flowers

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Flowers

A flower known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants.
191. Primula Marginata
There is no difficulty in determining the British plants of this genus, but much in ascertaining many of the foreign ones Professor Jacquin has taken great pains to elucidate them in his Miscel. Austr. where fifteen are specifically described, none of which accord exactly with the plant here figured, which has every appearance of being a distinct species in the Hortus Kewensis it is described as the glutinosa of the Flora Austriaca, with which it agrees in many respects, but specimens sent from Vienna shew it to be a different plant, in its farinaceous tendency it accords with the Primula Auricula, but is very unlike that plant as it is figured in its wild state by Prof. Jacquin, in the Fl. Austr. the leaves being much narrower, the flowers larger, and of a different colour, it differs from glutinosa in the shortness of its involucrum, from villosa (already figured) in having leaves much narrower, perfectly smooth in respect to villi, and in the colour of its blossoms, which approach that of the Lilac, but more especially in its disposition to become mealy, particularly on the edges of its leaves, between the serratures, where it is so strong as to make the leaf appear with a white or silvery edge, as this character is constant to it, and not to any other species of Primula that we are acquainted with, we have given to it the name of marginata.

Mr. Lee received it from the Alps in the year 1781, and it has continued in our gardens ever since unaltered by culture. It is a very delicate pretty plant, with a pleasing musky smell, and flowers in March and April. To succeed in its cultivation, it should be placed in a pot of stiffish loam, mixed with one third rotten leaves, bog earth, or dung, and plunged in a north border, taking care that it does not suffer for want of water in dry seasons, thus treated, it increases by its roots nearly as readily as the Auricula, and may be propagated by parting its roots early in April or September.

192. Cypripedium Acaule
We have not figured the present species of Cypripedium so much on account of its beauty as of its rarity, for it is far less handsome than any of the other species that we are acquainted with.It is a native of different parts of North America, and flowers with us in May.There is little difficulty in distinguishing it from the other foreign species, it has rarely more than two radical leaves, a very short flowering stem compared with the others, a large nectary in proportion to its size, which in the specimens we have seen has been divided on its upper part, through its whole length, so as in fact to destroy in a great degree that shoe or slipper like form, from which this genus has taken its name.Like the rest of the family, it requires a little extraordinary care in its culture, its roots should be placed in a pot filled with loam and bog earth, or rotten leaves, well mixed, and plunged in a north border, where in severe seasons it will be proper to shelter it, if the whole border be formed of the same soil or compost the pot will be less necessary.Our drawing was made from a plant growing with Messrs. Grimwood and Co. Kensington.
193. Narcissus Angustifolius
Under the name of poeticus three different species of Narcissus appearing perfectly distinct (though similar in many respects) and regarded as such by the old Botanists, have been confounded by the moderns, viz.
Narcissus albus circulo purpureo, v et vi.
Narcissus albus magno odoro flore circulo pallido,
Narcissus pallidus circulo luteo. C. Bauh.
Narcissus medio purpureus pr?cox,
Narcissus medio purpureus serotinus,
Narcissus medio luteus vulgaris. Park Parad.
The first of these, the one here figured is evidently the poeticus of Linn?us, judging by the authors to whom he refers in the third edition of his Spec. Pl. which are indeed few in number, and confined chiefly to Bauh. Pin. Dodon?us, of the second, and third, he takes no notice.
The two former ones of these have the greatest affinity, inasmuch as they both produce for the most part only one flower, of a white colour, having a very short nectary, edged with orange, to both of these Linn?uss specific description is equally applicable, as well as the trivial name of poeticus, given them indiscriminately by several of the old Botanists, some regarding the first, some the second as the plant mentioned by Theocritus[2], Virgil[3], and Ovid[4], unfortunately both of them are found to grow in the same meadows, and have the same obvious appearances, it is therefore utterly impossible to say which of the two was the Narcissus of the poets, if we have the greatest difficulty in ascertaining what the plants were of the Botanists of those times, how are we to discover what the Poets meant, who with very few exceptions have been unpardonably inattentive to the appearances of nature. Since then the term poeticus is equally suitable to both, and as there cannot be two with the same name, we have thought it best to get rid of it altogether, and substitute others which tend in a certain degree to discriminate the several species, denominating the
1st. angustifolius.
2d. majalis.
3d. biflorus.
The angustifolius here figured is a native of the South of Europe, and said by Magnol and Clusius to grow spontaneously in the meadows about Narbonne and Montpelier.
It flowers in our gardens early in April, about a month before the biflorus, and full six weeks sooner than the majalis, increases readily by offsets, and succeeds best in a soil that is moderately moist. In what respects it differs from the two others, will be mentioned when they come to be figured.
194. Fritillaria Imperialis
The Crown Imperial, a native of the East, most probably of Persia, was introduced according to Dodon?us, into the gardens of the emperor and some of the nobility at Vienna in 1576, it appears to have been cultivated here as early as 1596 both Gerard and Parkinson describe it minutely, the latter on account of its stately beautifulness, gives it the first place in his garden of delight.It flowers usually in the beginning of April, the whole plant sends forth a strong unpleasant smell, compared by most writers to that of a fox, perceptible when you approach it, to this effluvia Parkinson endeavours to reconcile us by saying that it is not unwholesome, it is so disagreeable however, that few choose to have many of these plants, or those in the most frequented parts of their gardens, yet it ought not to be proscribed, for independent of its beauty, there is much in it to admire, and especially its singular Nectaria, which in the form of a white glandular excavation decorate the base of each petal, in these usually stands a drop of clear nectareous juice, the peduncle or flower stalk which bends downwards when the plant is in flower, becomes upright as the seed ripens.

Of this plant, as of all others which have long been objects of culture, there are many varieties, those most generally cultivated in our gardens are the common orange flowered single and double, yellow single and double, gold striped leaved, and silver striped leaved, the Dutch in their catalogues enumerate thirteen varieties.Luxuriant plants will sometimes produce a second and even a third whorl or crown of flowers, and the flat stalked ones which are monsters, have been known to produce seventy two blossoms, but none of these are found to be constant.The Crown Imperial, though a native of a much warmer climate than ours, is a hardy bulb, and not very nice in regard to soil, succeeds best in such as is stiffish, enriched with manure, and placed in a sheltered situation.Is propagated by offsets, which are produced in tolerable abundance.

195. Cheiranthus Mutabilis
The present species of Cheiranthus, unknown both to Miller and Linn?us, was first described in the Hortus Kewensis of Mr. Aiton, who informs us that it was introduced to the Royal Garden in 1777, and found wild in the Island of Madeira by Mr. Masson.Its chief merit as an ornamental plant consists in its early flowering, its blossoms which are shewy contribute to enliven the green house in March and April, on their first expanding, they are white, in some plants (for they are subject to great variation) inclined to yellow, in a few days they become purple, to this change of colour observable also in the Cheiranthus maritimus already figured, it owes its name of mutabilis.

In sheltered gardens at the foot of a wall, we have known this species survive a mild winter, it seems indeed to be almost as hardy as the common stock, it is most commonly however kept in the green house.The usual way of propagating this species, which is of ready and quick growth, is by cuttings, which should be put into the ground as soon as the plant has done flowering, these if properly treated will become handsome plants to place in the green house at the approach of Winter, and to decorate it the ensuing Spring, in like manner may the green house be annually recruited with many similar plants to great advantage.

196. Saxifraga Crassifolia
The term grandifolia would have been more applicable to this species of Saxifrage than crassifolia, for it is not so much distinguished for the thickness as the largeness of its leaves, these are almost equal in size to those of our broad leaved Dock, red on the under and of a fine shining green on their upper surface, they may be ranked indeed among the more handsome kinds of foliage, the flowering stems, according to the richness and moisture of the soil in which they are planted, rise from one to two or even three feet high, at top supporting a large bunch of purple pendulous flowers, which blossom in April and May, and, if the season prove favourable, make a fine appearance. Should cold winds prevail at the time of their flowering, which they are very apt to do, the plants should be covered with a hand glass, or, if in a pot, it may be removed into the green house, which they will not disgrace.

Is found spontaneously on the Alps of Siberia, and, according to Mr. Aiton, was introduced in 1765 by Dr. Solander. No plant is more readily increased by parting its roots, which may be done either in spring or autumn.There is another Saxifrage in our gardens exceedingly like this in appearance, but differing, in producing larger bunches of flowers, and in having larger, rounder, and more heart shaped leaves, Mr. Aiton regards this as a variety of the crassifolia, we are inclined to consider it as a species under the name of cordifolia. The parts of fructification in the crassifolia are apt to be preternaturally increased.

197. Narcissus Biflorus
Both Gerard and Parkinson describe and figure this plant, informing us that it was very common in the gardens in their time, the former indeed mentions it as growing wild in fields and sides of woods in the West of England, the latter says he could never hear of its natural place of growth. Clusius reports that he had been credibly informed of its growing wild in England, it probably may, but of this it remains for us to be more clearly ascertained, it undoubtedly is the plant mentioned by Ray in his Synopsis.

As it grows readily, increases in a greater degree than most others and is both ornamental and odoriferous, it is no wonder that we meet with it in almost every garden, and that in abundance, flowering towards the end of April, about three weeks later than the angustifolia. It usually produces two flowers, hence we have called it biflorus, it frequently occurs with one, more rarely with three, in a high state of culture it probably may be found with more, when it has only one flower it may easily be mistaken for the majalis, but may be thus distinguished from it, its petals are of a more yellow hue, the nectary is wholly yellow, wanting the orange rim, it flowers at least three weeks earlier, but the character, which by observation we have found most to be depended on, exists in the flowering stem, the top of which in the biflorus, very soon after it emerges from the ground, bends down and becomes elbowed, as our figure represents, in the majalis, it continues upright till within a short time of the flowers expanding.

198. Indigofera Candicans
Of the genus Indigofera, twenty three species are enumerated in Prof. Murrays edition of the Syst. Vegetab. of Linn?us, ten in the Hortus Kewensis of Mr. Aiton, in which last work only, the present plant, distinguished by the whiteness of its stalks and of the underside of its leaves, is described, and in which we are informed, that it is a native of the Cape, from whence it was introduced by Mr. Masson in 1774.

Its principal period of flowering is from about the beginning of May to the middle of June, at which time it is highly ornamental in the green house strong healthy plants produce from five to eight blossoms in a spike on a plant growing with Mr. Colvill, Nurseryman, Kings Road, Chelsea, we once counted nine a few of these usually produce seed vessels containing perfect seeds, by which the plant is mostly propagated, it may also be raised by cuttings, but not very readily.

199. Aster Alpinus
Clusius and Jacquin, by both of whom this species of Aster is figured and described, inform us, that it grows spontaneously on the Austrian Alps of the many hardy herbaceous species cultivated in our garden, this is by far the most humble in is growth, in its wild state acquiring the height of about four inches, and when cultivated, rarely exceeding eight or nine its blossoms for its size are large and shewy, making their appearance much earlier than any of the others, viz. about the end of May and beginning of June, and continuing in blossom three weeks or a month.It is readily propagated by parting its roots in the autumn, may be kept in pots, or planted in the open border, prefers a moist stiffish soil, if carefully watered in dry weather, will grow among rock work, for which, from its size, it is well adapted.
200. Antirrhinum Sparteum
The drawing here exhibited gives but a faint idea of the elegant and lively appearance which this plant assumes when it grows in a tuft, and a number of its branches are in blossom at the same time.It is a hardy annual, of small stature, a native of Spain, and flowers during most of the summer.Was introduced into this country, according to Mr. Aiton, in 1772, by Mons. Richard, and deserves to be much more generally cultivated.Some regard it as a biennial, but as seeds of it sown in the spring flower the ensuing summer, and as the plant dies when it has ripened its seeds, there appears more propriety in considering it as an annual.It is to be sown in the same manner as other hardy annuals, will flower earlier if the seeds have been raised in autumn.The upper part of the stalk, as well as the leaves of the calyx, are beset with viscous hairs, in which respect it does not perfectly accord with Linn?uss description. Vid. Sp. Pl. ed. 3. p. 854.


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