[From sanguis, blood, as all the parts of the plant, on being wounded, discharge a blood-colored fluid.]
Sangninaria Canadensis. - This is a singular and very delicate-looking indigenous perennial plant, producing shining white flowers in April. It has a tuberous fleshy root, and is easily transferred to the garden, where it shows off to advantage with the Crocus and other vernal flowers.
"Though the Sanguinaria cannot be considered as a showy plant," says Mr. Martyn, yet it has few equals in point of delicacy and singularity; there is something in it to admire, from the time the leaves emerge from the ground and embosom the infant blossom, till their full expansion and ripening of the seeds." It is found in abundance in our woods. The Indians are said to paint their faces with the juice. The flowers expand only in fine warm weather. Three or four stems spring from one root, six or eight inches high. The plant succeeds best in a rather shady spot.
[Named in honor of Dr. Sarrazin, a French physician who first sent the plant 'from Canada to Europe.]
Sarracenia purpurea. - Side-saddle-Flower. - Pitcher Plant. - An evergreen herbaceous perennial and one of the most curious of our indigenous plants. It is called Sidesaddle-Flower, from the resemblance of the stigma to a woman's pillion: also, "Our Forefathers' cup," from the singular form of the leaves, which are tubular and hold water, and when full-grown, contain from a wine glass full to a gill, and are rarely empty. Report says our worthy ancestors made use of them to drink from. No matter how this may be, they certainly look as if they might be thus used, having the appearance of little pitchers, but not very inviting from their unpleasant odor, and from the fact, that they are generally found to contain many dead insects. The cup is hairy within, the hairs pointing downwards: in these the insects get entangled, and perish. The flowers are destitute of much beauty, but are very curious in their structure. To attempt to give a botanical description of this plant would be out of place in this work. As this is always found in wet, boggy, or mossy grounds, it is rather difficult to manage in a common garden, unless there is a wet corner in it. I have succeeded with it by taking with a spade, a large ball of earth with the plant, and transferring it to a moist place, exposed to the sun, and it, without much care afterwards, continued to flourish a number of years. With a peat soil, the surface covered with moss, and occasional supplies of water, I have no doubt but it would succeed very well, if not in a very dry situation.
[Named from saxum, a rock, and frango, to break, many of the species growing in the clefts of rocks.]
A genus which comprises a number of Alpine plants, which have long been favorites in European gardens, but not much cultivated in this country. Many of them are quite easy to cultivate, and though naturally mountaineers, are not incapable of breathing the more impure air of towns and villages, others are delicate and difficult to rear. Most of the species are perennial, with either fibrous or granular roots, and a few are annuals.,
This fragrant well-known plant is one of the earliest flowers upon rocks and dry hills. The leaves are mostly radical, spreading, fleshy, elliptical, a little downy and serrate; stem erect, fleshy, nearly destitute of leaves. Flowers numerous, crowded, white, arranged in corymbs on the ends of the branches, which, collectively, form a sort of panicle; April and May; perennial. This sweet flower is associated with my youthful floral rambles for May flowers.
This is a beautiful perennial, growing about one foot high. The flowers are in panicles, white or flesh color, dotted with yellow and darkred. It is a native of Ireland. For some reason it does not succeed well in this country.
[From Scabies, a skin disease, in which this plant was said to be useful.]
This is a handsome species, and has been cultivated as a border annual so long that its native country is unknown. Linnaeus and Miller consider it a native of India. It is sometimes called Indian or Sweet Scabious; it is chiefly valuable for its exceeding sweetness; yet its colors are often extremely rich. It is sometimes of a pale purple, sometimes so dark as to be almost black; hence, I suppose, the common name, "Mourning Bride;" but its finest hue is a dark mulberry red. Some of the dark varieties are elegantly tipped with white.
An entirely new variety of Sweet Scabious, and being pure white, is very desirable for a contrast with the other kinds in such very general cultivation.
"The Scabious blooms in sad array, A mourner in her spring."
The flowers are produced in heads, upon stems nearly two feet high, and continue to bloom from July to October. A bed of Mourning Bride of the different varieties is very fine.