Eschscholtzia. California. Poppy

[Named after Doct. Eschscholtz, a botanist of the last century.]

Eschscholtzia Californica. California Poppy

A native of the State, the name of which it bears, where it abounds, and is found in large patches or masses, enlivening the plains with its brilliant shining yellow blossoms.

Scarcely any plant produces a greater degree of splendor than this; when the full sun is upon it, it makes a complete blaze of color. It is a most suitable plant for producing a distant effect. When it is planted out in a bed, it requires a considerabe number of sticks for support, or the weak branches will be liable to lie close to ground, and then the bloom is not so fine. If planted in single patches, they should have several sticks placed around, and a string fastened, so as to keep the flower-stalks tolerably erect; by this attention a neat and handsome effect will be given. I adopt the use of cross-strings, as well as a circular one, by which means I have the shoots regularly disposed. E. crocea, Saffron-colored California Poppy, of a dark, bright saffron-color; and E alba, White California Poppy, with white flowers, are only varieties of E. Californica, and require the same treatment.

E. Tenuifolia

E. tenuifolia, is a species with very slender grass-like leaves; color of the flowers, pale whitish-yellow. All are easily propagated by seeds, and where the plants have scattered their seed upon the ground, a plentiful supply of young plants may be found in the following spring; they should be thinned out one foot apart. It is useless to attempt to transplant them, as it is very difficult to make them live.

The name of this genus has been altered to Chryseis, in disregard of the established custom among botanists. Although it is a more elegant word than Eschscholtzia, yet that being the older name, must have the preference.


[Name from Eupator, King of Pontus, who first used it in medicine.]

Eupatorium Purpureum. Purple Thoroughwort, Joe-Pye Weed

Purple flowers, in August; perennial; four to six feet high; indigenous; leaves in fours and fives. This plant cannot be said to be elegant, yet it is not destitute of beauty, and will be a valuable acquisition to the shrubbery. Its tall stem terminates in large corymbs of small shining purple flowers.

E. Perfoliatum. Bone-Set Or Thoroughwort

Is a plant held in high estimation medicinally; but it has no claim to beauty. The. medicinal virtues of the plant reside chiefly in the leaves, and the most efficient mode of exhibiting it, is by means of a simple decoction; its powers are those of a tonic. The reputation of it was, in old times, so great, that there were those who believed it would set bones; hence the common name. That it is a very bitter dose to take, I very well know by experience.

Euphorbia. Spurge

[Named after Euphorbus, who was a physician to Juba, King of Mauritania, and first used this plant in medicine.]

This is a very extensive genus of curious, grotesque plants, many of them poisonous. Among them are some splendid hot-house plants. They are all milky, mostly herbaceous; some are leafless, some are armed with prickles.

Euphorbia Corollata. Flowering Spurge

This is one of the most elegant species peculiar to the United States; a perennial, with subdivided umbels of conspicuous white flowers, and narrowish, oblong obtuse leave*. This plant is not uncommon in the sandy fields of the Middle States, and is in flower in June and July. Propagated by divisions of the root.

E. Lathyris. Caper Spurge

A half-hardy biennial, from England, of handsome appearance, with inconspicuous flowers; from May to September. From three to four feet high. The plants will stand the winter without protection, but are oftentimes entirely destroyed. A few plants should be taken up and placed in a dry cellar, and planted out in the spring. It has seed pods about the size and color of Caper buds, and are said to be sometimes substituted for that pickle. Eaten in any quantity, they must prove highly deleterious.

E. Variegata. Variegated Spurge

A most elegant species; a native of Missouri and Arkansas Territory; an annual much cultivated now in gardens, and highly-esteemed; flowering late in autumn, and remarkable for its abundant variegated bracts or floral leaves. Leaves oval entire; wavy, edged with white; capsules smooth; stems hairy. The seed must be sown early in April; it is some time in vegetating.

Fritillary. Fritillary

[From Fritillus, the Latin for dice-box, probably in allusion to the shape of the flowers.]

A genus with showy and singular looking flowers. The plants all require a deep loamy soil, and are readily increased by offsets or by seeds. They grow readily in the shade of trees, and do not require to be taken up oftener than once in three years.

Fritillaria Imperialis. Crown Imperial

A native of Persia. There are many varieties; all handsome, varying in color; viz.: bright yellow, scarlet, orange-scarlet, double red, double yellow, gold-striped-leaved, silver-striped-leaved, etc. This species is less esteemed than its beauty merits, on account of its strong, and, to some, its disagreeable scent. It flowers in April; the bulb throws up a strong, vigorous stem, three or four feet high, producing near the top a crown of beautiful, drooping, bell-shaped flowers, making a very conspicuous object at a season when but few flowers grace the garden. Above the crown of flowers the stem terminates in a tuft of its glossy green foliage. The nectaries are very curious; each cell, six in number, contains a large drop, which looks like a brilliant pearl. When the flower decays, the seed-vessels take a position the reverse of that of the flower, and stand erect. The bulbs are large and fleshy, somewhat solid; they do not keep well long out of the ground. When the stem dies down, the root should be taken up and replanted, if necessary; but this need not be done oftener than once in four or five years. They should be planted four inches deep, in a rich, deep garden soil. It is by some botanists called Petelium imperialis.

F. Persica

The Persian Fritillary or Persian Lily, bears a spike of brownish-purple flowers, growing at the top of the stem in the form of a pyramid; they open in May; stems three feet high; bulb similar to the last, except it is more elongated. To be treated in every way like the Crown Imperial.

F. Meleagris. The Common Fritillary, Or Chequered Lily

Is sometimes called the Guinea Hen Flower, on account of its chequered or spotted flowers. There are many varieties, the colors, various shades of brown, purple, and yellow, curiously mottled, spotted or chequered. The bulbs are about the size of those of the crocus, of the character of the other Fritillary bulbs, but more flattened; stems eight or ten inches high, with one or more gracefully-drooping, bell-shaped flowers, in April or May; to be planted in groups in good' garden soil, two inches deep. They should not be kept long out of the ground.

It is a native of England and the South of Europe. It is most probably of the Crown Imperial, that Moore speaks in the following lines; not the Persian Lily, commonly so called, since he describes the color as golden:-

"Once Emir ! thy unheeding child, 'Mid all this havoc, bloomed and smiled, - Tranquil on some battle plain The Persian Lily shines and towers, Before the combats reddening strain Hath fallen upon her golden flowers." - Fire Worshippers.