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There are comparatively few of these plants cultivated in our gardens. The following are some of the most esteemed.
The Two-coloured; white and purple, flowering in June, July, and August. The Hairy Convolvulus, with purple flowers, blowing at the same time. These are
natives of the East Indies.
The Five-petaled; blue, with a yellow centre: native of Majorca. Flowers from June to August.
The Indigo Convolvulus, which is named from the colour of its flowers: it is a native of America, and considered one of the handsomest of the genus. The Italians call it campana azurea [azure-bell], and fior di notte [night-flower], because its beauty appears most at night. It blows in July and August.
Of the Major Convolvulus there are three or four varieties; purple, white, red, and pale blue. It is a native of America. It requires support, and will grow ten or twelve feet high; continuing in flower from the beginning of June till the approach of frost.
The Minor Convolvulus is a native of Spain and Portugal; the flowers are sometimes pure white, but more commonly variegated with blue and yellow, or blue and white: the most beautiful kind is a bright blue, fading, by delicate gradations, to a pure white in the centre. resembles the blue atmosphere, relieved by fleecy clouds, on a fine day in summer:
"when on high,
Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the cerulean sky.”
Nor is the form of this flower less beautiful than the colour, either when spread out in full beauty to the midday sun, or when, at the approach of night, it closes its blue eye to sleep.
This flower is too well known to need description; but its exquisite loveliness impels one to linger over it with admiration.
All the kinds here specified are annual plants. The Five-petaled, the Major, and the Minor, may be raised at home with little trouble. The seeds may be sown about an inch asunder. As some may fail, they may at first be scattered more closely; and, as they come up, thinned where they crowd each other. If sown in the autumn, they will flower in May: those sown in spring will be a month later. They may be sown in September and March; and, for a longer succession, in April and May likewise. The other kinds must be raised in a hot-bed, and will not bear the open air in the winter.
The Dwarf Convolvulus is a native of France, Spain, and Sicily. It has deep rose-coloured flowers, is a perennial plant, and will live in the open air. It may be increased by parting the roots, either in spring or
The Canary Convolvulus, with pale blue or white flowers, blowing in June and July, is a native of the Canary Islands.
The Silvery Convolvulus, with pale rose-coloured flowers, opening in June, July, and August, is found in Spain, Sicily, the Levant, &c.
The Arabian-but there will be no end of enumeration at this rate. The Canary and Silvery kinds must be housed in the winter. With respect to the variegated kinds, if a plain flower appear, care should be taken to pluck it immediately, in order to prevent the succeeding blossoms also from degenerating from their natural beauty. The earth should be kept moderately moist, and the water given in small quantities at one time. The plants, being mostly tall and slender, should be sheltered from heavy
beating rains and violent winds; but light spring or summer showers will refresh them.
This genus furnishes to the materia medica two of its most powerful drugs: scammony, from a species growing naturally at the Levant; and jalap, from another kind, which is a native of Xalapa, between Vera Cruz and Mexico. They are obtained from the roots of the plants. Most of these flowers close at night; and many remain close all day when the weather is wet or cloudy, but open to the sunshine:
"Like flow'rs, which shrinking from the chilly night,
SYNGENESIA POLYGAMIA FRUSTANEE.
The generic name is from the Greek, bug-like, the seed being like a bug or tick: hence it is called by gardeners the Tick-seeded Sunflower.
THE Whorl-leaved Coreopsis has a yellow flower with a purple centre: it is a showy plant, grows very tall, and continues long in flower. It begins to blossom in July. It is a native of North America, where the flowers, although yellow, are used to dye cloth red.
The Three-leaved has the same coloured flowers, and is from the same country.
The Alternate-leaved, Thick-leaved, and Golden, are all from North America. The first flowers in October and November; the other two from August to October. These are all perennial plants, as are most of the genus.
They may be increased by parting the roots, which should be done in autumn, when the stalks begin to decay. The two first prefer a light loamy earth, and exposure to the sun; the others will thrive in almost any soil or situation. There are other species of this genus, some of which are raised in a hot-bed; but their treatment, when grown, is generally the same. The kinds here named will bear the open air. The earth should be kept just moist, and the plants be supported by sticks as they advance in height, or the strong winds of autumn may be apt to break them.
The botanical name of this plant is the diminutive of gladius, a sword, and is given it from the form of its leaves. It is also called Sword-flag, Corn-sedge, and Corn-gladin.-French, le glayeul; flambe. -Italian, ghiaggiuolo; gladiolo.-In Sicily, spatulidda.
THE Corn-flag is related to the lily, and has a bulbous root. It is a handsome genus. Of the Common Cornflag there are many varieties, differing in colour. These may be increased by offsets from the roots. About the end of July, when the stalks decay, the roots may be taken up, the offsets separated from them, and the whole dried, cleaned, and carefully preserved in a dry and secure place
till the end of September or the beginning of October, when they may be re-planted. They will bear the open air.
The other species are chiefly natives of the Cape, and require this difference in their treatment, that they must be kept within doors from October till May, allowing them fresh air in mild weather.
The Corn-flags must be sparingly watered; in the winter, not more than once a week. The roots should be planted separately, in pots about five inches wide, and should be covered two inches deep.
The name of this plant is derived from corona, a crown, of which it is the diminutive; the flowers crowning the branches in a cluster.
THE Coronilla Emerus, or Scorpion Senna, is a native of most parts of the Continent of Europe. The flowers are yellow, and blow in April. A dye is obtained from this plant nearly equal to that of indigo.
This shrub is fond of water.
The Small Shrubby Coronilla has small deep yellow flowers, blowing in May, June, and July. It has a very powerful scent, and is a native both of Spain and Italy.
The Great Shrubby Coronilla is very similar to the last; but this is in flower almost all the year; and the scent of it is more powerful in the day-time than in the night. It is a native of the South of France.
The Cretan Coronilla is a very low shrub, but very handsome when in full blossom, as it produces an abun