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BEGONIA.

The only two species of this ornamental stove plant that do well in the parlor, are B. incarnata, and fuchsioides. The former is an evergreen shrub, with thick, fleshy stems, and large, drooping clusters of pink flowers in winter. It shows to great advantage if well cared for, and is one of the

best window plants.

The latter is often called 66 coral

drop," and resembling the former somewhat in habit, produces at all seasons, but chiefly in summer, its pretty, drooping, coral flowers.

Both species require the warmest possible situation, and plenty of light and sun. They are impatient of much water, but the plants should never be allowed to droop. Good drainage is indispensable. The whole family thrive in a compost of one half loam, one half leaf mould, with a slight portion of sand.

CHAPTER VI.

PLANTS FOR WINDOW GARDENING, CONTINUED.

SMILAX: History. - Soil. - Culture. GELSEMIUM: Culture. STEVIA:

Soil. Culture. PETUNIA: History.- Soil. - Culture. FERNS IN THE PARLOR. CHRYSANTHEMUMS: Varieties for window culture. AGAVE, or CENTURY PLANT: Species. - Culture, GERANIUMS, or PELARGONIUMS: New Variegated-leaved.c.Double.- New Ivy-leaved. PALMS FOR HOUSE CULTURE.

THE SMILAX.

HE plant commonly called smilax is not a

true smilax, but a liliaceous plant from

the Cape of Good Hope, botanically

known as Myrsiphyllum, so called from the resemblance of the foliage to that of a myrtle. There are two species — M. asparagoides, which is the kind so commonly grown, and M. angustifolium. Both species are delicate twining plants, with bright-green foliage (we speak in popular parlance, the parts of these

plants usually called leaves being only metamorphosed branches), and pretty, nodding, fragrant, greenish-white flowers, which are succeeded by bright-red berries.

This plant is easily grown in the parlor, and, twining round the window, makes the prettiest frames imaginable. The root is a bunch of tubers united at the top, from which crown the shoots proceed. Plants may be obtained of any

florist in November, and need only a warm, sunny exposure to produce an abundance of foliage. The shoots should be trained on strings, which may be crossed into any required form. The soil should be sandy peat and loam, with good drainage; the pots should be large enough to allow full development of the roots; and, during growth, plenty of water should be given.

About the first of May the plants will go to rest; water should then be gradually withheld, and, when the leaves turn yellow, the plant should be wholly dried off, and remain so all summer, the earth being only just damp enough to prevent the roots from shrivelling up. In October give water, and re-pot the plant. Propagation is effected by division of the root, or from seed, which vegetates freely. The atmosphere of a room in which smilax is grown should be kept rather moist by evaporation of water on the stove or over the furnace, as, in a hot, dry air, the plants are liable to be attacked by red spider, which, as syringing cannot be done in the parlor, are difficult to get rid of.

THE GELSEMIUM.

This plant, botanically G. sempervirens or nitidum, is commonly known as Carolina jasmine. It is a native of

our Southern States, being generally found on the river

banks, and along the roads in moist places.

The foliage is dark, shining green; and the flowers, which are freely produced, are bright yellow, and delightfully fragrant.

The soil should be rich sandy loam, and plenty of water should be given when the plant is in growth. Cuttings root easily under a bell-glass.

This is a charming window plant, and easily grown. It is a half climber, and needs the support of a stake or trellis. We have seen a single plant, which, grown in a large tub, occupied the whole of a large bay-window, and

was a marked example of what success may be attained

in window gardening.

THE STEVIA.

Some species of this large genus are useful as window plants, blooming in early winter, at a time when flowers

are scarce.

The foliage is clear green, shining in some species; and the flowers, which are very abundant, are in dense corymbs. The color is usually white, but some are pink or purple.

Cuttings are struck in the spring, grown out of doors all summer, the plants being frequently pinched to keep them in shape. Just before the frost, the plants are potted, shaded for a few days to establish them, and forced

into bloom in December. After blooming, the plants are

thrown away, except the few needed for cuttings. The soil should be good loam, and water should be given freely. The best species for window culture is S. salicifolia.

THE PETUNIA.

This well-known plant blooms freely in the window, and is very easily grown. It is a native of South America ; and from the white

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