In our eagerness to obtain new and rare plants, we are often apt to overlook older ones of infinitely more real and practical utility to the gardener for greenhouse, stove, or conservatory decoration. In this paper I shall enumerate a few of these, and add such remarks as may be useful either in their culture or propagation.

Cantua Dependens

This is a fine plant for a pillar in the greenhouse or cool conservatory, flowering very freely when in a healthy state. It may be propagated from cuttings, and grows best in a compost of turfy loam, peat, and sand, while a little leaf-mould may be added with advantage. It bears drooping clusters of crimson or magenta coloured flowers, which are tubular, each being about 3 inches in length. When well flowered, the plant is highly effective, and its flowers are well adapted for cutting. It flowers well out of doors in Devon, but the cool conservatory is its proper place. When growing, syringe freely, as it is apt to become infested with red-spider.

Centropogon Lucyanus

Grown in 48-sized pots, this makes a nice little decorative plant, being bushy in habit and only about 1 foot in height. It bears rosy tubular flowers on the ends of the shoots, and these are very freely borne on healthy specimens. Plants may be obtained in any quantity by inserting cuttings in the spring or summer, which strike easily in a genial bottom-heat. It is specially valuable as flowering during the winter or early spring months. It may either be grown in a warm greenhouse or in the stove.

Haemanthus Magnificus

All the plants in this genus are bulbous, and many of them produce dense heads of dingy inconspicuous flowers. The present species is, however, a noble exception, and bears a large globular head of scarlet star-like flowers on a scape which varies from 1 foot to 18 inches high. It is one of the most effective plants for a warm greenhouse, and ought to become as popular as it is beautiful. It is now in flower, and grows well in sandy loam on a well-drained bottom.

Jasminium Grandiflorum

This is grown by Mr A. E. Barron in the Royal Horticultural Gardens at Chiswick, and found extremely useful either as a pot-plant, or it furnishes nice sprays of its white Bouvardia-like flowers for cutting during winter and spring. It can be readily increased by cuttings; and these, potted in loam, leaf-mould, and sand, soon form nice flowering plants. It may be pinched, and then has a dwarf bushy habit. Its pure-white, delicately-perfumed flowers are very acceptable for bouquets or dinner-table decorations.

Myoporum Album

This plant does not appear to be grown very extensively in this country, though there can be but one opinion as to its usefulness as a pot-plant for summer and autumn decoration. I never met with it until a week or two ago, when I saw it in the Parisian flower-markets, and also as grown by the French florists, who give it an excellent character for its elegant habit, free-flowering qualities, and durability. It grows freely in any common garden soil, though loam and leaf-mould are preferable, forming a dense bush about 15 inches high. Its flowering branches droop gracefully nearly to the pot-tops, and the white flowers somewhat resemble those of a small-flowered Eriostemon scabrum. Branches broken off and thrown on damp sand or soil root freely, and go on flowering in a very unceremonious manner; or it can be raised from seed, which is freely produced.

Nerine Fothergillii

Doubtless many know this beautiful old bulbous plant; but it is rarely met with nevertheless. When well grown, it flowers profusely, bearing heads of scarlet or crimson flowers 3 or 4 inches in diameter on scapes a foot or more in height. It grows well in a greenhouse, all the attention it requires being repotting once a-year and a liberal supply of water when growing - a season, by the by, when it is too often thrown under the stage and neglected. The great secret in growing all bulbous plants to perfection is to grow them liberally, and thus induce them to develop their foliage, which in its turn supplies nutriment to the bulbs for the next season's flowering.

Oncidium Obryzatum

This free-flowering Orchid seems very local in its distribution, although it deserves general cultivation, being one of the easiest to grow in the whole family. Its great spikes of golden-yellow, sweet-scented flowers are produced during the winter and spring, and being very freely branched, furnish elegant sprays for cutting. The plant grows well in fibrous peat and sphagnum moss, in a moderately warm and humid atmosphere. Oncidium flexuosum is another well-known and easily-grown species that flowers freely under the same treatment; and if the equally well-known Dendrobium nobile be added, we have a trio of the best Orchids for a quantity of cut Orchid blooms during the winter and spring months. All may be grown in an ordinary plant-stove.

Sparmannia Africana

This old plant is rarely met with, but when grown in small pots is useful for winter and spring decoration. It strikes freely from cuttings in the early spring; and these, grown on in a moderate temperature during the summer, will flower profusely the following spring. It bears great trusses of white-petalled flowers, the cluster of anthers in the centre being crimson and yellow. It is a nice addition to greenhouse decorative plants, and interesting as a souvenir of Captain Cook's second voyage round the world.

Thyrsicanthus Abutilans

Happily this plant is more commonly grown than some of those mentioned above; still it is in a great measure neglected. It is rather lanky in habit, but I have found it useful during the winter season as a table-plant; and it furnishes elegant racemes of its bright red or crimson flowers for the drawing-room vase. Old plants cut down after flowering furnish plenty of cuttings; and these, if struck in a genial bottom-heat and grown on liberally through the summer, make nice little decorative plants from 15 to 18 inches high the following winter and spring. They should be grown in small pots, and fully exposed on a shelf near the glass, so as to keep them as compact as possible. The old plants break freely after being cut down, and may be grown on again the second year for stronger specimens. If about three old plants be cut back, and placed in a 32-sized pot, and grown near the glass, with occasional dozes of liquid manure, a nice specimen may be formed. Frequent syringings may be desirable to prevent the ravages of thrips or red-spider.

F. W. B.