Reseda. Mignonette

[From resedo, to calm, to appease. The Latins thought it useful as a topical application in external bruises.]

"No gorgeous flowers the meek Reseda grace, Yet sip with eager trunk yon busy race Her simple cup, nor heed the dazzling gem That beams in Fritillaria's diadem."

Reseda Odorata. Common Mignonette

This fragrant hardy annual is too well known to need any description. A bed of it should be found in every garden. It continues to bloom and send forth its sweetness all the season. Self-sown plants begin to produce flowers in June. The plants are in great demand in and about London and other great cities, being sold in pots and in bouquets. Some idea of the extent of its cultivation may be derived from the fact, which I heard from a creditable London seedsman, that he alone sold a ton and a half of the seed yearly.

To obtain plants for blooming from December to February, a sowing should be made in July in the open ground, and the plants potted in September. The crop for March, April and May, should be sown not later than the twenty-fifth of August; the plants of this sowing will not suffer by exposure to rain whilst they are young; they must, however, be protected from early frosts, like the winter crops. The third crop should be sown in pots the last of February. Thus, by attending to the sowing of the seed at these three several times, and nursing the plants in a proper manner, this fragrant flower may be had to perfume the bouquet the year round.

The following remarks on the Tree Mignonette are taken from the English Floral Cabinet:-

"Sow the seed of the Common Mignonette towards the end of February, in pots the size thirty-two, such being six inches deep and four inches and a half in diameter, inside measure. Use a good rich loamy soil after the seed is sown, place the pots in a cucumber or melon-frame (hot-bed.) When the plants are up, they must be placed where they can get air, to prevent them being drawn up weakly, as well as to preserve them from damping off. When the plants have made a few leaves, pull up all the plants but two, which must be allowed to remain till they get over danger from damping off, when the best may be retained and be secured to a support. As the plants grow, side shoots will push, they must be pinched off, always leaving the leaf at the base of each shoot which contributes to its growth. If the leading shoot should show flower, it must also be pinched off. When the plants have grown ten or twelve inches high, they should be removed to a warm part of the green-house. Water must be given when the plants are dry. As the season advances the plants must be placed in more airy situations, which will gradually harden them. When the plants have reached a desirable height, from half a yard to two feet, pinch out the heads; this will induce a number of lateral shoots to push and form a bushy head. Plants thus treated will bloom early the following spring; after they have showed flowers, the plants, if vigorous, may be removed with balls entire, into pots a size larger; they will then bloom all the season."

This plant is supposed to be an Egyptian, and to have been brought to England from the south of France, where it is called Reseda d'Egypte, and herb d'amour (love-flower.) It is a favorite plant, and has well justified this affectionate name, Mignonette or Little Darling; its sweetness wins all hearts.

"The luxury of the pleasure-garden," says Mr. Curtis, "is greatly heightened by the delightful odour which this little plant diffuses; and as it grows more readily in pots, its fragrance may be conveyed into the house. Its perfume, though not so refreshing as the Sweet Brier, is not apt to offend the most delicate olfactories. People have not been satisfied, however, with growing this little darling in pots; it is often seen cradled in the sunshine, in boxes the whole length of the window it is placed in."

- "the sashes fronted with a range

Of orange, myrtle or the fragrant weeds The Frenchman's darling." - Cowper.


[From the Greek words for rose and flower.

Rhodanthe Manglesii

A most delightful plant, from the Swan River; it is one of the tribe called everlasting, from its remaining perfect throughout the winter, if gath-ere when in bloom, and resembles the Helichrysum.

R. Maculata

Is a larger-flowered variety, in which each of the rosy florets have a dark spot at the base. The following are more recent varieties of the same.

Rhodanthe Maculata

Rhodanthe Maculata.

R. Atrosanguinea

This beautiful and very distinct variety differs from the R. maculata in its dwarfer and more branching habit; longer and more pointed foliage, which is dotted near the tip; and especially by the color of its flowers, which have the entire disk of the dark-purple, or crimson-brown shade, varying* in some specimens to almost dark-violet and maroon, as in Coreopsis tinctoria and its varieties. The ray scales are of a bright pur. ple or magenta color, deeper than in It. maculata. It is more floriferous than R. maculata, but the capitules are somewhat smaller, the average diameter being about one inch. Introduced from Australia, by William Thompson.

R. Maculata Alba

This charming variety from the beautiful R. maculata, is identical with it in habit, differs from it only in the color of the ray scales, which are of the purest and most silvery white; the disk being yellow as in R. maculata. It is unquestionably the finest white everlasting in cultivation.