Formerly the few species that are included in this genus were considered Lobelias; and, as implied in the new generic name, an inversion of the parts of the flower is the base on which the new family is built up. The distinction is perhaps more technical than popular, but is sufficiently important and tangible, from a scientific point of view, to commend to us the adoption of the new name in practice in the garden. The species are few, and are neither striking nor showy, but are pretty humble plants, adapted for the margins of mixed beds or borders, and for rockwork. They have not hitherto been much cultivated in this country, owing probably to the fact that they are not hardy enough to endure with impunity the winter climate, except in a few favoured places in the south and west. Being natives of the Cape of Good Hope, they are, as most of the plants from that country which we cultivate in this, dependent on winter protection and a little aid from artificial heat in spring; for though they may survive the winter, vitality is so impaired that, except they are so aided, little progress is made in growth till summer is far advanced, and consequently the flowering period is postponed and curtailed.

The best and surest method of preserving them is to take cuttings of them in autumn, and otherwise treat the plants as for Lobelias of the dwarf-bedding kinds. P. luteus grows to the height of 6 or 8 inches, with somewhat spreading prostrate branches, small, elliptical, toothed leaves, and yellow flowers, which appear in June and July. P. variifolius is of rather larger stature than the preceding, but the colour of the flowers and the time of flowering are the same. P. ilicifolius is about 6 inches high, with pretty dark-green leaves suggestive of miniature Holly - leaves, so bristled are they on the margins with acute, almost spinose, teeth. The flowers are pink, and appear from May till September; it is, perhaps, the best and most distinct in the family. P. unidenta is about the same height as the last sort, but with violet or purplish blue flowers, appearing from May till August. P. simplex is also about 6 inches high, but is less branching than either of the preceding; the flowers are blue, and produced from May till August. This species is probably biennial; it is at any rate difficult, if not impossible, to preserve in pots over two or three years; young plants, however, grow and flower best, and should be kept in stock sufficient for the requirements.