[Named in honor of F. Whitlow, an Irish botanist.]
Whitlavia grandiflora. - An elegant annual from California, with blue, bell-shaped flowers. It produces its flowers in continued succession, from June to October. In habit the plant resembles the Phacelias, but the flowers are more like the Campanula; of a very rich dark-blue. In heavy, wet soils, this plant does not succeed well, but flourishes in light, sandy loam. There is a variety with white flowers.
[Name from Greek words signifying dry and a flower, on account of the dry nature of the flowers, which retain their color and form for many years.]
Purple Everlasting, - and a variety with white flowers, are popular border annuals, of easy culture in light, rich soil. Like the Helichrysums, they are valued for their properties of retaining their colors and form, when gathered and dried, and are much prized in forming winter bouquets for vases, etc.
This is an ornamental genus of plants, mostly natives of the Southern States and South America. Some of them succeed well in the open ground in the Northern States, and form a pleasing contrast with other plants, on account of the peculiarity of their foliage. The leaves are sharp-pointed, stiff, and rigid; and, in some of the species, the edges of the leaf are margined with long threads.
Yucca filamentosa, called Thready Yucca, from the long threads that hang from the leaves, is one of the most hardy sorts. The flower-stem grows to the height of five or six feet, and nearly the whole of it is covered with large, hell-shaped, white flowers; all the species are rather shy flowerers; in August and September.
Y. gloriosa, and the variety superba, produce an immense number of fine bell-flowers on their tall stems. The foliage of all the species is evergreen, and they closely resemble each other. The severity of our winters often blackens the foliage; to prevent this, the leaves should be gathered up and tied together, and covered with straw. Propagated from suckers.
[Named for M. Zauschner, a German.]
An elegant herbaceous perennial plant from California,' where it is found in very sandy soils. The plant grows in bunches; the flowers a brilliant scarlet, tubular or trumpet-shaped, terminating in five unequal divisions; stamens and pistil projecting; flowers solitary, produced in the axils of the leaves; continuing in bloom most of the season; tender in wet soil, but has proved hardy in light soil, with little protection.
[Named in honor of J. G. Zinn, a German professor of botany.]
Zinnia elegans, with its varieties, are all handsome flowering plants; in bloom from July to October; two or three feet high. The colors of some of the varieties are very brilliant, and particularly the scarlets. The colors are white, pale to dark-yellow, orange to scarlet; shades from rose to crimson, from crimson to light-purple, lilac, etc. The flower is handsome when it first commences blooming; the central, or disk part of it, which contains the florets, as they begin to form seed, assumes a conical shape, and a brown, husky appearance, which gives the flower a coarse, unsightly look.
Within a few years, the great novelty of Double Zinnias has been disseminated. This, of all other flowers, was considered one of the most unlikely ever to become a pet, as the large central disk greatly disfigures the flower; but in the double flowers, this unsightly portion is transformed into regular petals, which, when fully expanded, form a hemispherical shape, become regularly imbricated, and the flower might be taken for a well-formed Dahlia, as they are nearly as large. The colors are the same as in the single varieties. The plants require considerable room to show off to advantage, and should not be planted less than two feet apart; they produce an abundance of bloom through the summer; a plant in full bloom is very showy. It is well to put, out the plants within six inches of each other at first, as many of them will show semi-double flowers, which should be rejected; but the plants with full double flowers, as soon as they appear, may be removed to the bed prepared for them. With a little care, they will not be much checked.