This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
The great demand for plants on the dinner-table now, makes all who have a large and regular supply to keep up all the year anxious to get possession of anything likely to be of service. Having proved a few of those sent out since last spring, a short notice of some of those I have found most useful may not be out of place in ' The Gardener.'
The Crotons have always held a high place in this department of decoration, and from the fine varieties sent and to be sent out, they have every appearance of still holding their ground.
This is a beautiful plant in every way, so graceful in habit, the leaves drooping so light and free; when well grown in a 6-inch pot, it will not be easily excelled on the table. It is after the style of Angustifolium, but longer in the leaves, being of a glossy green colour, the centre and margin bright yellow orange.
This is another good plant. It appears to be a more compact grower than the former. The leaves are large, lanceolated; the upper surface dark green, the midrib being yellow, with the same colour running out to the margin.
This is thought by many the best of them all, and either for table or exhibition purposes it will undoubtedly take a high place when plants get large. In its younger stages the leaves are nearly yellow. As they get older and are grown in strong light, they get bright green, irregularly marked with bright crimson, the edge of the leaves being beautifully waved.
A strong grower, having large broad leaves, beautifully marked with green, yellow, red, and purple. From my experience of it, it will soon make a large specimen - quite distinct from any of the others.
This I consider a grand thing for decorative purposes, free grower, the leaves long, narrow-striped and mottled with gold, very bright. The leaves are from 10 inches to 1 foot long, and over an inch wide, the upper surface shining green, with gold blotches, the midrib and margin golden yellow. This and the first named will be the best I know for decoration in small pots.