This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
This is certainly one of the most lovely stove-climbers ever introduced. It has charming waxy-white flowers, which are borne in large umbels, and in great profusion, from the axils of its dark-green foliage; they are, moreover, deliciously scented, and remain a long time in perfection. The time of blooming is from May to July. It succeeds well in a compost of turfy loam, peat, and half-decomposed leaf-mould, with a portion of silver-sand, and is much benefited if planted out where the roots can have the advantage of bottom heat, particularly in the spring months, when starting into growth. It is a native of Madagascar.
Dipladenia Crassinoda is another charming creeper, having deep rosy-pink flowers, with an orange throat; it is a free-growing plant, with neat glossy green foliage, requiring a moist atmosphere to grow it well, and when favourably treated will bloom throughout the summer; the flowers have also the advantage of remaining a long time in perfection. Two parts turfy loam, one part turfy sandy peat, one part leaf-mould, and plenty of sand and broken charcoal, is a very excellent compost. It was introduced here from the Continent, but Brazil is its native country.
This very handsome species should be grown in the most select collection; it is a robust-growing sort, with large handsome foliage, and very free bloomer; the flowers are deep red and green, with a purple and white crown, and fine fragrance. It requires planting out where the roots will have plenty of room to spread; and if it can have the addition of bottom heat it will thrive well. A plant which I have growing in my stove, planted out in a border where the hot-water pipes pass underneath, was scarcely ever out of flower all last year; it was only planted out in September 1848, and in March following it bloomed in succession nearly two hundred flowers; it again came into flower the end of June in greater profusion; and after this blooming was over, which was towards the end of July, I cut away many of the strongest shoots, and shortened the others well in, and about the middle of August it began again to bloom for the third time, and had on an average from six to eight of its lovely flowers out every day, up to the close of September, when I cut it well in for the winter, and by degrees discontinued water.
The flowers of this, and also several of the other species, if impregnated with the pollen of other kinds, will fruit freely; the fruit is of an orange colour, similar in shape and size to a lemon, and when hanging on the plant in the autumn has a very handsome effect.
P. Quadrangular is insignis is a fine hybrid variety, similar to the above, only the flowers are deeper in colour; the fragrance, however, is not near so strong.
P. Alata is a fine old species, introduced from the West Indies in 1772. The flowers are something similar to Bonapartei; the only difference is in the colour of the crown, which is more of a blue than purple; it is also deficient in fragrance.
P. Quadrangularis is another fine old species, with large deep red and green flowers, and purple and white crown; the filaments are long and tasselled, quite distinct from the preceding. A native of Jamaica, from whence it was introduced in 1763.
P. Kermesina, a slender-growing handsome variety, with deep crimson flowers, and white rays; a very free bloomer: introduced in 1831.
This is a very handsome hybrid, raised in Paris, and recently introduced here. It is of a luxuriant habit, with dark green foliage, and abundant bloomer; the flowers are deep crimson, after the manner of P. kermesina.
P. Racemosa has scarlet flowers; exceedingly handsome. A native of Brazil.
P. Middletoniana is a beautiful sort, of a luxuriant growth, with handsome dark green shining foliage; the flowers are purple, and the nectary or crown consists of two rows of beautiful purple and white filaments; they are also very agreeably scented. A particularly showy variety: introduced from the West Indies.
Altogether the Passitloras are a very elegant and interesting genus, admirably adapted for stove-climbers, being of easy culture, free growers, and if allowed plenty of room will be sure to produce abundance of beautiful flowers, and many of them are very sweet-scented. All the species will thrive well in a mixture of good rich loam and rotten dung, rendered open by the addition of sandy peat; the compost should be used in a rough state, and should always have good drainage. Cut them well in every autumn, after they have done blooming, and in the summer give plenty of water.
Clerodendron Splendens is a climbing species of this genus. It has very handsome evergreen foliage, and rich scarlet flowers; exceedingly showy: it should be grown in a somewhat shaded place in the stove, and planted in a rich loamy soil.
Hull. [To be continued.] J. S. Norman.
Combretum purpureutn (now Poivrea coccinea) is a fine old stove-creeper, introduced from Madagascar in 1818. It does well planted in rich loam, peat, and leaf-soil, in a moist heat; the flowers are scarlet, and particularly handsome. It should be grown in a tolerably high temperature.
Ipomoea Learii cannot be too highly spoken of as a stove-creeper: it is familiar to most; but how often do we hear complaints of its being a shy bloomer! With me it has proved quite the reverse; for a plant which I have growing in a bed formed in one corner of the stove, and trained to a wire beneath the roof, has flowered in the most gratifying and satisfactory manner imaginable. This specimen was only planted out in September 1848, and in the following spring it began to grow exceedingly freely, forming flower-buds at every joint. From a memorandum I made at the time, I find it commenced blooming early in June, and continued loaded with its singularly splendid flowers up to the end of October. No stove should be without it; for it is next to impossible to overrate its surpassing loveliness. Good fresh turfy loam, peat, and leaf-soil, used in a rough state, is the compost mine was planted in; and it was grown in a house in which a rather high temperature is maintained.
To those who value a plant more for the novelty and singularity of its flowers than its beauty, this will prove a very interesting object. It is certainly a remarkable plant; its large and richly mottled flowers are both curious and beautiful, and when seen hanging on the plant from amongst its handsome foliage cannot but be admired. It is a very free-growing plant, and with me has bloomed twice in the season. A shaded situation in the stove is the most suitable, trained to the rafters of the roof. It requires abundant syringing during the summer, as it is a plant much subject to the attacks of red spider.
Hull. H. S. Norman.