In almost every private collection of greenhouse plants of years ago you would be sure to see a plant of E. splendens and E. fulgens, generally known as E. jacquiniaeflora. The poin-settia also belongs to the euphorbias, but it is so generally known as poin-settia that under that name I have described it.
The peculiarity of the euphorbias, at least those we grow, is that the flower proper is very inconspicuous, but the bracts, scarcely noticeable in many flowers, are in the euphorbias highly developed both in size and color, and by a casual observer the bracts are mistaken for petals.
E. splendens can be dismissed by saying that it is of no value to the commercial man. It is easily grown, rather slow of growth, should be stood out of doors in the hottest months, and needs a warm temperature in winter. The stems are covered with sharp thorns. The plant needs training on stakes or a trellis. When in flower its bright red clustered bracts make the plant very showy. But leave it to the private establishment.
E. fulgens is a beautiful plant and twenty years ago was one of our standard winter flowering plants, thought then to be indispensable. When baskets were made of a variety of flowers it was a favorite with us for an edging, and it is a rich-looking, graceful flower wherever you use it. It makes annually long growths, and the flowers, which are orange scarlet, are placed close to the stem, forming long, handsome wreath-like flowers. Plants that have flowered during winter can be cut up into cuttings. Anything but the old, hard wood will root. If cut back in April young shoots will start, which, of course, root the quickest. April and May are good months to put in the cuttings, and keep them wet and shaded. Be careful when potting off to not let them wilt from sun or dryness.
Grow on in a warm, light house, and in July plant them on the bench in four or five inches of good, rich soil, eight to ten inches apart. In a warm. unshaded house they will make a good growth during summer and should be stopped two or three times, to produce more shoots. They should not have a less temperature than 60 degrees at night at any time. If the sprays are cut at Christmas they will break and give another growth and flowers in March and April.
A Florist's Store and Conservatory at Easter.
Like the poinsettia, they do not like their roots disturbed. If grown in pots they can be plunged outside in summer but never allowed to get too much of a soaking of water. No insects trouble them. Unlike the poinsettia, the plants that are two and three years old are the most valuable. After the flower is cut they can be lifted and stored away in dry soil under a bench and started growing again in May or June. Any good loam with a fourth of manure will grow them, but it should be of that texture that water will pass freely through. The essentials are light, heat, plenty of water when growing and when in leaf no disturbance of the roots.