Lunaria. Honesty

[From luna, the moon, in allusion to the broad, round, silvery pods or silicles.]

Limaria biennis. - Honesty. - Is an old-fashioned plant, flowering the second year from seed, and then dying. It produces large purple flowers, in May and June, that are succeeded by broad elliptical pods, which, when dry, are rather ornamental.

Lupinus. Lupin

[Said to be derived from lupus, a wolf, because this plant devours, as it were, all the fertility of the soil.]

The species are border-flowers, in much esteem for their velvet-like leaves and fine large flowers. They are all vigorous growing plants some annual, but mostly perennials.

Lupinus Perennis. Wild Lupin

Is a well-known species, indigenous all over the country; found, frequently, in large masses, from a yard to two rods in circumference, occupying the very poorest sandy or gravelly arid soil; in bloom about the first of June. It is very difficult, or even impossible, to transplant, with success, this fine perennial. The only sure way to propagate it is by seed, which should be gathered before it is entirely ripe, as it is scattered, as soon as mature, by the sudden bursting of the pod, by which the seed is thrown to a considerable distance. Nor will it succeed on rich ground; but whenever the seeds are to be sown, the soil should, in the first place, be removed, or a greater part of it, from a circle the diameter of which is three or four feet, and the hole be filled up with a poor, gravelly or sandy soil, and the seed sown in the center.

The flowers are found, in the wild state, of various colors and shades, from pure white (which is rare) through all the shades of light to dark-blue, inclining to purple; the margin of the flowers is frequently copper color, sometimes inclining to red. One variety has flowers of a dull pink. Stem erect, hairy. The digitate leaves are composed of about eight or ten leaflets, which are lanceolate, wedge-shaped, arranged like rays around the end of the petiole; hairy and pale underneath.

Many beautiful Lupins have, within a few years, been added to the list of herbaceous plants, from California and the North-west coast, which part of the world seems to be the central position, or head-quarters, of this genus of plants.

L. Polyphyllus. Many-Leaved Lupin

Is a splendid plant, from the North-west coast of North America. When I first received the seed of this fine Lupin many years since, only one of them vegetated. It produced radical leaves, only, the first year, which were multifoliat-ed, and borne on long petioles. The second year, it was transplanted, with much care, into rich soil, having been exposed, through the winter, to all the rigors of the season, without protection. In the month of May the flower-stalks began to be developed, and produced, in June, spikes of flowers, which were two feet in length, and from three to four feet in height from the ground. The flowers of a beautiful azure blue, with a reddish border, are disposed in long terminal clusters, forming whorls, very near each other, around the stem. The leaves are composed of from twelve to fifteen green, lanceolate leaflets, hairy on the under side. The third year it flowered abundantly, throwing up numerous flower-stems, so luxuriant that many were broken by the wind before they were secured to sticks. The third year the roots should be divided, as they become large in rich ground; the central part first decays, and finally the whole root perishes, unless this operation is performed. There is also a white variety.

There are a number of annual Lupins, of vigorous growth and easy to cultivate, and well adapted for children to make their first attempts in floriculture. The old varieties are, L. albus, white; L. pilosus, large blue; and L. luteus, with fine yellow flowers. The seeds may be planted in April or May.

L. Varius

L. varius, is a more delicate species, with smaller foliage and fine blue flowers.

L. Hartwegii. Hartweg's Lupin

This is a beautiful species, with delicate foliage and numerous dense spikes of rich, blue flowers; one to one and one-half foot high; from July to September; suitable for planting in masses.

L. Cruikshankii

This is an elegant species, growing from two to three feet high, with large spikes of white flowers, shaded with yellow, purple, or blue.


[Name from the Greek for lamp, the cottony leaves of a related plant having been used as a substitute for wicks.]

Lychnis Chalcedonica. Scarlet Lychnis

A common border perennial from Russia, of easy cultivation. The flowers are brilliant scarlet, which makes it valuable, as there are but few flowers of that color among our hardy herbaceous plants. The double variety is one of the most splendid decorations of the border; it is propagated only by divisions of the root or by cuttings of the flower stem. The cuttings are taken off at any time when the shoots are tender, and planted in a sandy loam, in a warm situation, but covered with a hand-glass and shaded from the sun. "When well established, they may be transplanted into the bed or border where they are to remain, and will flower strongly next year. There is also a single and double white variety. The single kinds are easily raised from seed. All the varieties do best in a light, rich, loamy soil. It is necessary to take up and divide the roots every other year, early in the spring. A light protection is necessary to the double varieties, to insure a vigorous bloom. The flowers are fascicled, (collected in bundles,) level-topped or convex; two feet high; in June and July. The double varieties continue to give flowers until autumn.

L. Fulgens. Splendid

Is a hardy species from Siberia, with scarlet flowers; one and one-half foot high; not common with us.

L. Grandiflora, Sometimes Called L. Coronata

L. grandiflora, sometimes called L. coronata, is a showy species from China. The flowers are large, solitary, terminal, and axillary, red, the petals torn; one and one-half foot high. Unfortunately, this beautiful plant will not stand our winter in open ground; it therefore requires to be taken up and potted in autumn, and protected in the house or a frame. It thrives and flowers abundantly most of the season, if planted out in the spring. It may be raised from seeds or cuttings.

L. Flos-Cuculi - Ragged Robin

This is an old inhabitant of the flower-garden, a native of Britain. The double variety is deservedly esteemed, is very ornamental, easy to cultivate, and flourishes in any common garden soil. It is propagated by divisions of the root. Flowers fine deep pink.

L. Flos-Cuculi Plena Alba. Double White Ragged Robin

This is a scarce but very beautiful variety, its pure white, full, double, solitary flowers are produced in continual succession through the summer. Perennial, but requires protection.

L. Haageana. Haage's Lychnis

This is an elegant perennial. It flowers the first year, producing large scarlet flowers, with jagged petals; one foot high. It will require protection through the winter. There are also a number of other species and varieties, which are beautiful, but not yet in general cultivation.

Lychnis Coronaria

Rose Campion or Mullien Pink, is a common showy border-flower; not a perfect perennial, but can be kept by dividing the roots when large. It is also easily propagated from seed, which flowers the second year. The common variety has deep-red flowers, another with white, and still another with white with a rose center; one and one-half foot high; in flower in June.and July.

L. Flos-Jovis

L. Flos-Jovis, is another perennial variety with smaller red flowers in umbels, with soft downy leaves; one and one-half foot high. L. coeli-rosa is an annual, with rose-colored flowers, very pretty, but not showy; one foot high.