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others. Second, those with large, round leaves, and large showy, often coarse, flowers, as the various varieties of Tropoolum majus. Third, those with small, delicate, regularly-formed flowers, with smaller leaves, and more of climb.
ing rather than trailing habit, such as T. Lobbianum. We
e are aware that this division is imperfect; that some varieties partake of the characteristics of more than one
class, and that others are with difficulty included in any of the three; and to any one acquainted with all the different
varieties, the difficulty of classification will be at once
apparent. We shall, therefore, only attempt this general division ; leaving a particular description to be given when
we treat of each variety. The soil to be used in the culture
of the tropæolum is, for the bulbous varieties, leaf-mould
and peat, with an admixture of fine sand; for the other
classes, an addition of more sand is to be advised, as care
must be taken not to enrich the soil too highly, for in a rich
soil, with plenty of room to develop the roots, the plants are apt to run all to leaves. This may be prevented in two ways, either by giving a poor soil, or by allowing the roots to become “pot-bound,” and nourishing the plant by slight waterings of liquid manure; they generally fail to give
satisfaction if the soil is close, heavy, and binding. All the varieties, we believe, are readily propagated by cuttings, and many produce seed in abundance. Some succeed better if allowed to trail on the ground; others are so delicate as to need constant attention and careful training. Some are hardy in England, though to our knowledge none have ever been able to survive our severe winters in the open ground, or protected in frames. All the varieties are of the most rapid growth, and are mostly free flowerers; none are destitute of some beauty, while the greater number are remarkable for the combinations of dazzling colors which they afford. The prevailing color is yellow in its different shades; next, red; then dark; and lastly, a most extraordinary fact, which puzzled the botanists, a beautiful blue. It had been asserted and argued, with great show of reason, that a flower, of which all the known varieties, or the general types, were of red, yellow, or cognate colors, could, by no possibility, be found related to a plant with blue flowers,
or could there be a blue flowering plant in the same class.
The discovery of a blue tropæolum, in 1844, completely
refuted this theory. In the treatment of the tropæolum, it
is essential for the good health of the plants that they should enjoy plenty of light and air ; without this, they can
not fail to become sickly or unsightly from faded leaves and small flowers. A supply of water should be given with the syringe, overhead, occasionally, which will conduce to the vigor of the plant, and destroy the red spider, which sometimes attacks the leaves. The plant, in all its varieties, is remarkably free from disease or insects; we have occasionally had the more delicate varieties troubled by green fly, and by mealy bug, but very little care will prevent this. The chief danger seems to lie in the decaying of the roots by over-watering when in growth, or by not withholding water when they are in a state of rest. These remarks, of course, apply only to the bulbous varieties. Sometimes we have known the roots of the summer-blooming varieties" to be attacked by the root aphis, but this is unfrequent. The foliage is of too fiery a taste to be subject to the attacks of
With these few remarks we will proceed to the descrip
tion of the different varieties, noting any peculiarity in the habits of each, or any peculiar mode of culture which may be best adapted to its nature.
The oldest and best known variety is TROPÆOLUM MAJUS,
chiefly red, yellow, very dark, and all the intermediate
shades; or, again, red upon yellow in spots, shadings, stripes, or bands, or yellow upon red or dark ground. Scarce two flowers, unless self-colored, will be found alike,
and there is no prettier sight than a flower bed filled with
this variety, the various colored flowers contrasting finely with the large round leaves. At any seed store, varieties may be obtained; and by a little care in planting the seeds, a beautiful effect may be produced. This species is of the easiest culture, and will grow almost without care; it is well adapted for covering rock-work, or any unsightly spot, producing from the latter part of June until killed by the frost, a constant succession of brilliant flowers and orna
mental foliage. All the varieties of this species are annual, , and are propagated either by seeds, which are freely produced, or by cuttings of half-ripened wood, which root freely
TROPÆOLUM MAJUS ATROSANGUINEUM is only a very fine variety, as its name implies, of the above. It was introduced into England as early as the year 1684. The required soil is light and rich; it flowers freely; increased by seeds and cuttings.
It would be useless to attempt a description of the varieties of Tropæolum majus ; so constantly do they change, that each year, as newer seedlings are produced,
the older are forgotten and lost.
All are well worthy of
cultivation, and some of the varieties should be in every garden. We have seen a double variety, but it was evidently a mere sport, which was only propagated and preserved as a curiosity in a collection; the colors were confused, and the blossom destitute of beauty.
We pass now to the varieties of Tropceolum minus, being those comprised in our last class, and seemingly only reduced specimens of Tropaeolum majus. We have seen it stated that this variety was introduced before Tropæolum majus, but we believe the best authorities agree on the latter being the oldest known variety. Be this as it may, both were known in Europe at a very early period. The plants of Tropeolum minus, and its varieties, may always be distinguished from those of Tropæolum majus, and its
varieties, by the leaves; in the former, the nerves of the
leaves always end in a point, which is never the case with
those of the latter.
TROPÆOLUM LOBBIANUM, sometimes called T. peltopho
One of the very finest ; first collected by Mr. Lobb,
in Columbia. A rampant grower, and free flowerer in the