This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I herewith enclose you specimens of leaves of two dozen of the new Hybrid Coleus which have been originated last Summer from seeds, the product of Chameleon crossed with Multicolor and Pictus. If you will place them on a white surface, I think you will say that hardly ever has any plant made such a decided advance as these coleusus have made in one season. The cut represents one of the most distinct, which we have named Spotted Gem: the markings on the orange yellow surface, run through all the shades of pink, crimson, violet maroon, almost to black. The next in value we think is Glory of Autumn, whose shades give nearly all the tints of a forest in October. This proved to be an excellent bedder in the open air, which is not likely to be the case with many of these new hybrids; but even if they fail in that, as plants for greenhouse and window garden culture, the wonderful beauty and variety of their leaf markings well entitles them to a place there.
NEW HYBRID COLEUS.
"We have this time completely beaten our European cotemporaries, for the new varieties we have received from England this season are perfectly worthless compared with our American varieties.
It is a singular circumstance that these fine varieties of Hybrid Coleus, should have originated from four different sources, and nearly all of the same strain at one time, for we find them to have been originated at Philadelphia, Ridge-wood, N. J., Baltimore, Md., and Worcester, Mass. - all in 1879. It is hard to account for such coincidences which occasionally occur in new varieties of plants. Although we had been growing tens of thousands of plants annually for nearly ten years of the well known carmine colored Bou-vardia elegans, it was only in 1870,1 think, that the two white varieties, B. Vreelandii and David-sonii appeared, almost simultaneously in the greenhouses of the gentlemen whose names they bear.
[These were very beautiful and in great variety. - Ed. G. M].