[From solido, to unite, on account of the alleged vulnerary qualities of the plants.]
This species may be admitted into the garden not only for the fragrance of the plants, but its inflorescence is also interesting. The flowers grow in a compound, panicled raceme, with each of its branches supported by a small leaf, and of a brilliant yellow. The whole plant has a smooth appearance; the leaves have a very pleasant anisate odor, and yield by distillation a fragrant, volatile oil.
This is a very pretty dwarf species, not more than one foot high, common in dry fields, where it appears as if stunted by drought. Panicle small, leaning; bright yellow; August and September.
[From Speculum Veneris, a name by which one of the species was formerly called.]
Specularia speculum. - Venus' Looking-Glass, also called Campanula speculum. - This is an annual border-flower of some beauty; very hardy; having it once in the ground it will sow itself; the young plants may be taken up in the spring and planted where they are to remain, set one foot apart; or sow the seed in April. One foot high; very branching; producing a long succession of blue flowers, which close at the approach of rain and in the evening. There is also a variety with white flowers.
This is a most beautiful flowering annual from the Cape of Good Hope, growing about one foot high. The plant is of handsome foliage and a most profuse bloomer. The flowers open fully when the sun shines upon them, and then display a show of the most pleasing kind. The flower has some resemblance to the Calliopsis. Rays, yellow; disk, dark-brown; about two inches in diameter; in bloom from July to October. A bed of it would be a delightful contrast with some other dwarf plant of an opposite color.
[Name supposed to be from the Greek word meaning to entwine, in reference to the use of some of the species in garlands.]
A large genus, comprising both herbaceous perennials and ornamental shrubs.
A hardy herbaceous perennial, a native of Britain, where it abounds in moist meadows, perfuming the air with the Hawthorn-like scent of its abundant white blossoms; in June, July, and August. It grows three or four feet high.
"Each dry entangled copse empurpled glows With Orchis blooms; while in the moistened plain The Meadow-sweet its luscious fragrance yields." - Dr. Bidlake's Year.
The double kind, S. Ulmaria plena, is an improved variety of the single. A large mass of it is quite imposing; its fine double white flowers in ample corymbs, on erect stems two or three feet high, have the appearance of snow. From June to August. Leaves pinnate, downy beneath; the terminal leaflets larger, three-lobed; the lateral ones undivided. This and most of the species succeed best in a strong, most soil, enduring the severest winter without protection.
The Golden-striped leaved Meadow-sweet is a variety of the single Meadow-sweet, with leaves elegantly variegated with golden-yellow. The flowers, which are not of much account, are of a greenish-white.
Dropwort, is an herbaceous perennial of easiest culture. It is so called from the manner in which its tuberous roots hang together by threads. The flowers are arranged in corymbs, somewhat flattened. It is very handsome in bud, just before blooming; the buds are bright rose or red. The foliage is elegant; leaves pinnated; leaflets serrated. The Double Dropwort, S. fili-pendula plena, is one of the finest hardy perennials. It possesses all the elegance of the single variety in its foliage; while the mass of its pure white flowers is much finer and more showy. It does not grow so high, and is in flower all the season, throwing up a succession of flower-stems until frost. The tuberous roots of this species must be divided with care in August, to have a strong bloom the following season; care must be taken to preserve an eye on each tuber, as in dividing the Peony, or the root may fail. Sometimes sprouts will be thrown out from the tuber, but not commonly.
A species, indigenous in the middle States. The flower-stems are two feet high, terminated by corymbs of* deep-pink or red flowers. It is not so long in bloom as. the last species and varieties, but fine in its season; in July. Leaves pinnate, glabrous; the odd leaflet large, seven-lobed; lateral ones three-lobed. Varieties of this are found in collections as S. palmata and S. ven/uata; they are more robust plants, and differ somewhat in the foliage and the depth of color of the flowers.
The foliage of this species is a rich deep-green, decompound. Flowers pure white in panicled spikes; one and one-half foot high; in June and July. This is one of the most delicate and elegant of all the Spiraeas; and, like all the rest, very hardy. These spikes of white flowers, with the foliage, are fine for choice bouquets.
This is a tall-growing species, three or four feet high, with large compound leaves, and panicled spikes of yellowish-white flowers; in June and July. This is more suitable for the shrubbery than for the border.