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it should be sown in March, in light rich earth; and, with the benefit of a slight bottom heat, such as is afforded by a gentle hot-bed, the plants soon make their appearance, when, after a week or two's nursing, they may be inured to the air, and as soon as they are large enough, be removed to their appointed stations. No further care is necessary, except an occasional watering, or the aid of a stick, as may be found requisite: they will produce flowers in September of the same year, and have an advantage over cuttings, as they do not require protection; in short, antirrhinums are any body's flowers who will give them room to grow.
In botanical arrangement the genus is included in the natural order Scrophulariaceee, and of the Linnaean system in the fourteenth class and second order, Didynamia Angwspermia. The name is derived from the Greek anti, similar, and rhin, a nose, from the great resemblance presented by the flowers to the snout of some animal. We are indebted to Mr. Fowle, Nurseryman, of Brixton, for our illustrations; and the accompanying list was selected from his stock.
Albion, white with pink stripe, yellow lip.
Boule de feu, fine large brilliant red.
Beauty, white ground, rosy stripe.
Cupid, straw-coloured ground, pink stripe.
Compacta, yellow ground, very dark stripe.
Delicata, light flower, shaded with pink.
Elegans, straw-colour, pencilled with pink.
Foivlii, crimson and white, like bicolor, but much larger.
Gigantea, large crimson.
Ochroleuca striata, primrose, pink stripe.
grandiflora, primrose, pink tube. Sulphurea elegans, rich yellow, bold flower. Striata, white ground, crimson stripes.
THE " SPOT" ON PELARGONIUMS.
We have received many letters on this subject since we mentioned it in last Volume, several of them containing excellent, though speculative, ideas on the matter. The following deserve particular attention, as they convey sound information and very correct suggestions, backed by the experience necessary to the management of large collections; for the writers are known to us as very eminent growers of Pelargoniums.
'r I have never had it in my collection: that I do not wish it, every one will believe. I have long held the opinion that it arises from a check to the circulation from too sudden alteration of temperature by the admission of cold air upon the plants. I. once had more specimens than I required, or, indeed, than my house would hold. With a desire to reserve thern for a late blooming, I placed them at the back of the greenhouse, upon a shelf two feet above the ground. It was the latter end of April, or beginning of May. In a few days all the foliage was spotted, as much so as any I had ever seen. Many eminent growers attributed it to an excess of moisture in their houses, and banished water from their cisterns. My own tank, with a surface of 32 superficial feet, always remains uncovered without any ill effect. Yet there was one plant, 'Foster's Beauty,' I could never grow without the foliage being disfigured in spite of every experimental attempt to avoid it. Distinguished from the spot is a similar disease to which seedling Pelargoniums are subject, which I shall term the canker. It commences on the stem, or on the termination of the foot-stalk at the stem. In some instances it spreads over the surface of the leaves, but more frequently affects the parts mentioned until late in the season, when the whole plant is a mass of disease; the stem cracks horizontally, and the leaf-stalk snaps like glass. Still the roots are quite healthy and vigorous. For this I know no remedy, or even palliative. Exhibitor."
"Last season introduced me to a knowledge of this pest, which may be well designated ' a plague-spot.' I have grown Pelargoniums for the last fifteen years, but never suffered from its effects till the time named, when it came upon me with a vengeance. The season, if you remember, was an alternation of excessive heat and dull weather, occasioning much trouble to the plant-grower. My plants were in a vigorous condition towards the close of the autumn, but shortly after exhibited an unhealthy aspect, followed by unequivocal symptoms of 'spot,* which continued throughout the growing season. I attribute the disease to the sudden reversion of atmospheric influences (changing from bright to gloomy) acting upon the elaborative organs of the plants in the manner of a check, so as probably to cause a disruption of some of them. I am not quite prepared to say it is infectious, but strongly suspect it.
« C. C."
G. writes thus : —" My opinion of the 'spot' is that it is caused by the chilling effects of a fluctuating atmosphere; the plants being excited to the utmost one day, and perhaps the next subject to precisely the reverse. It is only to be obviated by endeavouring to preserve an even temperature in the house, not that it is to be regulated entirely by the thermometer; for it is of less consequence to maintain at all times the same degree of heat than to have a more regular amount of moisture present in the atmosphere in which the plants are growing."
Another correspondent, Mr. Wilson, says, he believes " the 'spot' on Pelargoniums to originate in this way. The plants, in all probability, about the end of September, or even a week or two later, are making an abundance of new foliage, in fact, are in very active growth, and the possessor is flattering himself that his plants will ' look well' through the winter, and thus encourages them to a continuance of this growth, without at all thinking of the necessity of getting the new parts matured and hardened; the fine weather of the season all the time urging the plants forward, until at last the dull cold weather of November overtakes them in a green succulent state; their vessels are full of crude undigested sap, which they are unable to disgorge from want of sunlight, and it necessarily becomes stagnant and putrid, breaking through the epidermis like a cutaneous disease. Nearly the same result will follow an overdose of food at any season, accompanied by a reduction of light or temperature — as may be proved by experimenting on a worthless plant at any time."
All these opinions seem to coincide in the importance of attaining a proper maturity for the growth of the preceding season before the arrival of winter: a continuance of the warm ripening weather of autumn is wanted as far into the winter months as possible, as it appears that the commencement of dull weather is the period at which the disease makes its first attack; and could it then be repelled, there seems but little danger to be apprehended from it when the return of spring shall have infused new vigour to the plants: not that they are to be kept so warm as to induce much growth, rather the contrary; for then they would be easy victims, being predisposed to any and all diseases; but with a delightful, dry, ripening (we cannot use a better term) atmosphere, such as is usually experienced in August, it is but reasonable to suppose they would pass through the winter in perfect health, acquiring an energy which, on the first application of stimuli in spring, would burst forth with astonishing strength. We are quite convinced that in the management of plants generally, far more depends upon their condition at the return of winter than at any other time; and the most strenuous exertions should be used to have all their several parts perfectly matured before the proper season for its completion leaves us. Editor.
GLEANINGS ON THE CULTURE OF THE
By Mr. T. Moore.
The kind of structure which I regard as being the best suited for the successful cultivation of the Cucumber, is such an one as that represented in the accompanying engraving. I might say much of the advantages to be derived from cultivating this plant in small houses, in preference to frames and pits, were it not that these arguments are so well known. That it can be induced to grow as freely, and as satisfactorily, in a small house, as in frames or pits, is a question which does not admit of doubt; and it is no trifling degree of advantage, to be able to secure such satisfactory results, and yet be able to dispense with the labour, and filth, and uncertainty, which is attendant on the use of casings of fermenting material, as a means of maintaining a requisite degree of heat: when we consider the advantage of being able to bestow that degree of attention to the plants which they require, without exposing them to the influence of a rush of cold air, as is the case when the lights of a frame or pit are opened, we have quite enough before us to establish the preference of a small house over a dung-bed, and moreover, over a pit, even though the temperature of this latter is maintained by means of a hot-water apparatus. Neatness, economy, convenience, and certainty, are the advantages gained by employing a pit so heated, over that of using a structure in which the temperature is maintained by the aid of fermenting masses; whilst a still greater degree of certainty, and also of convenience, are the particulars in which small houses may be regarded as being preferable even over pits.
With regard to the question of heating, the gutter and the tank system are both valuable, the latter especially, as a means . of securing an equal and genial degree of warmth to the roots. With the use of fermenting masses they admit of no comparison whatever, being infinitely preferable. It must not, however, be supposed, that the heat thus conveyed to the atmosphere, is in itself more suited to the plants to which it is applied, than that supplied by other means,—for heat, that is, simply caloric, is the same in its effects whatever may be the source through which it is derived; and consequently, heat imparted from fermenting manure is as good for the purpose as that derived directly from fire through the medium of a body of water; in one sense, it is even preferable, for ammonia, combined with other gaseous bodies, is contained in the vapour of fermenting manure, and this ammonia is of considerable value to plants when it does not exist in excess. The value and importance of the tank system consist in the uniformity of its action; for when once heated, a body of water such as that employed is found to maintain, with little trouble, and by the application of very slight stimulating power, a constant and genial degree of warmth; whilst, on the other hand, fermenting masses are, from their very nature, both fluctuating and ephemeral in their action; and, setting aside altogether the labour attendant on the employment of them, we have at once before us, in this particular, a proof of their decided inferiority to the tank. Cultivators know full well that in