This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
This genus in its widest sense includes many species differing greatly in habit, but almost identical in structure. These are known in gardens under the generic names of Ipomopsis, Leptosiphon, Fenzlia, etc. The principal characteristic of these plants is to have several angular seeds in each cell of the capsule, and the stamens inserted at the mouth of the corolla-tube. The corolla varies from salver-shaped to campanulate. The species are all annual or biennial, and natives of America. The genus was named in memory of a
Spanish botanist. The following are the species usually known in gardens under this name, and in these the corolla-tube is very short, scarcely exceeding the calyx-lobes.
2. G. tricolor. - A slender glabrous annual about a foot high. Leaves bipinnately divided into narrow linear segments. Flowers about 8 or 10 lines in diameter, 2 to 4 together at the ends of the branches, purple and lilac with a deeper shade in the centre. This is a very pretty plant, of which there are several varieties in gardens. Also from California.
3. G. dianthoides, syn. Fenzlia dianthoides. - A dwarf tufted branching annual about 6 inches high, with simple linear often opposite leaves and solitary terminal rosy lilac flowers having 5 dark purple spots around the centre. A native of California.
The next sub-genus is Leptosiphon, so named from the long slender tube of the corolla. The species are all dwarf annuals, rarely exceeding a foot in height, and often not more than 3 or 4 inches. They are charming little subjects, with extremely slender stems and deeply palmately divided leaves with narrow linear segments, and terminal corymbose heads of brightly coloured flowers. L. Androsaceus (fig. 173) has rosy purple, lilac or white flowers; L. densiflorus is a similar plant with rather larger pale purple or white flowers; L. luteus, small yellow or orange-coloured flowers, according to the variety; and L. rbseus has delicate rose-coloured flowers. There are also many very elegant and beautiful hybrid varieties between the foregoing species.
Leptodactylon Californicum is a charming little undershrub from California, and is well adapted for planting out in early
Fig. 173. Leptosiphon Androsaceus. (1/4 nat. size.)
Spring, though not quite hardy enough to withstand the severity of our Winters. It grows about 18 inches or 2 feet high, with the sessile leaves palmately divided to the base into linear rigid segments, and comparatively large solitary rose-coloured flowers, produced in the greatest profusion from the tips of the short lateral branches.
Ipomopsis elegans, syn, Gilia coronopifolia, is a tall slender biennial from 2 to 4 feet high, with divided leaves and terminal panicles of orange-scarlet flowers spotted with purple. There is also a rose-coloured variety.