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spots should be of pure white ground, and the spots bright scarlet ; those with pale rosy ground should have black spots, and the more and the larger the better.
PROPERTIES OF THE LYCHNIS.
The habit of this plant is unlike that of almost any other. It is tall and not handsome, with a head of flowers, very narrow in the petals of the single, and very rough and confused in the double, crowding one another in both cases, and therefore ugly and ill-shaped.
1. The plant then, being by no means ornamental, should be as dwarf as possible, the more so the better.
2. The head should be large, circular, and rising on the face; the footstalks of the flowers long, strong, and elastic. The individual blooms round, smooth on the edge, and touch each other, but not lap over. The petals thick and smooth on the edge.
3. The double flowering should be in all respects like the single, with the addition of two rows of petals, each smaller than the other, and the larger one of the two, smaller than the principal.
4. The colour should be pure dense, and bright.
PROPERTIES OF THE DIGITALIS,
The plant below the flower should be only the same length as the spike of flowers.
1. The individual blooms should be as bright outside the tube as it is inside.
2. The tube long and large, the mouth wide, the petals thick, and free from notch or serrature in the margin.
3. The footstalks strong, that the flowers may stand out from the main stem, and rather droop.
4. Contrast in colours is desirable, as affording a greater variety, and the colours always bright and striking, as the great fault of the digitalis, or foxglove, is its dull, heavy, dingy colour.
PROPERTIES OF THE FUCHSIA. Without going minutely into the properties of this flower, it is well, perhaps, that we should mention some facts which will be useful in selecting a few for purchase, especially as we have seen the most intolerable rubbish cultivated in great numbers.
1. First and foremost, it is absolutely necessary that the petals of the inside, or corolla, be a different colour from the outside, for contrast is essential ; those, therefore, which are all of a colour are comparatively worthless.
2. The brighter the scarlet outside, and the deeper the purple inside, the better the flower. The loss of the rich purple is fatal, therefore, to the scarlet Fuchsia. But a Fuchsia may be white outside, and in that case a bright scarlet corolla would be a good contrast, though a purple would be better.
3. The form of the buds or drops before they open cannot be too round, because that form is the most beautiful before opening, and gives the widest sepals when open.
4. The footstalk of the flower should be long enough to let the bloom fall beneath the leaves, and not long enough to let them hang into the branch below them, for the flowers should all hang free of the foliage.
The corolla or purple should be large and close, and the sepals should reflex, to expose their inside surface, and to show the corolla out well.
5. The anthers should hang conspicuously below the purple, and the pistule below them.
6. The flowers of a Fuchsia should come out at the base of every leaf all over the plant, and we have many which do so.
The best flower we could form or imagine would hardly compensate for a bad habit. We should therefore discard at once all those which have their flowers at the ends of branches only, and we should value very little any that had flowers all of one colour. We do not mean that we could not be induced to name and send out any that were all of a colour, because there may be sufficient novelty to justify a name and a first price : for instance, if one were perfectly white or purpie, it would be a very great curiosity, and be very beautiful, but there is no excuse for sending out scores of very coarse red things, of ugly growth and great sameness, to the confusion of those who wish to grow collections, and the great loss of those who only wish to grow a few of the best.
The tendency of the outside to a greenish white colour is very general, and a great number of the new ones are of that character.
WHAT A FIRST-RATE FUCHSIA OUGHT TO BE.
This has been partly explained. The form of Globosa, the size of a cherry, the colour of a scarlet geranium outside, the corolla dark blue or purple, the sepals ought to turn up wrong side outwards, like a Turk’s cap Lily, the corolla hang down like a close roll of velvet, the pistil and stamens hang down prominently,—and this would be a fine Fuchsia. Another variety might have a blue corolla, the colour of the Nemophylla. A Fuchsia of the same form, with sepals as white as a snow-drop, corolla dark, and another with corolla light, a third with scarlet corolla, and a fourth with an orange one,-and here we should have six real good Fuchsias all different. But there might be twenty varieties of as many different forms, and all might have some point of excellence. It is by no means difficult to conceive many varieties that would be very conspicuous and very acceptable. The greatest drawback upon many of these plants is the want of contrast between the sepals and corolla. The sameness to one another, the coarse, ness and raggedness of the flower, and the awk. wardness of the habit, all of which has arisen from the raisers of seedlings making the coarse varieties produce the seed instead of the fine ones; instead of impregnating the more beautiful of the globe varieties with the Fulgens and others, they have saved seed from the coarse large varieties, and had their labour for nothing—that is, they have produced nothing worth keeping.
The sooner people confine their seeding to the finest of the Globosa kinds, the sooner will there be a manifest advance in the flower-as it is, if the growers continue to seed from the coarse ones we shall go back.
PROPERTIES OF THE CINERARIA.
It will be recollected that this very beautiful plant has a small starry flower, with narrow petals, projecting outwards, all round a yellow disk, such petals being pointed or notched. Hitherto, if a new colour, or an unusual size, has been attained, it has been considered a justification to name the plant, and send it out as a new one. All this may be very well for a time, but the period has arrived, when some regard should be paid to the form and habit of a new variety, and the properties may be summed up in a few words.