Coarse-growing annuals with alternate entire leaves and small green or red flowers in large bracteate clustered spikes

Fig. 208. Amwanthtus caudatus. (1/4 nat. size.)

Fig. 208. Amwanthtus caudatus. (1/4 nat. size.)

Flowers polygamous, furnished with 3 bracts at the base of a 3-or 5-lobed glabrous perianth. Stamens free, 5 or 3. Fruit a 1-seeded utricle, dehiscing transversely. There are about twelve species, widely spread in warm and tropical countries. The name is compounded of a privative, uapaivw, to fade, and avOos, a flower, in reference to the persistent scarious flowers and bracts. A. cristatus, syn. Celosia cristata, is the Cockscomb of our conservatories.

Fig. 209. Amaranthus hypochondriacus. (1/4 nat. size.)

Fig. 209. Amaranthus hypochondriacus. (1/4 nat. size.)

1. A. caudatus (fig. 208). Love-lies-bleeding. - This showy annual is one of the common inhabitants of cottage-gardens. The pendulous half-trailing inflorescence is either crimson or pale yellow. It is a native of the East Indies, and was introduced in 1596.

2. A. hypochondriacus (fig. 209). Prince's Feather. - This is distinguished by its erect habit and deep crimson inflorescence. The foliage too is purplish beneath. Also Asiatic. A. speciosus, a variety of the same or a closely allied species, bears the same name.

A. tricolor (fig. 210), a variety of A. melancholicus, with ornamental foliage, is a favourite bedding plant. The variegation consists of an admixture of crimson, yellow, and green. A. salicifolius is a handsome plant of recent introduction from the Philippine Islands, having very long narrow pendulous wavy leaves variegated with bright red.

Fig. 210. Amaranthus tricolor. (1/4 nat. size.)

Fig. 210. Amaranthus tricolor. (1/4 nat. size.)