This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(fanciful Greek name). Sometimes spelled Chorozema. Leguminosse. Evergreen coolhouse small shrubs grown for the showy pea-like yellow orange and red, usually racemose flowers; spring- and summer-blooming.
Woody plants of diffuse or half-climbing habit, with thick and shining simple often spiny-toothed leaves and pea-like red or yellow flowers: calyx-lobes 5, the 2 upper ones mostly broader; petals clawed, the standard very broad, keel short; stamens not united: pod short, not constricted. - About 15 species, in Austral., 3 of which appear to be chiefly concerned in the garden forms. Handsome plants for the cool greenhouse, less popular in this country than abroad. When not grown too soft, they will stand slight frost at times. Grown in the open in S. Calif, and S. Fla. They are grown in a rather peaty soil, after the manner of azaleas, and usually rested in the open in summer. They are excellent for training on pillars and rafters.
Chorizemas are among the most attractive spring-flowering plants, and they are not difficult to grow. Cuttings should be secured in March from medium-ripened wood and may be either potted singly in small pots, or several placed together in larger pots. The former method has the advantage, because when cuttings are well rooted in the small pots, they may be shifted along without so much disturbance to the roots. The cuttings root readily in a mixture of two parts sharp sand and one of peat, sifted through a fine sieve. They should be placed in a tight case or covered with a bell-glass in a temperature of 58° to 60° by night. A rise of 10° in the day will be sufficient. The inclosure that protects them from drafts should be opened a few minutes now and then to change the air. For potting chorizemas in the early stages, equal parts of good peat and sharp sand is about right. When a 5- or 6-inch pot is reached, much less sand should be used,-just enough to give the earth a gritty feeling and the peat may be in a rather rough state, just small enough to be conveniently used in potting. The potting should be firm, as loose potting is bad for all kinds of hardwood plants. Keep the plants shaded from the sun during the hot months, and use the syringe freely.
Also pinching must be attended to from their early stages to insure a good bushy plant. It is best not to stop the plants after August, as they will begin then to set buds. A plant in a 5- or 6-inch pot may be grown the first year if properly attended to. The plants should be wintered in a night temperature of 40° with a rise of 10° or 15° during the day. The second summer, and from that on as long as the plants are kept, they do better if plunged in a bed of clean coal-ashes out-of-doors, provided there is no danger from frost; by so doing, a much shorter-jointed growth will be the result. Plants well established in their pots may be fed with liquid manure until they set buds. A 3-inch potful of cow- or horse-urine to two and one half or three gallons of water, will be sufficient, and for a change a handful of soft-coal soot to the same amount of water; but always water twice with clean water between applications. Brown scale sometimes gets a foothold on chorizemas and it may be eradicated by fumigation with cyanide of potassium.
Red-spider may be kept down with the syringe. (George F. Stewart.)
Benth. (C. elegans, Hort.). The common cult, species, in several forms: erect, 4-6 ft., pubescent on under side of leaves and on branches: leaves cordate-ovate, undulate and prickly-toothed, 2 in. or less long: flowers in many pubescent racemes; standard light orange, wings and keel handsome purple-red. B.R. 25:49. - Garden forms are C. Chandleri, with yellow-red standard, and blood-red wings, the flowers large and numerous; and such names as grandiflorum, macrophyllum, lati-folium, floribundum, multiflorum. C. Lowii, Hort., is a form of this species, with larger and brighter-colored flowers
Lindl. (C. superbum, Lem.). Tall slender glabrous shrub (7-10 ft.), with weak branches: leaves cordate-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2 in. or less long, small-toothed and more or less prickly: flowers many; standard scarlet-red, wings and keel purple-red. B.R. 24:10. I.H.:29. variety rotundifolium, Hort., has roundish leaves variety splendens, Hort., is offered.
Labill. Fig. 925. Low and diffuse, weak, glabrous, the branches slender and erect or drooping: leaves ovate to lanceolate, 1 in. long, often cordate at base, thick, coarsely veined, strongly undulate and with prickly teeth or lobes: flowers in few-flowered loose racemes, orange-red in spring and summer. B.M. 1032 (as C. nanum). B.R. 1513 (as C. triangulate). l. H. B,
Fig. 925. Chorizema ilicifolium. (X 1/3)