
[Named for a German botanist, Prof. Mertens.]
Mertensia Virginica. - Virginian Cowslip or Lungwort. - An indigenous, hardy perennial, which occurs pretty commonly in the shady woods of Pennsylvania, and most of the southern and western States. Its flowers, which appear early in May, look like so many small, bright blue, pendulous funnels, each springing out of a prismatic, pentagonal, five-tooth calyx; flower-stems from one to one and one-half foot high. After flowering, the plant to appearance dies, and it is not seen until the following spring. This is one of the most elegant ornaments of the flower-garden in May. It is propagated by divisions of the roots, which are thick, fleshy, or tuberous. M. maritima and M. Sibirica, are elegant perennials, greatly resembliug each other and considered by some as only varieties. They are among the most elegant ornaments of the flower-garden, in dry springs; but they require some care in keeping, unless in a soil almost entirely of sand. These species are sometimes placed under Pul-monaria, to which they are closely related. Pulmonaria officinalis - the Medicinal Lungwort - is sometimes cultivated. It is a native of Europe, in bloom from April to June, with clusters of red and blueish purple flowers, with spotted leaves; six inches high.
[From the Greek, meaning flowering at mid-day.]
Mesembryanthcmum crystallinum. - Ice Plant. - Is about the only one of the many species cultivated in the border.
"With pellucid studs, the Ice-flower gems His rimy foliage, and his candied stems."
This is a singular and very curious annual, with thick fleshy leaves, that have the appearance of being covered with ice-crystals. The stems of the plant are also studded with crystal gems, and have the appearance of rock-candy. The whole plant is peculiarly brilliant in the sunshine. It succeeds well in the border when forwarded in small pots, in light sandy soil, in a hot-bed. When the young plants have filled the pots with roots, they must be shifted into those of a larger size. They may be turned out into the border the first of July, or before, if the weather is very warm; they will continue to increase in size and beauty all the season. The plant is highly ornamental and curious, but there is not much beauty in the flower. Few green-houses, however small, are without the Ice-plant; from its glittering surface, it is sometimes called the Diamond-plant, Diamond ficoides, and Spangled-beau:-
Her crimson honours, and the Spangled-beau,
Ficoides. glitters bright the winter long.
All plants of every leaf, that can endure
The winter's frown, if screened from his shrewd bite,
Live there and prosper." - Cowper.