Nierembergia

[Dedicated to Nieremberg, a Spanish Jesuit.]

Nierembergia Gracilis. Slender Nierembergia

A charming, half-hardy perennial, from South America. The stems are exceedingly slender and much branching, and bear all summer a profusion of flowers, which are an inch across, with a very slender tube; pale-lilac, with yellow throat.

N. Filicaulis

Thread-stemmed Nierembergia, similar to the foregoing, but with a more branching and spreading habit and larger flowers, white or lilac, with violet streaks. N. alba, a splendid white; If. intermedia, deep-purple, with yellow eye; and N. albiflora compacta nana, dwarf, with compact growth, and white flowers with yellow eye, are among the garden varieties.

Nigella. Fennel-Flower

[Name from niger, black, from the color of its seed.]

Nigella Damascena, is known by a number of names; Fennel-flower, because the plant has fine-cut. leaves like fennel, Love-in-a-mist, because the flower is enveloped in its finely divided involucre, Devil-in-the-bush, because the flower is partly concealed in its fine-cut foliage, that evil character being supposed to hide himself as much as possible from public view. This species is a native of the South of Europe, one and one-half foot high; flowers light-blue, with a white variety. The seeds of this and N. saliva, are sometimes used in cookery, instead of more expensive aromatics. They are also said to be extensively used in the adulteration of pepper. The double varieties are handsome border-annuals, requiring but little care in their cultivation. In flower from July to October.

Nolana

[A diminution of nola, the Latin for a little bell.]

Nolana Prostrata. Trailing Nolana

This, with the other species, is from South America; all are handsome annuals. The stems are prostrate, much branching, and covered with a profusion of flattish bell-shaped flowers, of a fine blue streaked with black; from July to September. It may be sown early in the spring in the border.

N. Atriplicifolia

A new and very handsome flowering annual, of prostrate growth, or, if grown in masses, will rise to half a foot high. The flowers are produced most numerously, and give a very pretty appearance. The plant deserves a place in every flower-garden. It is a desirable plant to grow in order to hang pendulous over the edge of a vase, pot, etc. The flowers have some resemblance to the Dwarf Convolvulus, fine azure-blue with a white center, the bottom or tube, of the flower, yellow.

Ocymum. Basil

[Said to be derived from the Greek, meaning to smell, on account of the powerful odor of the plants.]

Ocymum Basilicum. - Sweet Basil. - This highly odoriferous plant is frequently known in country gardens, under the incorrect name of Lavender. The true Lavender is a half-hardy shrub. Sweet Basil is sometimes used in cookery. It is a very agreeable plant to have in the garden. The seed should be sown in May.

Oenothera. Evening Primrose

[Name derived from the Greek for wine and chase, on account, it is said, of the roots of some species having been eaten as an incentive to wine.]

"A tuft of Evening Primroses, O'er which the wind may hover till it dozes; O'er which it well might take a pleasant sleep, But it is ever slartled by the leap Of buds into ripe flowers."

A large genus of which many species are indigenous to America, and it includes annuals, biennials, and perennials. The flowers of some species open only towards night, hence the name Evening Primrose; while others open in broad sunshine. In a strictly botanical classification, the species mentioned under Godetia, would come here. All the species succeed in a light rich soil.

Oe. Nothera Biennis. Common Evening Primrose

This is a common plant, even a weed, everywhere in this country. There are many varieties of it, differing in the size of the flowers, hairiness of the plant, etc. One of these, under the name of CE. grandiflora, is cultivated. It grows about four feet high and has large yellow flowers, which open at night-fall.

Oe. Missouriensis. Missouri Evening Primrose

A native of Missouri and Texas, with a large fleshy perennial root, and prostrate spreading stems, which bear ash-colored leaves and a succession of large yellow flowers, which are from four to six inches in diameter. The seed-pod is large with broad wings, and the species is sometimes called CE. maorocarpa.

Oe. Speciosa. Handsome Evening Primrose

Has perennial roots, with stems one and one-half foot high; white and fragrant flowers, which turn rose color in fading!

Oe. Nocturna. Night-Smelling Evening Primrose

An elegant half-hardy biennial from the Cape of Good Hope, Flowers profusely the first season, and may be considered and treated in open air culture as a hardy annual; it has a succession of yellow Hewers from July to October. Two feet high.

Oe. Tetraptera. White-Flowered Evening Primrose

A very beautiful, prostrate-growing, hardy annual from Mexico. One foot high, with a succession of pure white flowers from July to September, which make their appearance after the sun has descended below the horizon, and perish before it rises in the morning.

OE. longiflora, an elegant biennial, if the roots can be preserved through the winter, but generally cultivated as an annual, with uncommonly large and showy yellow flowers from July to October. A native of Buenos Ayres. Three feet high.

Besides these there are cultivated: CE. bistorta, an annual with small yellow flowers, with a purple eye; CE. acaulis, a prostrate white-flowered species from Chili; CE. Lamarckiana, a tall species with large yellow flowers; and others. All the species are propagated without difficulty. The annuals by seed, and the perennials by seed or from divisions of the root.