[The name derived from its glaucous foliage.]
Glaucium luteum. - Sea Celandine, or Yellow Horned Poppy. - This is a flower common to every part of Europe, growing on sandy soils, chiefly by the sea shore. The flowers fall the second day after they are blown, but they are large, form a fine contrast with the leaves, which are of a sea-green color, glaucous, with a dew-bespangled appearance. It is biennial; the whole plant abounds in a yellow juice, is foetid, of a poisonous quality, and said to produce madness. Ben Johnson mentions the Horned Poppies among the plants used by the witches in their incantations. Probably, that however handsome the plant may be, it will not be sought after with great eagerness.
(Named in honor of Chas. Godet, a Swiss botanist.J
This is properly only a section of the genus OEnothera; but, as the distinction is usually kept up in works on floriculture, they are retained here under a separate head. They are generally beautiful, hardy annual plants of easy cultivation in any good garden soil. The species are natives of California, and some improved varieties have been obtained from them.
Ruddy Flowered, introduced by Mr. Douglas from California. It grows nearly two feet high, with large rosy-lilac flowers, which have an orange colored eye in the center, the base of each petal ending with that color; in flower from July to September.
G. ruMcunda splendens, is a variety raised by Vilmorin, who says:-
"The Godetia ruMcunda is one of our best annuals and a general favorite with amateurs of fine flowers, the new variety we offer, and which has been raised in our gardens, differs from its senior by its purple stain in the center, which is larger and of a much brighter color, being thus more showy, and producing a much greater effect.
"We do not doubt that the new variety which has proved during two years cultivation quite permanent, will supersede the old one as soon as it is sufficiently known."
The flowers are of a pale-purple, with a light center, each petal marked at the upper part with a large patch of crimson-purple color, which gives the flowers a pretty appearance; it merits a place in the garden.
Another pretty hardy annual plant. The flowers have much the appearance of CEnothera rosea alba; they are near two "inches across, nearly white, slightly suffused with rosy-purple. They are produced in profusion from July to September.
This species is one of the prettiest of the genus. The flowers are either white or blush, with a rich purple blotch on each petal; in flower all summer.
The color of the flower is pure white, with a brilliant rose blotch, at the base of each petal; height one foot, and blooms in profusion. Godetia, the Bride. This comparatively new variety is one of the most elegant of the genus. Flowers pure white with a faint blush, large and showy; in bloom most of the season; height one and one-half foot.
[From a Greek word for club, probably in allusion to the shape of the flowers.]
"Amaranths such as crown the maids That wander through Zamara's shades."
Gomphrena globosa, is a popular tender annual, valued for its heads of flowers, which, if they are gathered before they are too far advanced, will retain their beauty for several years. There are three common varieties; the purple, white, and striped. The seed is difficult to vegetate in the open ground; soaking the seed twelve hours in warm milk is recommended; scalding, perhaps, would do better. A powerful heat in the hot-bed will start it quickly, and destroy the plant also, unless care is taken.
A new species of this desirable Amaranth has been discovered in Mexico, which makes quite an important addition to this class of "immortelles," so universally cultivated in our gardens. It has reddish-orange flowers, in heads more oval than the common Amaranth. Like the other Amaranths, it should be started in a hot-bed. The flowers should be gathered before they are fully mature, and hung up with heads down, to dry.
[From Greek words, signifying the sun and flower.]
"Great Helianthus climbs the upland lawn, And bows in homage to' the rising dawn; Imbibes with eagle eye the golden ray, And watches, as it moves, the orb of day"'
Nothing can be a more complete ideal representative of the sun than the gigantic Sunflower, with its golden rays; it is dedicated with great propriety to the sun, which it never ceases to adore while the earth is illuminated by his light. The whole plant, and particularly the flower, exudes a thin pellucid odorous rosin, resembling Venice turpentine. From the seeds edible oil has been expressed, and they are also excellent food for domestic poultry." That the flower turns with the sun, is a popular error. It is not true that, when the sun sinks into the west, the flowers of the Helianthus are turned towards him; or, that when he rises from the east, the flowers are again ready to be cherished by the first influence of his beams. It is a pity to spoil this poetry, but it is all moon-shine.
This lordly plant is too well known to need a description, a plantation of them in some locality, not particularly desirable for any thing else, may be tolerated; but it should be remembered, that they are great exhausters of the soil.
The dwarf double varieties are more to be desired; they grow from two to four feet high, and have very large double flowers; the tubular florets of the disk being changed into ligular ones, like those in the ray. There are a number of perennial Sunflowers which are indigenous; tall coarse growing plants, which look pretty in the borders of woods where they are to be found, but not to be tolerated in the garden.
The double-flowered variety of this plant has large deep-yellow flowers, in August and September, of the size and form of the Dahlia; so much so, that many persons not acquainted with plants, have taken the flowers to be Dahlias. It is a perennial, with thick fleshy roots, every piece of which will make a strong plant when planted in the spring. I have found it tender in moist ground, but in dry soil, with a little protection, it stands the winter; four or five feet high.