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1. The petals should be thick, broad, blunt, and smooth at the ends, closely set, and form a circle without much indentation.
2. The centre or yellow disk should be less than one third of the diameter of the whole flower : in other words, the coloured circle formed by the petals should be wider all round than the disk measures across.
3. The colour should be brilliant, whether shaded or self, or if it be a white, it should be very pure.
4. The trusses of flower should be large, close, and even on the surface, the individual flowers standing together with their edges touching each other, however numerous they may be.
5. The plant should be dwarf.
6. The stems strong, and not longer than the width across the foliage ; in other words, from the upper surface of the truss of flower to the leaves where the stem starts from, should not be a greater distance than from one side of the foliage to the other.
In these remarks we allude to the plant when in perfection, for, as the Cineraria is a constant bloomer, it continues to branch and bloom long after its proper truss has lost its chief beauty, and its form ; the blooms are then more distant and straggling, but still beautiful, for every little branching truss of flowers will preserve the character of the principal one, and the plant look well to the last.
PROPERTIES OF THE RHODODENDRON.
1. The flower should be circular and campanulated, or hollow like a globular cup.
2. The five divisions of the petal should be concealed by means of the lapping over-and it should be large.
3. The petal should be thick, smooth at the edge, stiff, and hold its shape well.
4. The truss of blooms should be pyramidal or dome-shaped, stand clear of the foliage, the flower compact, touching, but not crowding each other.
5. The footstalks should be stiff and elastic.
6. The colour should be brilliant, the spots distinct and contrasted, and stand well without fading.
7. The plant should be bushy, the foliage bright clear green, large, and disposed all round the branch, especially round the flower.
8. The stems should be well covered with leaves, and the bloom should be abundant.
9. It should not bloom until the middle of May if hardy, as by beginning before the frosts have gone, the blooms are always spoiled.
The following would be considered great 'faults :- The petals pointed, thin, notchy, frilled, or crumpled ; the divisions narrow, the flowers loose in the truss, the footstalks weak and too long, the colour dull, the spots not bold nor strong ; the foliage narrow, dull, and far apart ; the habit lanky, plant straggling and ugly.
PROPERTIES OF THE CAMELLIA JAPONICA.
There may be an apparent similarity in the properties of many double flowers, because thick petals, smooth edges, circular flowers, dense colours, high crowns, apply to all, or nearly all. The Properties of the Camellia Japonica may be classed thus
PROPERTIES OF THE FLOWER. 1. The flower should be circular on the outside, when looked at in front.
2. The petals should be thick, smooth at the edges, broad and blunt outside, cupped or reflexed, as the case may be.
3. It should be imbricated (that is, each petal should have its centre over the join of the under petals), each row of petals should be smaller than the row immediately under it.
4. The number of rows, one above the other, should form the flower into half a globe.
5. The colour should be alike all over the flower, if a self; and if blotched or striped, the contrast of the two colours should be striking.
6. If the flower be white, it should be pure; and if white and coloured in mixture, the white should be distinct and the outline of a blotch or stripe, where the white and colour joins, should be very decided.
PROPERTY OF THE PLANT. 1. The foliage should be large and bright, the leaves close together, the joints short, and habit bushy.
2. The flowers should come singly and at the ends of shoots, so as to bloom free from the leaves.
Long straggling joints, like the variety called Reticulata, are objectionable ; foliage dull and small like that of the same variety, is also detrimental to the appearance, and therefore forms another objection; rough ragged blooms, however large and showy, are a great drawback, hence Reticulata possesses a third very objectionable character, and no plant was ever more overrated. Pointed petals, like those of Eximia, are greatly against a flower, and in this case spoils a variety which has many other beautiful properties : open ragged-looking flowers like Donkellaria, however striking, are bad ; and we may safely say, that there is no class of flowers, of which even the best, or rather the most esteemed varieties, are capable of so much improvement.
PROPERTIES OF THE CHRYSANTHEMUM.
We expect a sort of remonstrance against the properties which we shall set down as desirable in the Chrysanthemum, because the forms of the present varieties are as numerous as were those of the Dahlia when the published rules first set to rest the properties of that universal favourite. There were among them at that time anemonieflowered, China-aster-flowered, globe-flowered, single, and semi double, fat, starry, and ragged flowers, to say nothing of colours. In the Chrysanthemum, we are told in a very recent publication, that there are the ranunculus-flowered, the incurved, the China-aster-flowered, the mari. gold-flowered, the clustered, and the tasselled, all of which, except the ranunculus-flowered, are untidy and flimsy. Great efforts have been made to bring these flowers into notice, and shows have been established at which the judges have not known by what rules to award the prizes, or which flower was the best. We affirm with great submission to those who pride themselves on this flower, that it is impossible to select one less fit to exhibit, cut from the plant, and that individually there is nothing to hope for in the bloom itself that should raise it to the dignity of a florist's flower ; but as there is great merit in growing the plant well in pots, and as the plant is showy when there is a scarcity of bloom in a house, they ought always to be shown in pots only, and the merits of the plant be taken into account quite as much as that of the bloom, and as such we shall notice both.
1. The plant should be dwarf, shrubby, well covered with green' foliage to the bottom, the leaves broad and bright, the flowers well displayed at the end of each branch, come in abundant quantity, and be well supported by the stems.
2. The flower should be round, double, high in the crown, perfect in the centre, without disk or confusion, and of the form of half a ball.
3. The individual petals should be thick,