This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Among vegetables of the kitchen garden, few know the value of the Salsify, or Oyster Plant. It is too late to sow it now; but those who have beds of it should remember that if the plants stand too thickly, they will be small, and only fit to pull the tops from next spring as early greens; but if well thinned out, and the ground kept loose, the roots furnish a dish for the table in late winter that is unequaled by any root crop.
Lilium Hematochroum (Hybridum) is described "as a remarkable hybrid from Japan, of a stately habit, and with immense flowers of a somber chocolate color, deepening occasionally to black, or brightening to blood red."
Coleus Gibsonii was sent home by Mr. John G. Veitch from New Caledonia, where it was discovered growing in vast quantities, its highly colored foliage forming a most striking feature. It is one of the results of the tour made by him in the South Pacific, which we have only to regret, in the cause of science and floriculture, was not more prolonged, and for various causes could not be as effective as he had himself wished or hoped it would be. Sufficient, however, has been done to entitle him to the gratitude of all lovers of plants, and perhaps to encourage some one to ransack those islands for their treasures.
In habit, G. Gibsonii is quite equal to G. Verschaffeltii, being dwarf and very bushy; the leaves are large, often exceeding five inches in length, and are of a light green color, distinctly veined and blotched with dark crimson purple. Mr. Veitch says of it, "that it is a most ornamental plant for pot culture, and can be recommended as an excellent companion to the other varieties for summer flower garden decoration, where, from its novel and distinct coloring, it can not fail to prove an acquisition.
If persons expect from it so brilliant an effect as from G. Verschaffeltii, of course they must needs be disappointed; but if they are contented that it shall occupy a place of interest in the many-colored parterre, they will find it suitable, and we think, moreover, that it will form an excellent plant for table decoration. - Floral Magazine.