flowers

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Flowers

A flower known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants.
271. Cyrtanthus Angustifolius
Cyrtanthus is a genus which takes its name from the curvature of its flower, was established by the younger Linn?us, and adopted by Mr. Aiton in the Hortus Kewensis.The present species is a native of the Cape, and was added to the royal collection at Kew, by Mr. Masson, in the year 1774. The plant from whence our drawing was made flowered the preceding May with Mr. Whitley, Nurseryman, Old Brompton, who received it from Holland, and who has been so fortunate as to obtain young plants of it from seed.It flowers in May and June, requires the same treatment as other Cape bulbs, and may be increased by offsets and seeds.At the extremity of each alternate segment of the corolla there is a kind of small glandular hook, deserving of notice.
272. Gladiolus Tristis
Linn?us gave to this species of Gladiolus the name of tristis, from the colour of its flowers, which however possess scarcely sufficient of the sombre to justify the appellation, still less so if they vary in the manner represented in Trews Ehret, where they are painted in gay and lively colours in the specimens we have seen, the blossoms have been of a sulphur colour, shaded in particular parts with very fine pencillings, especially on the under side most authors describe the flowering stems as producing only two flowers, Linn?us has observed that they sometimes produce many, we have seen them do so where the plant has grown in perfection, in their expansion, which usually takes place in April and May, they give forth a most agreeable fragrance.It is a native of the Cape, and other parts of Africa, was cultivated by Mr. Miller, and flowered in the Chelsea Garden in the year 1745. Ait. Kew.The leaves which so characteristically distinguish this species are highly deserving of notice, instances of such rarely occur, as the bulbs produce numerous offsets, the plant is propagated by them without difficulty, and requires the same treatment as other Cape bulbs.
273. Diosma Uniflora
The Diosma uniflora another native of the Cape, that never failing source of vegetable riches, was introduced to the Royal Garden at Kew by Mr. Masson in the year 1775, it flowers in our Green Houses from April to June, and is usually propagated by cuttings.This plant forms a small bushy shrub, the leaves are thickly and irregularly set on the branches, quite up to the flowers, which stand singly on their summits, and are larger than those of any other known species of Diosma, expanding as we have found on trial beyond the size of half a crown, which the blossom does in our figure, though it will not appear to do so to the eye of most observers, they are without scent, the calyx is large and continuing, composed of five ovato lanceolate leaves, reddish on the upper side, and if viewed from above visible between the petals, the petals are five in number, much larger than the calyx, and deciduous, of a white colour with a streak of red running down the middle of each, surface highly glazed, the stamina are composed of five short filaments, white and slightly hairy, broad at their base and tapering gradually to a fine point, by which they are inserted into the hind part of the anther?, near the bottom, the anther? are as long as the filaments, of a brown purple colour, bending over the stigma, and opening inwardly, each carrying on the upper part of its back a gland like substance, of a pale brown colour besides these parts there are five filamentous bodies alternating with, and of the same length as the stamina, of a white colour, and hairy, each dilating at its extremity where it is of a reddish hue, and presenting towards the anther? an oval somewhat concave surface, which secretes a viscous liquid, in some flowers that we have examined, and we regret seeing but few, we have observed these nectaries (for such they may be strictly called) closely adhering by their viscous summits to the glandular substances at the back of the anther?[2], the germen is studded with a constellation of little glands, which pour forth, and almost deluge it with nectar, the stigma is composed of five little round knobs seed vessels we have not seen.
274. Borbonia Crenata
Borbonia is a genus of plants established by Linn?us in the 6th edition of his Genera Plantarum, of this genus there are six species enumerated in the 3d edition of the Species Plant. and two in the Hort. Kew. the latter of which, the crenata, introduced from the Cape by Mr. Masson, in 1774, is here figured.It is a small shrubby plant, rarely exceeding the height of three feet, producing its flowers in a small cluster on the summits of the branches, these are of a yellow colour, and have nothing about them peculiarly singular, or beautiful, it is the foliage alone which renders this plant desirable in a collection.It flowers from June to August, and in favourable seasons ripens its seeds, by which the plant is usually propagated.
275. Liriodendron Tulipifera
The Tulip tree is a native of most parts of North America, Marshall describes it as often growing to the size of a very large tree, 70 or 80 feet in height, and above 4 feet in diameter, he mentions two varieties, one with yellow and the other with white wood, that with yellow wood is soft and brittle, much used for boards, heels of shoes, also turned into bowls, trenchers, &c. the white is heavy, tough, and hard, and is sawed into joists, boards, &c. for building.Ray informs us in his Hist. Pl. that this tree was cultivated here by Bishop Compton, in 1688 and from Miller we learn, that the first tree of the kind which flowered in this country, was in the gardens of the Earl of Peterborough, at Parsons Green, near Fulham, in Mr. Ords garden, at Walham Green, there is, among other choice old trees, a very fine tulip tree, which is every year covered with blossoms, and which afforded us the specimen here figured. It flowers in June and July, rarely ripens its seeds with us, though it does readily in America.The foliage of this plant is extremely singular, most of the leaves appearing as if truncated, or cut off at the extremity, they vary greatly in the division of their lobes, the flowers differ from those of the tulip in having a calyx, but agree as to the number of petals, which is six, and so they are described in the sixth edition of the Gen. Pl. of Linn. but in Professor Murrays Syst. Veg. Ait. H. K. Linn. Syst. Nat. ed. 13, by Gmelin, 9 are given, this in the first instance must be a mere typographical error arising from the inversion of the 6.This tree is found to flourish most in a soil moderately stiff and moist, is usually raised from seeds, the process of which is amply described by Miller in his Dictionary.
276. Blitum Virgatum
This plant, not unfrequently met with in gardens, is known to most cultivators by the name of Strawberry Spinach, the leaves somewhat resembling those of the latter, and the fruit that of the former C. Bauhine likens its berries to those of the Mulberry, to which they certainly bear a greater resemblance in most of the species of this genus the calyx exhibits a very singular phenomenon, when the flowering is over, it increases in size, becomes fleshy, and finally pulpy, containing the ripe seed, which however it does not wholly envelope, thus from each cluster of flowers growing in the al? of the leaves are produced so many berries, of a charming red colour, to which the plant owes its beauty altogether, for the flowers are small, herbaceous, and not distinctly visible to the naked eye, they can boast however of being of the first class in the Linnean system Monandria, to which few belong.

Strawberry Blite is a hardy annual, growing spontaneously in some parts of France, Spain, and Tartary, is not a very old inhabitant of our gardens, Mr. Aiton mentioning it as being first cultivated by Mr. Miller in 1759. Its berries are produced from June to September, in their taste they have nothing to recommend them, though not pleasant they are harmless.Clusius we believe to be the first author who gives a figure and description of it.It affects a dry soil, and open situation, in such there is no necessity to give any particular directions for its cultivation, as it comes up readily from seed spontaneously scattered, so much so as sometimes to prove a troublesome weed.

277. Mahernia Pinnata
Linn?us, in his Spec. Pl. regarded this plant as a species of Hermannia, finding afterwards that it differed materially in its fructification from that genus, he made a new one of it in his Mantissa, by the name of Mahernia, still, however, the two genera are very nearly related one principal difference consists in the nectaria of the Mahernia, which are very remarkable.This species was introduced from the Cape, where it is a native, by Mr. Masson, in 1774, and is now very generally met with in our green houses. It produces its little bells, of a lively red when they first open, from June to August, or September, is a small delicate plant, and easily raised from cuttings.
278. Lilium Candidum
We may rank the White Lily among the very oldest inhabitants of the flower garden, in the time of Gerard it was very generally cultivated, and doubtless at a much earlier period, a plant of such stateliness, so shewy, so fragrant, and at the same time so much disposed to increase, would of course soon be found very generally in gardens, into which its introduction would be accelerated on another account, it was regarded as a plant of great efficacy, among other extraordinary powers attributed to it, we are gravely told that it taketh away the wrinkles of the face.Linn?us makes it a native of Palestine and Syria, Mr. Aiton of the Levant.Its blossoms, which open early in July, continue about three weeks, and when they go off leave the flower garden greatly thinned of its inhabitants.

Of the White Lily there are three principal varieties

1. With double flowers.
2. With flowers blotched with purple.
3. With striped leaves, or leaves edged with yellow.
The two first of these are to be esteemed merely as curiosities, in the third the plant acquires an accession of beauty which it has not originally, though many persons object to variegated leaves, as conveying an idea of fickliness, that complaint cannot be urged against the foliage of the striped Lily, to which the borders of the flower garden are indebted for one of their chief ornaments during the autumnal and winter months, early in September these begin to emerge, and towards spring another set rises up in their centre, of more upright growth, and which announce the rising of the flowering stem.

Besides these varieties, Linn?us has considered the Lilium album floribus dependentibus s. peregrinum of C. Bauhine, the Sultan Zambach of Clusius, and the Hortus Eystettensis, as one of its varieties also Miller regards this plant as a distinct species, and those who have attentively examined the figures and descriptions of Clusius and the Hort. Eyst. will be of the same opinion.The Lily increases most abundantly by offsets, hence it becomes necessary that the bulbs should be taken up, and reduced every second or third year, but the striped leaved variety increasing much more slowly, should remain unmolested for a greater length of time.There is scarcely a soil or situation in which the Lily will not grow, it will thrive most in a soil moderately stiff and moist, though a native of a warm climate no severity of weather affects it with us we may learn from this, not to regulate the culture of plants invariably by the climate in which they grow spontaneously.The best time for removing the bulbs of this plant is about the middle of August, before they shoot forth their leaves, but they may be transplanted any time from September to spring.

279. Plumeria Rubra
Plumeria is a genus of plants named by Tournefort in honour of his countryman the celebrated Plumier, it comes near to Nerium or Oleander, and contains several species, all natives of warm climates.The present plant is a native of Jamaica, where it is known by the name of Red Jasmine, from whence seeds and large cuttings are often sent to this country, here they require the stove to bring them to flower seed vessels they are never known to produce.The flowers, which are very odoriferous, are produced in July and August in large bunches, on the summits of the branches, from whence the leaves also proceed, the stems, which grow to a considerable height as well as thickness, are naked, and the whole plant loses its foliage from the middle of winter till about the beginning of May, the branches and other parts of the plant, when broken off, give forth a milky juice, the leaves are handsome, and the veins remarkable.Being too tender to bear the open air of this climate, it is kept in the stove even during summer, in hot weather it must have plenty of air, and in cold seasons be sparingly watered.Is propagated by seeds, but more frequently by cuttings, which Miller recommends to be put by for two months or ten weeks, previous to their being committed to the earth.
280. Apocynum Andros mifolium
In addition to the powerful recommendations of beauty and fragrance, the Tutsan leavd Dogsbane interests us on account of the curious structure of its flowers, and their singular property of catching flies.This species is a native of different parts of North America, Mr. W. Hale, of Alton, Hants, who resided at Halifax in Nova Scotia several years, brought me some seeds of it gathered in that neighbourhood, which vegetated, and produced flowering plants it is not new to this country, being known to Morison who figures it, and to Miller, who cultivated it in 1731.

It is a hardy perennial plant, growing to about the height of a foot and a half, or two feet, and flowering from the beginning of July, to September, it has a creeping root, thereby it increases greatly in light dry soils, and warm situations, so as even to be troublesome, it will not thrive in a wet soil, with us it produces seed vessels but rarely, is propagated by parting its roots in Autumn or Spring, Miller recommends March as the most proper season, or it may be raised from seeds, which in certain situations and seasons ripen here.The flowers of this Apocynum have a sweet honey like fragrance, which perfumes the air to a considerable distance, and no doubt operates powerfully in attracting insects, when a plant of this sort is fully blown, one may always find flies caught in its blossoms, usually by the trunk, very rarely by the leg, sometimes four, or even five, which is the greatest possible number, are found in one flower, some dead, others endeavouring to disentangle themselves, in which they are now and then so fortunate as to succeed, these flies are of different species, the musca pipiens, a slender variegated fly with thick thighs, is a very common victim, the musca domestica, or house fly, we have never observed among the captives.

Previous to our explaining the manner in which it appears to us that these insects are caught, it will be necessary that we should describe, in as plain a manner as possible, those parts of the flower which more particularly constitute this fatal fly trap.On looking into the flower we perceive five Stamina, the Anther? of which are large, of a yellow colour, and converge into a kind of cone, each of these Anther? is arrow shaped, towards the top of the cone their sides touch but do not adhere, below they separate a little, so as to leave a very narrow opening or slit between each, they are placed on very short filaments, which stand so far apart that a considerable opening is left between them, which openings, however, are closed up by processes of the corolla, nicely adapted to, and projecting into them, at the bottom of, and in the very centre of the flower, we perceive two germina, or seed buds, the rudiments of future seed vessels, surrounded by glandular substances, secreting a sweet liquid, on the summit of these germina, and betwixt the two, stands the stigma, in the form of a little urn, the middle of which is encircled by a glandular ring, which secretes a viscid honey like substance, to this part of the stigma the Anther? interiorly adhere most tenaciously, so as to prevent their separation unless considerable force be applied, it is, as we apprehend, the sweet viscid substance thus secreted by the stigma, within the Anther?, which the fly endeavours to obtain, and to this end insinuates its trunk first into the lowermost and widest part of the slit, betwixt each of the Anther? above described, pushing it of necessity upwards when gratified, not having the sense to place itself in the same position as that in which it stood when it inserted its trunk, and to draw it out in the same direction downwards, unfortunately for it, it varies its position, and pulling its trunk upwards, draws it into the narrow part of the slit, where it becomes closely wedged in, and the more it pulls the more securely it is caught, and thus this heedless insect, as Thomson calls it, terminates its existence in captivity most miserable.

In the incomparable poem of Dr. Darwin, entitled the Botanic Garden, there is a figure given of this plant, and in the Supplement we have the following account written by Mr. Darwin, of Elston.In the Apocynum Andros?mifolium the Anthers converge over the nectaries, which consist of five glandular oval corpuscles, surrounding the germ, and at the same time admit air to the nectaries at the interstice between each anther, but when a fly inserts its proboscis between these anthers to plunder the honey, they converge closer, and with such violence as to detain the fly, which thus generally perishes.This explanation of a ph?nomenon entitled to much attention, is widely different from ours, which of the two is most consonant to truth and nature, we shall leave to the determination of future observers.In explaining the preceding appearances, to prevent confusion we called those parts which form the cone in the middle of the flower Anther?, but strictly speaking they are not such, the true Anther? being situated on the inside of their summits, where they will be found to be ten in number, making in fact the Apocynum a decandrous plant.



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