Symphytum - Comfrey

[Named from the Greek, signifying to grow together, the plant having formerly been used as a vulnerary.]

Symphytum Officinale. Common Comfrey

A rather coarse, rough, hairy plant, with showy flowers in nodding raceme.s. The color of the flower is white, blue, pink or red in the different varieties. The plant is very mucilaginous, and on that account sometimes used medicinally.

Tagetes. Marigold

[Named after Tages, a Tuscan divinity.]

Tagetes Patula. French Marigold

This is one of the old-fashioned tender annuals, deservedly popular from the brilliancy and variegation of its flowers, and its easy cultivation. Some' of the improved varieties are exceedingly beautiful. A rich, velvety, dark, reddish-brown, is the most common color. This, when striped and variegated with yellow, is still more beautiful; then there are flowers of a plain lemon or orange-yellow color, or dark-brown, edged with yellow, and variously shaded; these, when full double like the Ranunculus, are superb. Some of the single varieties with brown and yellow-striped petals, are also fine. The only drawback to this beautiful flower is the odor, which is disagreable to many persons. This species is sometimes called the Velvet or Ranunculus Marigold. It is in flower from July to October, and in rich ground, if planted singly, or two or three feet distant from any other plant, will make quite a large bush before it is cut down by frost. All the varieties of this and the African Marigold are apt to degenerate, even when the seed is saved from the most perfect flowers, unless the single varieties in their neighborhood are pulled up and thrown away as soon as they show flower.

T. Erecta. African Marigold

This is also one of the old inhabitants of the flower-garden, and although called African, it, with the preceeding, came from South America.' The large double varieties of this species are very rich; the colors from a pale citron-yellow to deep-orange. The seed may be sown any time in May. The plants should be transplanted when large enough, into patches of four or five plants each; all inferior sorts should be pulled up as soon as the flowers appear. One plant is enough for one place, which, if tied up to a support and trimmed occasionally, will give good satisfaction and will continue to flower till frost.

T. signata - This species of Marigold is of recent introduction, and, when properly cultivated, forms a striking ornament of the flower-garden. The variety called T. signata pumila, is not more than one foot in height, forming a compact hemispherical bush from one to two feet in diameter. I exhibited one plant at the Horticultural rooms last September, which measured more than six feet in circumference, or two feet across. The foliage is of a rich deep bluish-green, finely pinnated, almost covered with its innumerable small, single, orange blossoms. The plants are as symmetrically shaped, as if they had been artificially trimmed. The plant throws out from the main root a succession of flower-stems, which, with every part of the plant, produce flowers even until it has experienced a number of hard frosts. This is very useful for borders or beds of dwarf plants. If the plants are started in hot-beds, they will commence flowering much earlier than those planted in open ground. Plant in rich soil, giving each plant plenty of room. This Marigold, when planted in alternation with the dwarf-crimson Cock's-comb, will make a brilliant and striking display.

Thalictrum. Meadow-Rue. Thalictrum Anemonoides. Rue-Anemone

A pretty little indigenous perennial, which looks in flower so much like an Anemone, that it was formerly called Anemone thalictroides, but the character of the fruit places it with Thalictrum. It has tuberous clustered roots, which are readily broken, and care is needed to transplant it successfully. This is a common plant in the woods, in April and May, and is one of the best known early flowers. The flowers are usually white, but sometimes tinged with pink; rarely flowers are found with a tendency to become double. When transferred to the garden, it should have a moist and shady situation.


[Dedicated to Thunberg, an indefatigable botanical traveller.]

Thunbergia Alata. Thunbergia

A handsome climbing green-house perennial, but succeeds well as an annual, from seed sown in the open ground the last of May; grows five or six feet high, with numerous buff-colored flowers, with dark throat; from July to October. The White-flowered, - var. alba, - is a very showy variety of T. alata, differing in no respect except color. The Orange-flowered, - var. aurantiaca, - is another variety. The varieties are easily multiplied by cuttings, and are often treated as stove-plants, but succeed better in the conservatory or green-house; and, if planted in a warm, sunny border, it will grow and blossom freely during the summer months. A soil composed of peat and loam is that which suits them best. Plants forwarded in pots, in a frame, succeed better than those sown in the open ground. There are other improved varieties, all fine. The plants throw out many lateral branches, and will require training to a trellis or frame-work.