[From Greek words to cut, and a flower, in allusion to the numerous divisions of the petals.]
Tender annual plants, with finely cut pale-green leaves and terminal panicles of elegant flowers.
Pinnate-leaved Schizanthus, is one of the most common species, from which a number of beautiful and improved seedlings have been produced.
All the varieties are very pretty in the open ground, and bloom most of the season, but are much injured by the sun or severe rains. They can only be brought to the highest state of perfection when grown in pots in the green-house, where they can be made to attain the height of three or four feet; in the open ground about two feet; from August to October. The varieties are: S. humilis, S. porrigens, S. returns, S. Hookerii, S. Priestii and S. Grahamii.
Schizopetalon Walkeri. - Walker's Schizopetalon.- This is a singular plant, about one foot high, with curious white flowers; the segments of the corolla are finely cut into many feathery divisions. The flowers are very frail, being soon spoiled by the sun.
A native of Chili, whence it was originally introduced in 1821. It is a hardy annual, thriving best in a light, sandy soil, and is increased by seeds, which it however perfects but sparingly, and that only in dry and warm summers. To hasten their growth, and thereby insure the maturing of seeds, the young plants should be raised in a frame, and planted out in a sunny border about the middle of May. The flowers are very fragrant, especially in the evening.
Scilla Peruviana. - The Star Hyacinth. - A very pretty bulbous-rooted plant, with dark-blue starry flowers; in May and June. The stem grows about nine inches high. The bulb is rather tender and should be well protected.
[The name from sedeo, to sit; these plants, growing upon the bare rock, look as if sitting upon it.]
The species are low succulent plants, some of them pretty, others curious; but none of them remarkable in. any way. They seem destined by nature to clothe rocks and dry arid places, after a certain portion of vegetable soil has been generated by lichens and mosses.
This is a hardy . perennial plant of considerable beauty and interest, on account of its being one of the last to flower in the garden. The leaves are very thick and succulent, of a glaucous green. The flowers are very pretty; pink; in numerous heads; the last of October. This species flourishes in any good garden soil. Some of the Sedums are suitable for rock-work.
[Name from senex, an old man, in allusion to the hoary appearance of the pappus, or hairs upon the fruit.]
This is a handsome indigenous species, and makes a fine appearance in meadows in May and June. From one to three feet high. Flowers, a golden yellow or orange; perennial. It is not often introduced into the flower border, although much handsomer than many plants that are cultivated.
A handsome annual in the open ground, or biennial in the green-house. The double varieties are the only sorts worth cultivating, of which there are a number of colors, viz., double-purple, crimson, rose, flesh-colored and white. The fine double sorts are propagated from cuttings, which grow very readily, not one in fifty failing. It is also raised from seed, but few of the plants will produce double flowers. It is a very pretty plant in its foliage and in flowers, grows freely and most profusely, scarcely anything surpassing it for a neat and handsome show.
It succeeds best in soil composed.of fresh loam mixed with leaf mould, and upon a dry subsoil, the layer of compost over it about eight inches. I find that when the soil is much enriched, the plants have a tendency to produce much foliage; but when grown in this compost, an amazing production of bloom is the result. It grows about eighteen inches high, and continues to bloom all the season.
Scarlet Tassel-Flower, Cacalia coceinea, is a handsome half-hardy annual, with neat tassel-shaped, scarlet flowers; one and a half foot high. C. aurea is a variety with orange flowers. In shape and habit they are the same. Sow the first of May.
[Name from the Greek for saliva, in. reference to the viscid secretion which covers the stems of many species.]
A native species, found in dry, sandy soils in June, quite a handsome plant; sometimes called "Wild Pink," from its similarity in habit to some of that genus. The whole plant is viscid or glutinous; the flowers are light purple.
This plant is covered with a glutinous moisture, from which flies, happening to light upon it, cannot disengage themselves. This circumstance has obtained it the name of Catch-fly, to which Gerarde adds the name of Limewort. It is a hardy and very common annual, found in almost every garden, producing umbels of pink, and a variety with white flowers. Silene compacta, S. pendula, S. Schafta, S. Saxifraga are also handsome annual border flowers. Having the plants of the most of these species in the ground, there will always be plenty from self-sown seeds in the spring.