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flower strongly the following season. In order to sow the seeds regularly, it is necessary to rub them well with the hands in a little sand, otherwise they will adhere to each other in lumps, on account of the fleecy covering in which each seed is enveloped. Flowers in April and May, or very much owing to the time of planting the roots, as a succession of flowers may be kept up of two or three months' duration by planting in September, October, and again in February. Native of the Levant.
A. hortensis (Garden A.)-This and the Poppy A. are very near relatives, and there is little doubt but that the blood of the two has become considerably mixed in the long period of their dwelling together in gardens; but the flowers of this species, and of all the varieties that can be directly traced back to it, are more starry in form than those of the other, and the foliage more hard and leathery, and with rather broader lobes. The rather rare variety named A. h. fulgens, which in some catalogues takes the position of a species, is a most brilliant sort, quite unapproachable in its dazzling shining crimson scarlet, and, ţike all the varieties of this species, is remarkably easily grown.
The colour is much wanted in spring flowergardens, and the compact habit of the plant renders it available for grouping with many other spring-flowering subjects with striking effect. The varieties of this and the preceding species should be naturalised in our parks and pleasure-grounds: they are so hardy and so easily increased in any quantity by means of seed. Flowers the same time as A. coronaria. Native of Italy.
A. japonica (Japan A.)—This is a fine stately species. It grows to the height of 2 or 3 feet, with dark-green, rather ample foliage, broadly and bluntly lobed. The flowers are large, cupshaped in opening, rose-coloured. The variety named Honorine Jobart, with pure white flowers, is a beautiful and effective plant. Both should be cultivated in quantity where large supplies of cut flowers are required in late autumn and early winter. I have had them in flower in the northern counties of Scotland at Christmas in mild winters. They should be planted in all situations and aspects for this purpose. Begins to flower about August or September. Divide in spring. Native of Japan.
A. nemorosa.—This is the Wood Anemone which adorns our woods so abundantly with its pearly-white flowers in March and April. It is about the same in height and habit as the Apennine A. already described, and forms a beautiful companion to it. It may be used in spring bedding-out, and should be planted everywhere that these simple spring gems of Flora
may appropriately be put. There are several beautiful varieties of the Wood Anemone. The double white is the most common, and a very useful plant for many purposes, and invaluable for cut flowers, yielding a great profusion of them at a time when masses of flowers are scarce, and they keep fresh in the cut state for long. The double rose or pink variety is pretty, but rather rare; and there has long been in the country a beautiful blue variety very rare and little known. Divide in autumn.
A. palmata (Palmate-leaved A.)—This is a very distinct and beautiful species. It grows about 8 inches high, with leathery, kidney-shaped, bluntly-lobed leaves, and large shining golden flowers. It is more difficult to grow than either of the foregoing : being strictly alpine, it refuses to grow in the open border, but succeeds admirably on rockwork when ample depth of soil is provided, and all the more rampant and encroaching subjects are kept at a proper distance from it. There are two varieties in cultivation, but rare; the one with dirty white single, the other with double yellow flowers. Divide in autumn or very early spring. Native of the regions of the Mediterranean generally.
A. pavonina (Peacock A.)—This is near akin to the Poppy Anemone, and grows about 9 inches high, but the gaily-coloured floral leaves are shorter, narrower, and more sharply pointed. The colour of the flowers is bright rich red. It is an excellent border or rockwork ornament, and succeeds best in light rich soil well drained, in a warm situation. Flowers in April and May. The double variety is the best, being more lasting than the single. Divide in autumn. Native of the south of France.
A. Pulsatilla (Pasque flower).—This species is very distinct from any of the foregoing. It is a true native of Britain, but very local in its distribution; and though small in its wild state, it becomes a free-growing beautiful plant under good cultivation. It grows about i foot high, with large purple flowers. Succeeds best in deep, rich, well-drained loam. Flowers in April and May. Divide in early spring.
A. ranunculoides (Ranunculus - like A.)- This beautiful golden-yellow species is near to the Wood Anemone in character, and, like the Apennine A., has become naturalised in some parts of England. It is a beautiful companion to both its congeners, being about the same in height and habit, and flowers about the same time, and should be planted freely along with them in like places. It may not be found to succeed so well in all cases as the other two; but this should discourage no one from trying it who has the opportunity of doing so.
spring flower-garden it will be found a valuable and attractive subject, and every amateur should have a tuft of it in his garden. It does not thrive so well in heavy as in light soils, dwindles and dies in stiff clays, but luxuriates most in light loams with much decomposed vegetable matter in them; and peat is also very congenial to it. Native of the south of Europe. Divide in autumn.
A. rivularis (Rivulet A.)— This is a fine species from northern India. It is showy, free-growing, and free-flowering. Grows to the height of 18 inches or 2 feet, with numerous showy white flowers filled with rather conspicuous purple stamens and pistils. Delights most in rather moist soil, and is a very useful border-plant. Divide in early spring.
A. sylvestris (Snowdrop A.)—This is one of the handsomest of the group, though not the most showy. It is a free-growing species with pure white flowers, resembling somewhat in the bud the flowers of the Snowdrop. It is hardy and unfastidious as to soil, but prefers rather a shady situation, and would doubtless adapt itself easily to woods and semi-wild places in moderate shade. It should be in every collection of choice hardy herbaceous plants, being a beautiful bed or border ornament, and fit also for rockwork decoration. Height about 12 or 15 inches. Native of Italy, France, Germany, and Siberia. Flowers in April and May. Divide in spring.
Aconitum (Monkshood).—There is much diversity of opinion amongst authorities as to the precise limits of species in this genus. Some maintain that a hundred or more distinct forms are comprised in it, and others contend for only a very limited number; but between the two, the nomenclature of the family is in a most perplexing tangle. My own experience of some twenty or thirty so-called species under cultivation has led me to the opinion that many mere varieties have been described as species, and that a very short list may be made to include all that is best and most distinct in the forms at present in cultivation. The gay, bold, and striking character of some of the Monkshoods is very well known. They form splendid backgrounds for wide mixed borders of perennial plants; they are useful also for producing distant effects in pleasure-grounds in association with shrubs; and their hardy nature and robust mode of growth fit them well for introducing into open woods and semi-wild places. They do not dislike a little shade, which is favourable to their being naturalised in moderatelyshady places, and they thrive in any common soil of ordinary quality. Propagate by seeds in the open air in the end of March or in April, and by division in winter in open weather
and in spring. Some notice should be taken of their dangerous poisonous properties. There are many cases on record of the melancholy and fatal results of eating them through ignorance or inadvertently. This fatal quality abounds in every part of the plant, but is most concentrated in the roots, and every one should be informed of the danger of tampering with them.
A. chinense (China A.) – This species grows about 4 feet high, with bold racemes of dark-blue flowers. The stems are very robust, the leaves large and deeply cut, stalked below, and stalkless on the upper part of the stems. Flowers in the autumn months. Native of China and Japan. It is the A. autumnale of some, and by others is accounted only a variety of A. Napellus.
A. japonicum (Japan A.)- This, like the last, is by some authors accounted only a variety of A. Napellus, but it is a very distinct one indeed, and in the present state of disorder in the family may fairly enough be allowed to hold its specific distinction unquestioned, in gardens at least. It grows 3 or 4 feet high, with stout erect stems, and large intense dark-green shining leaves. The spikes are bold and usually simple and embranched, the flowers large deep blue or violet, and appear from June to September. One of the best of the dark-blues.
A. lycoctonum (Wolf's-Bane).—This is a distinct and gigantic species. In rich soils it grows to the height of 6 or 7 feet, with strong, almost woody stems, and enormous leaves, boldly cut and jagged. The panicles of flower are also very large, much branched and spreading, but the individual flowers are smaller than those of most of the Napellus type. They are creamy yellow, and appear in July, August, and September. Native of south of Europe.
A. Napellus (Monkshood).—Under this name I would speak of varieties of the species that have been circulated as distinct species. They are bicolor, variegatum, and versicolor. They differ from the ordinary condition of the species in having the flowers variegated instead of simple blue. Under the same cultural conditions they appear to be very much alike; but in catalogues slight distinctions of colour and height are ascribed, which may be the effect of differences of soil, aspect, or other conditions. But in any case the plant known under either of these three names is the most beautiful of all Monkshoods at present in cultivation. It is a bold-growing erect plant, about 4 feet high, with finely-cut leaves, the stout stems terminating in fine branching racemes of pretty shaded blue and white flowers. They appear in June, and continue throughout July, August, and part of September.
A. tauricum (Taurian Monkshood)
.This is a fine distinct form, with dark-blue flowers. It is a robust grower, and rises to the height of about 4 feet, with ample but not very much divided leaves. The racemes or spikes of flowers are very long, compact, and cylindrical. Flowers in June, July, and into August. Native of Tauria.
Actæa (Baneberry).—This is a small genus of rather distinct aspect, but not of first-rate importance in the embellishment of select positions. The proper home of Actæa is in the woods and half-kept places among shrubs, where their features will be in harmony with surrounding objects. They are peculiarly adapted for naturalisation, as they grow well in any common soil, and naturally affect somewhat shady positions. Propagate by division in autumn, winter, or spring. There are four or five species known; but it is only needful to describe one, as they are rather similar in their general appearance.
A. spicata (Spiked Baneberry).—This plant is a native of Britain, but is distributed rather locally. It has, however, a very wide geographical range in other countries, being found in eastern Europe, Russian Asia, and in North America, extending in the latter into the arctic regions. In nature it is often a small plant; but in rich soil and under cultivation it grows. about 3 feet high, sometimes higher. The leaves are mostly confined to the roots or base of the flower-stems, are large and pinnately divided in a compound manner. The flowers are borne in terminal racemes, sometimes branched, but in weak plants often simple; they are creamy white, and appear in May, June, and July. Aquilegia (Columbine)
.This is a showy and interesting group of plants. They are all of moderate height, are neat in habit, and possess beautiful foliage, and in most cases the colours of the flowers are bright and striking, and the structure most interesting. There is a very considerable list of reputed species, but many are not distinct, and a small number concentrate the best qualities of the family in themselves. They are plants of very easy culture, preferring a loamy rich soil, rather moist than dry, but well drained. They are propagated by division in autumn, winter, or spring, and by seeds in March—the choicer sorts in pots, in frames, or hand-glasses, and pricked off before finally planting in the borders in the end of May or beginning of June; but the varieties of A. vulgaris and others may be sown in the open border in a warm spot, and transplanted to their permanent position when sufficiently strong. They bloom the first year when sown