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.
The "compactum" section comprises some eminently useful varieties, far in advance of all others as bedders. The best are Compactum Luteum improved, yellow, with numerous spots: King of Scarlets, Scarlet Gem, and King of Spots, yellow and amber.
Last year, I troubled you with a few remarks on the Tropoeolum Lobbianum as a winter-flowering green-house climber, and now beg to add a few more on another of the same family - T. peregrinum, or Canary-Bird Flower, as it is commonly called. Planted in the open ground during summer, neither of these lovely little gems flower to perfection, and scarcely at all till towards fall, when winter soon stops that little. They both grow with extreme vigor, and form immense foliage in summer, while the flowers are scanty. In winter, the reverse takes place - leaves small, flowers abundant The T. Lobbianum is well known to flower splendidly during winter, but we do not remember having seen any notice of the other. From a trial this winter, we have every reason to believe it is scarcely inferior; and if so, as yellow is a scarce color during winter, it will form an acquisition. The two potted, and placed near a wall or other place, where they can have an abundance of light, and allowed to mingle together, would form an agreeable contrast in color and foliage, and both useful to cut from for boquets.
Cuttings may be struck any time after mid-summer, so that strong healthy plants can be secured by fall, when they should be* potted into 8-inch pots, using turfy loam and decayed manure - one-third of the latter to two of the former. A little sandy peat mixed with it will be found beneficial, as also some charcoal. But little attention will be requisite after, except regulating the shoots occasionally, and going over at least weekly to cut out all decayed leaves and flowers, which would otherwise soon become unsightly from their constantly becoming yellow. Plants raised from cuttings will be found to flower sooner, and more profusely than if from seed.
The temperature of the house should not fall below 45° at any time, while 60° will be found to suit better - the flowers in a low temperature being much duller in color, and the plants growing less, do not produce so many of them. Water should be given liberally, whenever they require it; and when the plants have progressed sufficiently to fill the pots with roots, should be occasionally watered with liquid manure water.
Sent by Mr. William Lobb, from Peru. A climbing annual, with smooth dark green five-lobed leaves, glaucous on the under side. The flowers grow singly from the axils of the leaves on very long stalks, arc bright orange red, with the petals divided at the edge into bristle-pointed teeth.