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.
"There was once, still is, perhaps, a superstition that plants in rooms are unwholsome. Setting aside special cases it may be said that, as a general rule, plants in a living room, if they have any perceptible effect at all, are beneficial rather than otherwise. We are glad to see, says the Gardener's Chronicle, the faculty taking this view of the subject. An American physician has, it seems, pointed out that by their powers of transpiring moist vapor plants render great service in rooms warmed by dry air. The value of plants and flowers as delassement for the weak and weary is acknowledged on all hands. Dr. Anders, according to the British Medical Journal, goes further, and states that the pursuit of gardening, though it naturally favors rheumatism, appears to arrest consumption in persons of phthisical tendency, while the abandonment of the pursuit in other cases led to the development of the disease. Dr. Anders recommends a room well stocked with plants as a complete and agreeable health-resort free from the inconveniences of traveling and the anxiety of separation from home We concur with our contemporary in the opinion that the doctor has opened up a most interesting subject for investigation".
Paullinia thalictrifolia is one of the most beautiful of plants, and one that cannot fail to become a favorite. It is a native of the southern Brazils, from whence it was introduced to the nurseries of Messrs. Veitch & Sons, of Chelsea. In general appearance it is not unlike a minutely cut-leaved Maiden-hair Fern, and, indeed, so much does it resemble a Fern, that it might easily be mistaken for one. The leaves are of a rich shade of green, and, as the specific name implies, they closely resemble in shape those of some species of dwarf Meadow Rue (Thalictrum). The young branches are clothed with a veivety down of a greenish-chocolate color, and the woody stems are also tinged with brown.
If only required for decorative purposes there should be no inclination to make the plants produce flowers, which are inconspicuous; therefore the main object should be to have plenty of healthy foliage. To secure this, the plant should be grown in a temperature of from 65° to 70°, and if one part of the greenhouse is more adapted to its growth than another, it is the dampest part. After this plant came into the possession of Messrs. Veitch, and before its true value became known, some plants of it were placed in a corner of an old, very damp, warm pit, in which position they grew wonderfully strong, and quite surpassed in vigor and beauty those that were, as was then supposed, placed under more advantageous circumstances, i. e., in drier and lighter parts of other houses. Care is therefore now taken to keep them where abundant atmospheric moisture can be supplied. This plant may be grown to train on a small trellis or to affix to short rafters, but the best mode is to grow it so as to form little well-foliaged specimens.
A compost consisting of two parts good substantial peat and one of loam, together with some silver sand, suits it admirably. - Gardening Illustrated.