This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I see by your Editorial Notes that Mr. Sturte-vant is regarded as the only one who has flowered the Victoria regia in the open air since Caleb Cope did, now over thirty years ago. I grew the Victoria for fourteen years when gardener to the late James Dundas, and flowered it in the open fountain in the centre of the garden several years in succession. I had a good-sized plant growing in the Victoria house, and about the beginning of June I planted it in the tank in the open air and it flowered about the end of August. I also grew and flowered several varieties; the Nymphaea and the Nelumbium flowered also. I got the plant down in the Neck, near the old fish house, over twenty-five years ago. I also grew the Madagascar lattice-leaf plant, or, properly speaking, the Ouvirandra fenestralis. I suppose it is now out of existence in this neighborhood. But, Mr Editor, I am satisfied no one can grow the Victoria from seed in the open air and flower it in this latitude; for it is a well-known fact to those who have had experience in growing it, that it requires water at a temperature of 75° to 80° to grow it successfully. Mr. Sturtevant, of course, has not grown it from seed in the open air and flowered it.
Mr. George McHattie, when gardener to Mr. Spang, of Pittsburg, grew and flowered it in the open air.
[Even in the South it would be scarcely possible to flower the plant in the open air, unless the plants were brought forward in heat first, as Mr. Pollock suggests. Mr. Cope flowered the real Egyptian lotus, Nelumbium speciosum, in the same open-air tank in which the Victoria plant was growing, but these also were advanced under glass before being transferred to the open-air basin.
It may be of interest to note that the Philadelphia location for the American lotus, Nelumbium luteum referred to by Mr. Pollock has at length been totally destroyed. The one at Moorestown, N. J., we believe still exists.
It would be a matter of interest if Mr. Sturtevant would give an account of his manner of flowering the Victoria in warmed water in the open air of New Jersey. - Ed. G. M. ]