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subjects that have so richly. rewarded his efforts with brilliant results. It is quite possible that in a few years, by well-directed selection alone, much might be done for the improvement of this much-neglected but beautiful family. There is already, perhaps, all that could be wished as regards colour; but it would be a fortunate achievement to produce brilliant varieties with the invaluable quality of a long and continuous blooming season. In all the host of gay things included in the general category of bedding plants, none are more bright and beautiful than these in their season; may some one with the requisite skill and means take the Rock-Roses in hand then, and improve and extend their fine qualities. Many will be found to succeed well in the mixed border, if the soil is not tenacious and damp, and the exposure is bright and sunny; but the majority are better adapted for culture on rockwork and in dry banks and rocky and sandy places, while a few will require protection from the rigour of our winters in a cold frame, either by lifting the old plants or taking cuttings and storing them after the fashion of half-hardy bedding plants—that is, without artificial heat, but duly protected. They are most easy to cultivate, and the larger number, when they become established in a place, keep it well and tenaciously; but it is well to be prepared with a few plants from cuttings annually in order to make gaps good; and, as above stated, young plants, if healthy, are the most prolonged and continuous bloomers-a point in their successful culture that should always be kept in mind. As to soil they are not fastidious, if only they are not attempted in clays or very wet soil, neither of which is congenial to them; but they are seen perhaps to the greatest perfection in a mixture of peat and loam, or any very light dry loam. They are easily propagated by cuttings just when the shoots of the current season's growth are beginning to become a little hard and matured, and they may be managed successfully by putting them under a bell-glass out of doors, or into a cold frame either in pots or without, keeping them close and shaded from scorching sun for some time after putting them in. The list of species is a very long one, too long for all to be noticed here, even were it desirable to do so; but there is much confusion as to the limits of specific forms, and much sameness of form and colour; and when they are regarded simply as subjects for decorative purposes, a selection embracing some of the most distinct and beautiful ought to be aimed at, and the following are a few of the best.

H. algarvense, syns. H. ocymoides and Cistus algarvensis (Algarve Rock-Rose). This is a tall-growing species, most suitable for planting along with the larger-growing herbaceous

plants and the more bulky of alpine plants and dwarf shrubs, and about the margins of masses of shrubs as well as on rockwork. It reaches a height of about 2 feet, rather diffuse in habit. The stems and branches are clothed with ovate-lanceolate stalkless leaves, and hairy, as are all the parts outside the corolla. The flowers are large, bright yellow, with a purple blotch at the base of each petal. They appear in June and continue till August. Native of Spain and Portugal.

H. croceum Saffron-coloured Rock-Rose).-A dwarf, diffuse, somewhat trailing species, yet compact and close in growth, growing from 6 to 9 inches high, producing ovate-lanceolate leaves, hoary and downy beneath, milky green above, and with the margins recurved somewhat. Flowers in terminal drooping racemes or clusters, dark saffron-yellow, appearing in June, July, and August. Native of Spain.

H. formosum, syn. Cistus formosus (Beautiful Rock-Rose). — Very near algarvense in character, differing chiefly in the excessively downy character of the branches and shortly-stalked leaves, which are also more acutely pointed. The flowers are large, bright yellow, each petal having a blackish spot at the base. Height about the same as algarv'ense, and the plant is adapted to the same purposes as that species; but it must be repeated that neither of these, nor indeed any Rock-Rose, will give much satisfaction in wet soil or in shady places, but delight in dry, sunny, exposed positions. Native of Portugal.

H. grandiflorum (Great-flowered Yellow Rock-Rose).—Rather closely related to croceum, but of larger growth, and producing oblong hairy leaves without recurved margins, and large, handsome, bright yellow flowers, appearing in June and July. Native of Italy. Adapted for either select rockwork or the front lines of mixed borders.

H. macranthum (Large-flowered Rock-Rose).—This is a handsome species, rather trailing in habit, but rising to the height of 9 to 12 inches, producing numerous branches clothed with oblong-oval sharp-pointed leaves, and both leaves and branches densely covered with ashy-grey down. The flowers are creamy white, large, and numerous, in terminal racemes. Native of the south of Europe. Best adapted for sunny positions on rockwork.

H. polifolium (Polium-leaved Rock-Rose).—This is a small, compact-growing British species, with white flowers; not one of the most showy, yet its clear white flowers and compact habit render it worthy of a place in larger collections. The whole plant is hoary; the leaves are narrow, oblong, and much recurved on the edges, and the height about 6 inches : flowers

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appearing in May last till June. Best adapted to adorn rockwork, and will not exist on wet flat positions.

H. Tuberaria (Plantain-leaved Rock-Rose).- This species belongs to a very distinct but small section of the family characterised by herbaceous instead of ligneous or shrubby stems and branches. It grows about 1 foot high, producing three-nerved plantain-like leaves, very hairy and large as compared with those of the shrubby kinds. The flowers are large, bright yellow, with a dark purplish-red zone in the centre : they open in June and last till August. Native of the south of Europe. Most suitable for rockwork and mixed borders in well-drained rich loam.

H. vulgare (Common Rock-Rose).—This is another British species, and one of the most widely distributed of Rock-Roses on the continent of Europe, as well as one of the best known at home, for it is to be found in many British gardens in one or more of its numerous varieties. It is one of the most gay and variable, as well as the most easy to cultivate; for though it refuses to grow in continuously damp places, it is not so fastidious as regards frequent drenchings as many Rock-Roses are, if the position is only sunny and airy. The general character of the plant is low diffuse growth, with numerous stems and branches clothed with oblong or lanceolate leaves, hoary beneath, bright green above, and hairy, with the edges generally flat, not recurved, and yellow flowers in a loose terminal raceme; but there are many varieties about gardens differing more or less from the type, although the greatest variation takes place in the colour and size of the flowers. The variation in colour is considerable, there being many shades between straw and deep red, which are the two extremes; and there are several varieties with combinations of different shades, and one or two doubles in well-marked colours. But the most remarkable variety is that named H. vulgare var. surrejamum, which has the petals much reduced in breadth and deeply cut. It was originally discovered 'near Croydon, and has been regarded as a good specific form; but, except as a curiosity, it is scarcely worthy of cultivation.

VIOLACEÆ.

If this natural order presented nothing except the SweetViolet for our admiration, it would have a very strong claim on the consideration of all lovers of sweet and beautiful flowers.

But there are many other species of Violets which add, by their beauty or fragrance, or both combined, to the floricultural value of the order; and those with a turn for deeper sifting than colour and odour will find in the structural peculiarities that characterise the group and determine its affinities much to interest and admire. Viola itself forms the greater bulk of the order, and I am not aware that any of the other genera furnish worthier hardy herbaceous subjects. Erpetion is sometimes included in lists of hardy plants, but it is not hardy in the broader sense, although in a few favoured localities in the south and west of England it has survived mild winters; and Solea, another offset of Viola, though undoubtedly hardy, is of no ornamental value. Erpetion may be noticed here because of its great beauty and its usefulness for out-of-doors work in the summer, in any part of the country. Violas are all plants of the easiest requirements as regards culture. They thrive best in a good rich gritty loam, but do very well in various kinds of soils. A very important point in the culture of these plants is an abundant supply of moisture during the growing season. They are much better adapted for growing in naturally damp soils than in dry ones; and if a choice can be made this should be remembered, otherwise ample artificial supplies must be provided. More particular remarks regarding culture will be made, when necessary, under the species, and all that need be noted here in a general way is, that Violas may all be increased by means of division and cuttings; and in all cases, where practicable, the latter is the best, because productive of the most vigorous plants; and it is so simple an operation, and requires so few ordinary facilities, that it may be practised everywhere. Cuttings may be taken any time early or late in the summer as they can be got, inserted in sandy soil under a hand-glass in a shady place, and kept close for some time, or until they begin making roots, when a little air may be given by degrees, increasing daily. They are all easily raised from seeds also, and by this means varieties of interest and value are obtained, especially of the more variable species, such as the Pansy. The seeds may be sown in spring in pots in a cold frame, or in a bed or border in a warm spot of the garden, afterwards nursing them on by pricking the seedlings out from the seed-bed into rich soil in a somewhat shady but warm position, where they must be abundantly supplied with moisture.

Erpetion reniforme (New Holland Violet).—This beautiful little plant is too tender to be trusted out in our climate in most parts of the country during winter ; but it is such an

essential gem that it should be included in every collection of any pretensions, where a dry cold frame can be afforded it when it wants protection. I have seen it survive mild winters in the neighbourhood of London; but it was late in being stirred into growth, and weakly throughout the season, and flowered unsatisfactorily. There is no doubt but that it would be much more comfortable and successful left out in some of the more southern and western parts of England, and the more favoured localities of Ireland; but there is little hope for its safety if lest out in Scotland. It has quite the habit and appearance of some of the smaller alpine Violets, extends itself by weak trailing branches rooting as they advance, has small bright-green kidney-shaped leaves, and the flower-stalks only 2 or 3 inches high, bearing the small delicate blue-andwhite flowers in moderate profusion and long continuance. It is a charming little pot-plant cultivated in the same way as pot alpine plants, and may be used with good effect in light airy greenhouses; but its best use will be found in edging and carpeting small beds in warm positions in the flower-garden. In the north it may not succeed so well in this way as in the south, but in warm terrace-gardens it may succeed in any part of the country; and it is so easily propagated by division and cuttings that it should be tried out of doors everywhere; for though not very striking, it is sure to arrest the attention of all who may pass it who are fond of simple beauty and freshness. In cold localities the plants would be best plunged in their pots instead of planted out. Native of Australia.

Viola calcarata (Spurred Violet).—This is a low-growing species with many underground creeping stems, by which it extends itself and forms carpet-like masses of a lively green. The stems are angular, and clothed with acutely-egg-shaped leaves toothed on the margin. The flowers, produced in great profusion, are large, pale purple, and furnished with a conspicuous awl-shaped spur. Adapted to either the rockwork or mixed border, preferring a little shade and ample supplies of moisture during the growing season. The yellow-flowered V. Zoysiï of some catalogues is regarded by some botanists as a variety of calcarata under the name V. c. flava. Flowers from early spring throughout the summer in moist situations. Native of the Alps of Switzerland.

V. cornuta (Horned Violet).— This is very near in character to the last, but is a more vigorous plant, and further distinguished by its broader and less deeply toothed leaves, and the more upright tendency of the stems. It is now a well-known plant in flower-gardens, having been extensively tried for some

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