Ricinus. Palma Christi

Castor-oil Plant. [From the Latin name for the tick, an insect which the seeds resemble.]

Ricinus Communis

This is the common Castor-oil Plant. A very luxuriant, strong-growing annual, sometimes found in the garden, not so much for its beauty as for curiosity. Some of the species are ornamental as well as curious.


R.Sanguineus, is well worthy of a place in the flower-garden, where there is a plenty of room. The seeds should be started in a hot-bed or green-house, and transplanted into small pots when they are three or four inches high, and turned out into the garden in June. They make a vigorous growth, and attain the height of eight or ten feet before the frost overtakes them, with numerous side branches, with terminal spikes of greenish-yellow flowers, one or one foot and one-half long; these are succeeded by thorny capsules of a light-scarlet color, which are very ornamental. The stalks of the plants as well as the foot-stalks of the leaves, are brownish-red. The leaves are very large, palmate, and elegant.


[Named after Olaus Rudbeck, professor of botany at Upsal.]

A genus of North American plants, some of them valuable for the border; all are hardy, and easily propagated by dividing the roots.

Rudbeckia fulgida has large, brilliant yellow flowers, with a dark center, or disk; about two feet high; continuing in bloom all the months of July and August; perennial.

R. Amplexifolia

An herbaceous annual plant, grows from two to three feet high; straight branching stems; lanceolated radical leaves, sinewy and petiolated; the cauline narrow embracing the grayish-green colored stem. Flowers large, solitary terminals, with broad streaks of a fine yellow, marked with a lively stripe of purple at the base; conical disk of a deep brown; in blossom from June to September. This plant is remarkable for the brilliancy of its flowers, and for the length of time that it continues in bloom. It is hardy, and its cultivation requires no particular care.

Sabbatia. American Centaury

[Named after Sabbati, an Italian botanist.]

. A pretty North American genus of plants, not much cultivated, but if properly managed, would no doubt prove valuable in the flower-garden.

Sabbatia chloroides, is found on the margin of ponds; it has large, showy pink flowers; in July. It is a biennial and must therefore be propagated from seed, which should be sown in moist ground as soon as ripe, or early in the spring.


[From the Greek for trumpet and tongue, in allusion to the shape of the style,]

Salpiglossis Pinnata

A species from Chili, where it is a perennial, but in cultivation it is treated as a biennial in the green-house, and as an annual in the open air. It has given rise to many varieties, some of which have received distinct names. The flowers in all the varieties are funnel-shaped, something like those of the Petunia, but not so broad, and more delicate. The variety called S. atro-purpurea is of a fine, rich, dark velvety puce color; S. straminea, has pure yellow flowers; S. Barclayana and hybrida are iron-brown, and yellow-veined with brown; S. sinuata, flowers a dark-blood color, veined or striped; S. picta has beautiful striped flowers, all grow from one and a half to two feet high. They succeed finely when started in a hot-bed, flowering profusely from August to October. The best soil for their cultivation is a mixture of loam and sand, enriched with rotted horse-manure and a little leaf-mould. In heavy soil it will not succeed so well.


[From salvco, to save, on account of the healing quality of the plants.]

The common Sage (Salvia officinalis), is well known as a garden medicinal plant. It was formerly in great repute in medicine. In cookery it is used for sauces, stuffings, etc.

This genus is very large, and consists of herbs and un-der-shrubs, the leaves of which have generally a roughish appearance, the smell aromatic, and the flowers commonly in spikes, two or three together from a bract or leaf. They are all of easy culture, and some of them are ornamental green-house plants or border-flowers.

Salvia Splendens

A Mexican plant of extraordinary beauty for the green-house or border, but tender, and will not bear the frost. It is easily raised from cuttings, which, when well established in pots and. turned out into the garden in June, will soon become large plants and produce a profusion of large scarlet flowers in spikes, whicli continue to give brilliancy to the garden until cut down by the frost. The plants become quite bushy, often three or four feet high.

S. fulgens

S. fulgens - This is also tender, but may be used as a border-flower, when treated like S. splendens. It is not so free a flowerer. The flowers are scarlet-crimson, somewhat rough or hairy, but very beautiful. Two or three feet high.

S. Coccinea

This is a tender annual, with smaller scarlet flowers in spikes; one and one-half foot high; in flower most of the season; easily raised from seeds.

S. Patens

A green-house plant, which flowers rather sparingly in the border. The flowers are large, of the most exquisite blue, but very fragile.

S. Angusiifolia

This beautiful species is a native of dry mountainous situations in the cooler districts of Mexico; it requires a light soil and protection during the winter; although called only an annual, its existence, like many others, may be perpetuated by raising plants from cuttings, which strike readily. The whole flower is a beautiful deep azure-blue, the spikes tolerably dense, the lower lip broad and spreading; a plant of elegant growth. There are a number of other fine species and varieties of Salvia, which do not succeed very well in the garden, but are fine for the green-house.