[Named from the Greek word for a trophy. The leaf resembles a buckler, and the flower an empty helmet.]
This is a beautiful climber, the charming little canary-colored blossoms of which, when half expanded, have a pretty and fanciful likeness to little birds. The plant has a fine, luxuriant, rambling character. It succeeds best in a light soil. If the seeds are planted in April or May, by the side of a trellis or arbor, the plants will soon cover considerable space, and produce their curious, lively flowers from July till the severe frosts of autumn. In rich, heavy soil it runs very much to vine, and produces its flowers very sparingly.
This is a well known ornamental annual, of easy cultivation. It flowers best in a light soil. It looks well trained to a trellis, or over a wall. The flowers are rich orange, shaded with crimson and various colors; the variety with crimson or blood-colored flowers makes a fine contrast with the orange. The seeds are used as a substitute for capers, and the flowers sometimes eaten in salads, or used for garnishing dishes.
There are a number of fine varieties of the Great Nasturtium, which are all beautiful and are very showy when trained together on a trellis or wall. The variety T. Seheuermani has straw-colored flowers with brown spots, and straw-colored flowers blotched and streaked with scarlet. T. coccinium, with scarlet flowers; T. nigro pur-pureum, with dark blackish-purple flowers; and T. atrosan-guineurn, with dark-crimson flowers, are all fine. These are some of the more distinct varieties of this species, , , but almost every variety of shade of their colors may be found in plants from the seeds of these sorts, as they vary very much; oftentimes the flowers will be different on the same plant. AU are annual, and are propagated either by seeds, which are freely produced, or by cuttings of half-ripened wood, which will root freely in sand.
T. Lobbianuui, was first collected by Mr. Lobb in Columbia; a rampant grower, and free-flowerer in the greenhouse, but does not succeed so well in the open ground; color of the flowers, bright orange-scarlet. It strikes freely from cuttings, but produces seed sparingly.
More than thirty varieties of this species are named in the European catalogues, and possess various habits; some very dwarf, others vigorous tall-growing plants, with every variety of color and 6hade of yellow, orange, sulphur, straw, creamy-white, scarlet, crimson, and dark-puce; shaded, blotched, and striped, most elegantly, with darker shades and colors. Carter's Tom Thumb varieties are dwarf, suitable for bedding-plants, and are yellow, orange, and scarlet, very rich shades without stripes or spots. There is also Catell's new Dwarf Crimson, very fine, and Dennett's new Orange and Spotted. One of the finest new Scarlet varieties is Crystal Palace Gem.
The following varieties, described by E. S. Rand, Esq., Chairman of the Flower-Committee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, were my seedlings:-
A pretty-petite variety, in color resembling Lobbianum, though perhaps darker; the petals are often finely fringed, a very free flowerer, but unless afforded a plenty of pot-room, ceases to grow after it begins to bloom; roots freely from cuttings, and seeds abundantly. Blooms very freely in the garden, and is desirable for bedding.
"A very fine seedling of Mr. Breck's; a vigorous grower; the writer has, in one summer, had one side of a large green house covered by a small plant. This variety has the desirable property of blooming equally well as a border-plant in the summer, and in the green-house in the winter. The color of the flower is a brilliant yellow; the base of each petal marked with a round, black spot; the flowers are often veined with purplish-red, sometimes very deeply, and, from a large plant, often dozens of blossoms, all of different shades, may be gathered; this is particularly the case in the green-house; in the border, the colors are more constant. This is probably, from its abundant flowers and free habit, the most popular variety, of its color, among gardeners, for bouquet purposes; and, though of comparatively recent introduction, is very widely disseminated. Propagated by cuttings; seeds sparingly.
A very pretty variety in the style of T. Breckii already described, with scarlet flowers; raised easily from seed."
To describe all the beautiful sports of the Tropaeolum, would be impossible, they are so numerous; very few of them will come true from seed; seeds from the same variety, will oftentime give a great diversity of colors. It is one of the most interesting, as well as one of the most ornamental of garden plants. There are two double varieties of, T. majus; one with orange, the other with yellow flowers, which answer for effect so far as a brilliant display of these colors in masses is concerned, as they are free bloomers; but they will not compare in beauty with the single varieties, when examined singly. They are so contorted and mis-shapen, and filled up with twisted petals, that a person, who had never before seen one, would think it almost anything but a Nasturtium. These varieties are propagated only by cuttings. I have noticed that the large-flowering Nasturtiums produce a greater profusion of bloom in light soil, than they do in that which is very rich; but the plants are more dwarfish.
There are many beautiful species and varieties of Tro-paeolum, which are suitable only for the green-house or stove.
[Name derived from an old German word, signifying something round, in allusion to the globular form of the flower.]
The petals being always inflected at the tip, and never expanded, they form a complete globe.
The European Globe-flower is a native of most parts of Europe, growing in moist shady places. "This splendid flower," says Linnaeus, "adorns the pavement of the rustics on festal days." It is a bright-yellow flower, blooming in June and July; two feet high. A hardy ornamental perennial of easiest culture, preferring a moist rich soil. Propagated by dividing the roots in August. Martyn, in his edition of Miller's Gardener's Dictionary, says:- "In Westmoreland these flowers are collected with great festivity, by the youth of both sexes, at the beginning of June; about which time it is usual to see them returning from the woods in an evening, laden with them, to adorn their doors and cottages with wreaths and garlands."
T. Asiaticus, has large dark-orange flowers, more open than T. Europaeus, on stems one foot high; in June and July. This, like the other, is a hardy border-perennial, and propagated in the same way.