This was formerly an immense favourite with flower-loving people, but now could hardly be found in a week's journey in gardens. Yet it is one of the most showy out-of-doors plants that could be named, and though not quite hardy enough to endure in all parts in the open ground, there is no considerable difficulty in keeping it, either by lifting the roots and storing them in-doors in winter, or by sowing seeds in spring. A plant of strikingly showy character such as this is, flowering also profusely for four or five months in summer and autumn, should be a general favourite; and no doubt it would be if some of our leading gardeners would only take it up and give it a fair chance of asserting its value as an ornament of mixed shrubbery borders. It is very varied in the colour of the flowers, some being yellow, others red, purple, and white. There are two distinct strains, - one having purple and white flowers, the individual flowers on the same plant being either simple purple or simple white, or variegated with the two colours in the same flower; the other is the red and yellow strain, in which the flowers are variegated in the same promiscuous manner as in the other. The union of the two colours in the same flower is the most usual condition in both cases.

The culture of Marvel of Peru is very simple. In southern warm parts, the seed may be sown in warm borders in March in the open ground without protection, but will start earlier, and consequently flower earlier, if a hand-glass is put over them, and they are well attended to with water. They should be transplanted as early as they are fit to handle, so as to conduce to the formation of plenty of fibrous roots. Sowing out-of-doors is not practicable in northern or cold parts; the plants will grow but very slowly, and flower so late that frost overtakes them before they have attained any degree of perfection. Sowing in pots in heat - say a nice hotbed, such as is employed to strike cuttings of soft-wooded bedding-plants and to raise seedlings of tender annuals - is the most satisfactory way of rearing young plants. The seed germinates quickly, and as soon as they are fit to handle they should be pricked off from the seed-pots into pans or boxes; or better still, they may be pricked into another hotbed, which need only, however, be a very moderately warm one, with a temperature of about 60°, and there they may remain till they can be planted in their permanent quarters in May. When they have taken root after being pricked out, they should be gradually inured to more air till they are fully hardened off, and so that short sturdy growth may be secured; but they should not be exposed to sudden changes or to frosty winds.

They will bear a good deal of cold after they have been hardened off, and be none the worse for it; but the hardening must be gradual, not done by fits and starts. The middle or end of May is as early as they should be planted out. This process may be gone through every season if large numbers of plants are required; but if only a few plants of large size are wanted, it is better to lift as many roots as may be wanted, and a few over to cover casualties in the autumn, and store them away in dry earth or sand, where they can be preserved from frost and wet. These may be brought out and potted in March or early in April, and will make rapid progress. The soil in which they are to be potted should be loam and well-decomposed manure, with sand enough to make the whole porous. Give water sparingly till the plants start growing, after which they will want copious supplies of it. A good growing temperature of 60° or 65° should be kept up till the plants have attained a considerable size, when they may be inured to a cooler atmosphere. Seeds ripen freely wherever the plant does well and flowers early enough, and as much should be saved as may be requisite for stock.

A deep soil well manured, in a spot with a sunny aspect, is best adapted to grow Marvel of Peru in.

W. S.