[A Greek word, signifying a tortoise, to the back of which the helmet of the present genus has been fancifully compared.]
Chelone glabra, also called C. obliqua, is a North American species with white, rose-colored or purple flowers. The plant formerly called Chelone barbata, is a Pentstemon. Handsome border perennials, of easy culture in loamy soil, or loam and a little peat.
[From the Greek words for Gold and flower.]
This is one of the handsomest autumnal flowers, and easily cultivated in almost any soil. It stands the winter without covering, but is best cultivated in pots, where it can receive protection when in bloom, in severe weather in autumn. In warm seasons, it flowers well in October and November, in a sheltered place, in the open ground. The plants may be cultivated in the garden till they are in bud, when they may be safely transferred to pots; but it would be better to commence their cultivation from the slip or cutting, in the spring, and sink the pots into the ground, in a shady place, until the time of taking up. The varieties are endless, early and late, tassel-flowered, quilled, flat-petalled, pompon, etc., with every shade of light purple, yellow, white, lilac, blush-brown, red-brown, etc.
For common culture, divide the roots in the spring, and plant them out, where they are to stand, in a warm exposure, in good rich loam. As they are coming into bud, give them occasional waterings with liquid manure.
To produce handsome, dwarf, bushy plants, the following course may be adopted, as practised by Youell & Co., England, which plan, they say, "if carried out, will ensure dwarf plants from one and one-half to two feet high, covered with rich dark-green foliage, and carrying blooms from five to seven inches in diameter. . In the last week in May we select the tops of the strongest shoots for cuttings, putting four or five round the edge of a three-inch pot, and placing them in a gentle warmth. When rooted, they are potted singly in the same-sized pot, and kept in a close frame for a few days, until they have become established. The tops may then be pinched out, leaving five or six joints to remain for lateral shoots. After a few days' hardening off, they are then removed to an open situation, allowing the plants a sufficient distance from each other to prevent their drawing, care being observed that they do not suffer from want of water. About the third week in July, we shift, for blooming, into seven-inch pots, using a small handful of coarely-brokeu bones at the bottom. The soil we use consists of equal parts of well decayed (one year old) pig manure, turfy loam, and leaf-mould, adding half a barrowful of peat, and half ditto of road-drift to every four barrows of the above. When potted, they are placed in rows two feet apart, and they require but little attention, except watering, for two months. At the expiration of this period, we commence watering twice a week with liquid manure made with one bushel of fresh pig manure (free from straw) to about eighty gallons of water. This will be ready for use in two or three days. As soon as the plants show flower-buds, we tie each shoot to a stick, and train them fan-shaped. Disbudding ought now to be attended to, reserving only one, or, at most, two, at the top of each shoot; but where two are left, it is better to take out the second bud, and leave the third, to prevent confusion. As soon as the buds show color, the plants are then removed to the green-house or conservatory, giving plenty of air, and substituting water for liquid manure. We ought to have mentioned that, where a profusion of bloom is required, two or three plants may be inserted in the pots where only one is usually grown. This will afford an opportunity of cutting away the weakest shoots, and reserving the strongest only."
The varieties of this annual species are hardy garden plants, of some beauty in their full double varieties of white and yellow; two or more feet high; in bloom most of the season. Easily raised from seed. The single sorts should be pulled up as soon as the blossoms appear. Extra fine double varieties can be raised from cuttings, and kept through the winter in the greenhouse or setting-room.
Of the Dwarf Yellow variety, Vilmorin, of Paris, says:-
"This new variety has been obtained in our own grounds; it is of a low habit, forming a thick, branchy brush, about 15 inches high on 20 to 24 inches in diameter, and produces on this reduced space about as many flowers as the old variety on its much larger plants. As a bedding and border-plant this new Chrysanthemum will soon be a favorite and reconquer the place which the tall variety seems to have been obliged to give up to other plants, more in consequence of its ancientness than for the superiority of the merits of its younger competitors."
Is a hardy annual from Barbary; one and one-half foot high; in flower all the season. Disk of the flower purplish-brown, inner circle of the rays yellow, margined with white, very pretty. Some of the improved varieties of this flower are C. venustum and Burridgeanum.
A plant much resembling Chamomile in appearance, having a strong, unpleasant smell and a bitter taste. The double variety of this plant, known as the Double Fever-few, is a half-hardy perennial, which gives a succession of double pure white flowers, resembling Daisies, from June to November; two feet high. It can hardly be kept through the winter except in frames,* or as is most common in the green-house or conservatory. It is raised from cuttings very readily, or from divisions of the root. When raised from seed, most of the plants will be worthless, not much better than weeds, as there is no beauty in the single flowers.
This is also called Pyrethrum roseum, but we follow the best authorities and place it with Chrysanthemum. Within a few years we have received from France a number of varieties of this species with double flowers, which are perfectly hardy. One variety has carmine, one rose, another with white flowers. There are also a number of named varieties, all hardy perennials, propagated by divisions of the root; in flower most of the summer; about two feet high. The flowers are as large and of the shape of that pest of the farmer, the White Weed, and related to that nuisance, at least as near as second cousin, but I have not noticed that it has any propensity to intrude itself upon good society as that plant has. When propagated from seed, most of the plants will be single and worthless. Like the Double Fever-few, the plant has a strong, unpleasant smell
* In the winter of 1864-5 it stood without protection.