Gilia coronopifolia, the Cantua coronopifolia of Willdenow. - The different names of Ipomopsis, Cantua and Ipomea, have given place to Gilia, amongst which genus, after minute examination, this flower has been most properly classed. It was first introduced into England about the year 1720, from seeds collected by Catesby, in the upper districts of Georgia and Carolina; but as the seeds are seldom perfected in that climate, all traces of it have been lost, until very recently; we do not think that its beauty will allow it to share this fate again, while the attention to horticulture remains in its present state.
It is a biennial, of most elegant appearance, but is very subject to damp off, and difficult to keep through the winter. Much protection is sure to kill the plants. It has generally been considered a tender plant, and treated as such. Having many fine plants, I distributed them in various exposures, in hopes to save some. About half of the whole number were in fine condition in the spring. The driest soil, in the shade of a fence, seems to be the most favorable situation for them. If the ground is inclining to moisture, there is but little chance for them. So fine a plant as the Gilia deserves a place in every garden. I should recommend, for experiment, to sow the seed in August, as, perhaps, the small plants would endure the winter better than large ones.
The plant grows from four to five feet high. The foliage is superb, similar to the Cypress vine, with numerous scarlet-spotted flowers, that continue in bloom a number of months.
The plants may be potted and kept in the house, or greenhouse, through the winter, and then planted out in the open border.