There are none of the Perennial herbaceous ornamental plants of the flower garden which have passed through so many improvements as the Phlox family. The various species are so confounded by the hybridization of the florist, that the botanist is now puzzled to trace the origin of the variety. Within the last five years there has been quite a revolution in this interesting tribe, and those recommended then are mostly rejected now, and give place to many superb imported and home-produced varieties.
Class No. I., or the varieties from P. subulata (or Moss Pink), have been increased by a few new sorts; but in Class No. II., a June and July flowering Phlox, there are many new sorts; the following have flowered in my grounds, and are all worthy of a place in the garden, viz.:
Annais Chauweri. - White, with light purple eye, (fine).
Beppo. - Dark red, (very fire).
Cromwell. - Fine large, rose-color.
Fleur de Marie. - Pure white, with large red eye.
Insignis. - White, shaded with blue and purple.
Madame Doublat. - Purple and white, shaded.
Roi de Leopold. - Large white, distinctly striped with purple.
Speculum. - Pure white, large deep-red eye, (very fine).
Suaveolens. - Pure white, old variety, (very fine).
Van Houtte. - White, striped with purple.
Maculata. - Light purple, (old variety).
I have also many other new sorts, which have not yet shown flowers, or are so weak that no description can be given now.
Class III. - Flowering in July and August. - The following are foreign varieties, some of them new :
Phlox alba grandiflora. - Large pure-white flowers.
Coronation. - Clear bright pink.
Compte de Chambord. - White, with deep-red eye.
Decora. - Pure white, with dark-red eye.
Admiral de Leon. - Light-red, with dark-red eye, (fine).
Atro purpurea. - Purple-red.
Virgilia. - Dark-red, (very fine).
Grand Sultan. - Large white flowers, with light-purple eye.
Madame Lierval. - White, with delicate lilac eye, (fine).
Rosa superba. - Dwarf, fine clear rose.
Ne plus ultra. - Pink, with deep-red eye.
Maryanne. - White, striped with purple.
From my own raising, out of more than one thousand plants :
America. - Blush, with peach-bloom centre, (fine).
Mrs. Webster. - Large white flower, in dense corymbs, (very fine). Mrs. Breck. - Red, with deep-red eye. Breck's Perfection. - White, striped with red, red eye. Breckii. - Light-purple, with white eye, (very late). Snowflake. - Pure white, in dense heads. Variegata. - White, mottled with purple. Grandiflora nova. - Rose and white shaded, (very fine).
These varieties named constitute but a small portion of Phloxes now in my garden; after rejecting everything inferior, I found over one hundred named or numbered sorts worthy of cultivation, and which I intend to reduce to fifty of the very best in another season. I had also about twenty newly-imported varieties, that had not flowered, or were so weak as not to give their true character.
Phlox Drummondii. - This beautiful annual is also given to sporting. If some of its brilliancy could be given to the perennial sorts, by hybridization, it would give a finishing touch to many of the improved varieties. The Drummond Phlox is found in varieties of pure white; red with white eye, or occulata; Prince Leopold; dark-crimson, purple, etc.