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Italian, campanella.-French, campanule, or campanette.- English, Bell-flower. These names signify a little bell, and were given to the flower on account of its bell-like shape.
MILLAR mentions seventy-eight kinds of Campanula, of which it will be sufficient to specify some of the most desirable; as the Venus's Looking-glass, which has usually a handsome purple flower, but sometimes white. This plant takes its name from the glossiness of the seeds. It is also called Corn-Gilliflower, and Corn-Pink: in French, Miroir de Venus, but at Paris, la Doucette : in Italian, Specchio di Venere.
It is a native of the south of Europe. Plants sown in the autumn will flower in May, a month earlier than those sown in the spring. The seeds may be sown about an inch asunder; the earth should be kept moist, and the plant should remain in the open air. The roots of this species are annual.
The Peach-leaved Campanula is a perennial. The flowers are blue or white; double and single varieties of each. This may be increased by parting the roots, which should be done in September. It will thrive in any soil or situation.
The Giant Throatwort is a native of England and most parts of Europe. It has a purple or white flower, which blows in July and August. This species loves shade.
Great Throatwort, Canterbury Bells, called in French la Cloche [Bell], la Clochette [Little Bell], les Gands de Notre Dame [Our Lady's Gloves), is a native of Europe and Japan. It has purple or white flowers, blowing in July and August. This species may be increased in the
same manner as the Peach-leaved, but prefers a loamy soil: they are both very hardy. The name of Throatwort was given to these plants from a notion that they would cure inflammation and swelling of the throat.
The lesser Canterbury Bells have purple, brilliant blue, or white flowers, which continue from June to September. This prefers a dry chalky soil: in a rich soil the flowers are apt to lose their colour. This is the Calathian Violet; also called Autumn Bell-flower, Autumn Violet, and Harvest Bells.
The Medium, or Coventry Bells,– in French, Mariettes, and in Italian, Viola Mariana [Mary's Violet]—to which Gerarde gives the name of Mercury's Violets, have large and handsome flowers, blowing in June: their colours, blue, purple, white, or striped.
The Campanulas here enumerated, and such others as are not natives of the Cape, are sufficiently hardy to endure the open air in the winter, although some of them are sheltered while seedlings. Most of them may be increased by cuttings or seeds. Those raised from cuttings flower more quickly; those from seeds are considered as the strongest. They should be sparingly watered.
There is a species of Campanula which is trained to conceal fire-places in the summer, and has a very pretty effect when so used. It is the Pyramidal Campanula ; la Pyramidale des Jardins of the French. The roots send out three or four strong upright stalks, which grow nearly four feet high, and are garnished with smooth oblong leaves and an abundance of large blue flowers. These upright stalks send out short side-branches, which are also adorned with flowers; so that, by spreading the upright stalks to a flat frame composed of slender laths, the whole plant is formed into the shape of a fan, and will perfectly screen a common sized fire-place. The plant, may stand abroad till the flowers begin to open; and, being then placed in a room where it is shaded from the sun and rain, the flowers will continue long in beauty. If it be removed into the air at night, where it is not exposed to heavy rains, the flowers will be handsomer, and will last longer. This kind is rather more delicate than those before mentioned; and when raised from seeds, which is the best mode, requires a hot-bed to bring it forward. It should therefore be procured in a pot, and should be one that has been raised from seed. Most of the Campanulas close their flowers at night. They will grow in common garden earth.
Candy-Tuft takes its English name from Candia, one of the many countries of which it is a native; and its Latin name from Iberia, now Spain.
THE evergreen kinds are more tender than most of the species, and require shelter from frost: they do not thrive so well in a pot as in the open ground, but cannot for a comparative inferiority be dispensed with. In addition to the advantage of retaining their green leaves all the year, they enliven the winter months with their tufts of white flowers, which continue in succession from the end of August till the beginning of June.
There are two species of evergreen Candy-Tufts: the broad and the narrow-leaved. The former is a native of Persia ; the latter, of the island of Candia. As these do not often produce seeds in England, they are increased by cuttings, which may be planted in any of the summer
months; and, if shaded from the sun, and kept moist, will take root in two months. Their branches will fall unless supported by sticks.
The Common Purple Candy-Tuft, the White, and the Sweet-scented are annuals; and, if sown in September, March, April, and May, may be continued in succession throughout the summer. These, as well as the Rock and the Round-leaved Candy-Tufts, will bear exposure to the open air. They must not have more water than is sufficient to keep them from absolute drought.
The Purple has a variety of names: as Candia Thlaspi, Candia Mustard, and Spanish Tuft. The White species, though not mentioned by any of the old botanical writers, is indigenous: it is common to most European countries. The Sweet-scented, the flowers of which are dazzlingly white, is a native of the mountains near Geneva. The seeds should be sown in pots four or five inches in diameter, one in each.
So called from its taste of cardamoms:, also Lady's Smock, from the white sheets of flowers they display on the plashes of water in which they usually grow; and Cuckoo-flower, from blowing at the time of that bird beginning to sing.–French, cresson de pres (meadow-cress]; passarage sauvage (wild cress].— Italian, cardamindo; nasturzio di prato; o crescione di prato: both signifying meadow-cress.
Few of the species of Cardamine are admitted into gardens. The kind most deserving of a place there is the common Cuckoo-flower, or Lady's Smock, which is common in our meadows, and by brook sides, &c; or, rather, the double varieties of this kind should perhaps be
selected. This flower has been usually described by the poets as of a silvery whiteness, which shows the season they have chosen for their rural walks to have been a late one; as, in its natural state, it is more or less tinged with purple, but becomes white as it fades, by exposure to the heat of the “ The allusions to the whiteness of the corollas," says Rousseau, “ will not hold, for they are commonly purple.”
The various shades of these flowers, with the little green leaves that enclose the unopened buds, have an exceedingly pretty effect when a quantity of them are collected; and if kept in fresh water, and well supplied, they will survive their gathering for a fortnight or more. The young leaves are eaten in salads.
The double varieties are white or purple: they are increased by parting the roots in autumn. They love the shade, and should be plentifully watered every evening. It is called the Cuckoo-flower, because it comes at the same time with the cuckoo; and, for the same reason, the name has been given to many other flowers. Shakspeare's Cuckoo-buds are yellow, and supposed to be a species of ranunculus. Indeed, he expressly distinguishes his Cuckoobud from this flower:
“ When daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady’s-smocks all silver white,
“ So have I seen a ladie-smock soe white,
CHATTERTON'S BATTLE OF HASTINGS.