This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Dr. Asa Gray queries: "Do you know Ipomcea grandiflora as a distinct species from I. Bona-nox (which your correspondent calls noctiphyton, mixing Latin and Greek), and as any more perennial than that is?"
[We have not seen any of the plants referred to in the recent correspondence in this magazine. In former years the writer grew what was considered as I. Bona-nox - that died after flowering. The one referred to in botanical works as Ip. grandiflora, classed in these works as a perennial, the writer has never seen. - Ed. G. M].
Two years ago I obtained seed of this plant, from which I grew plants. The same spring I planted out several which grew upwards of twelve feet, and produced a number of flowers, but no seeds, which, I was told, were difficult to obtain. In the autumn following I took up and potted one of the plants, and kept it without difficulty over last winter, planted it out again this spring, and it has made a surprising growth of twenty feet, or more, and continues to grow vigorously, producing quantities of flowers, and has matured quite a lot of seeds, which seems not to affect its vitality in the least, as, since the last rain, some shoots have lengthened three feet, or more, in five days. The plant, however, seems a great favorite with the red spider, as well as with me.
The Editor mentions having not seen the Ipomcea grandiflora. I send specimens of flower fruit and stem.
[We see no difference between this and what has always been regarded as Ipomcea bona-nox, and, as Mr. W. shows it to be a perennial, there is evidently no difference between what is regarded as the annual and perennial forms.
The chief reason Ipomcea bona-nox lost favor with the gardeners of the last generation, was the fondness of red spider for it. - Ed. G. M].
Noticing a communication from Mr. Wooding in regard to this, I would say we had it growing here last year on a dry, limy soil on the south side of a large frame house, and it thrived and bloomed as nothing else did; forming a rapid, thick, rich green screen, growing to the height of fifteen and eighteen feet. It is covered in the middle and latter part of summer and during autumn by its multitude of beautiful white flowers. The plant does not grow well in the shade, although it does better than many other vines. The upper part of the entrance to the Insane Asylum was covered with this plant, and was a perfect mass of flowers. We have no other climber here that will stand the heat and drought as this does. The plant may be kept in the cellar over winter, although it sometimes stands out. Taken altogether, we have no plant which can rival it for its purpose, in its rapidity of growth, density of foliage, and amount of flowers. Jacksonville, III.