The cultivation of Coleus is comparatively easy, and so well understood by the majority of gardeners, that cultural details are almost unnecessary. Notwithstanding the ease with which they are propagated and grown, which in a great measure accounts for their being looked upon as common, what class of plants gives us so many beautiful and striking features in their foliage? During summer we could scarcely call a greenhouse or conservatory thoroughly furnished without these singularly effective plants, they contrast so well with flowering plants of every shade and hue. Their usefulness in this respect is well known; and in winter they are equally attractive in the stove. The modern style of flower-gardening could not dispense with them very well, at least with C. Verschaffeltii, with its rich crimson leaves and its improved variety, which is even of greater brilliancy. For the decoration of rooms during summer they are invaluable, and stand well where gas is not used, - in fact, they can be used in warm rooms throughout the greater part of the year.

They scarcely repay one for the labour and the space devoted to growing them in large pots for winter decoration, except for the production of their bright leaves for the ornamentation of the dinner-table. They are, however, most useful in winter, when a number are rooted singly in small thumb-pots, or when three or four are propagated together in a 3-inch pot, to be turned out of those pots and united with small ferns where plants have to be massed together in baskets or very large vases.

Many new and improved varieties have recently been introduced to our notice. Some of them are grotesque looking and very beautiful, presenting nearly every shade of colour in their leaves, arranged in the most fantastic forms. The leaves of the Shah, Lady Burrell, and Pine-Apple Beauty are very much alike, one-half being yellow and the other of dark colours. In our estimation it matters but little which of the three varieties is grown, as the difference is imperceptible except in the lower part of the leaf, which in Lady Burrell is dark maroon, while in the Pine-Apple Beauty it is more of a scarlet shade. Golden Gem is much after the style and appearance of Princess Royal and Queen Victoria, but is much more fringed at the edge of the leaf, and much richer in colour than either of the other two varieties. Beauty of Widmore, Eldorado, and M. J. Linden should be grown in every collection. Of the four, Exquisite, George Bun-yard, Royalty, and Gurnet, the two former are considerably the best and most worthy of cultivation, while the latter two are distinct, and an improvement on the older kinds. Fascination is really a first-class variety, and commends itself to all growers of this ornamental class of plants.

This is not by any means a plant of vigorous growth and hardy constitution, yet is very distinct from all others. It is a valuable plant in small pots, and makes a handsome pyramidal specimen on account of its free-branching habit; and in our estimation it is a great acquisition. Kentish Fire and Lord Falmouth are much the same; and where one is grown the other can well be dispensed with. The ground colour of the latter is creamy-yellow, suffused with pink; while that of the former variety is nearly black, the centre being deep crimson, and is most worthy the notice of all growers. Novelty, which is somewhat after the style of Fascination, is a most lovely Coleus, quite distinct, and of a most delicate nature, both as regards its appearance generally and its growth. It resembles Fascination only in the formation and construction of its foliage, while it differs widely from that species in colour, presenting a vast variety of tints of the most delicate shade and brilliancy.

We have the latest introductions from the South Pacific Islands before us, and consider Distinction and Surprise by far the best. They are both distinct, and will undoubtedly be generally grown when they become better known. Distinction is novel and effective, with its deeply crenated leaves, of a bronze-green colour, and beautifully shaded with violet-crimson, the veins and mid-ribs being rosy-pink. Surprise possesses all the characteristics of Distinction, with which variety we have ventured to couple it, and is indeed a gem, differing from that variety mainly in the colour of its foliage, which is green, striped with yellow, the latter shade changing almost to white as it arrives at a state of maturity. Aurora, Glow, Magic, and Sparkler, as they vary but little in habit, vigour of growth, and the general formation of their foliage, may be suitably described together. Aurora possesses colours singularly bright and telling; the leaves are of a yellowish hue, with a blotch of rose colour down the centre. Glow is also bright, and marked much after the manner of Aurora, with this difference, that the foliage is dark, with rosy carmine of slight magenta shade down the centre, and a narrow margin of green.

Magic is marked in a similar way, the colour of the centre being pale yellow, and a little more feathered than the other varieties; the remainder of the leaf is green. Sparkler is also marked down the centre with a reddish-maroon tint, having a deep crenate fringe round the margin of the leaf.

Harlequin will undoubtedly prove a very useful kind. It is very distinct, being variegated, like marble, with purple, bronze, and chocolate, which are laid on in the most peculiar form, thus rendering the plant striking and attractive. It is a vigorous grower. Sunbeam is a dwarf grower, and in colour distinct from any of the new varieties. The leaves are of a reddish tint, shaded with rose, and the colours vivid and bright. Of the variety Firefly we are not in a position to speak with accuracy, as our plants are not yet by any means attractive.

Wm. Bardney.