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Title: Garden and forest. / Volume 6, Issue 282 [an electronic version]
Collection: Garden and Forest
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306 Garden and Forest. [NUMBER 282. There are hundreds of seedlings in flower in the large Britain and the United States. The forms of M. Sapientum house devoted to Cacti, Agaves and other succulents at are very numerous, some being comparatively worthless Kew, where they are used as an edging to the bed for their fruit, while others are most delicious. We have in the centre of the house, and make a pretty show all Bananas at Kew which, if grown in the tropics and sent to through the summer. To any amateur interested in cross- the European markets, would be prime favorites with epibreeding, these Streptocarpi may be recommended as plas- cures, for they are very greatly superior both in size and tic, responsive, improvable material, very easily manipu- flavor to those at present imported. The best are Regia, lated and soon showing results.'known in India as Pissang' Ra-dji;Ch'ampa, a large deliMUSA AND ALLIED GENERA. —Mr. J. G. Baker, keeper ciously flavored fruit; Rubra, or Ram-Kela of the Indians, of the Herbarium at Kew, has recently prepared a larger thaniChampa, the fruit being sometimes eight inches Synopszs ofthe Genera and Species of Musece, which was long and three.-inchess in diameter, dull red-yellow when published in the Annals of Botany, vol. vii., and which he ripe, and as luscious as:aS a -peach-. -'There is a fortune in has had reprinted and published as a separate pamphlet of these three kinds of Banana:forathe:' enterprising planter who thirty-three pages. It is of the same excellence as Mr. grows them in quantity for the European and American Baker's many other works of the same character, and as it markets. (3) Rhodochlamys, with cylindrical stems, few is in English and deals with plants in which horticulturists flowers to a bract and linear petals; example, M. rosacea. are interested it has a special value to readers of GAR- The ten species included here are only of value as decoraDEN AND FOREST. The genera treated upon are Heliconia, tive plants, their fruits being small and usually not fit to Strelitzia, Ravenala and Musa. The first three are charac- eat. They are nearly all in cultivation: at Kew, and M. terized by hermaphrodite flowers; the fourth, AMusa, by coccinea is not an uncommon stove-plant in England, its unisexual flowers. Heliconias have erect stems, sheathed stems being only two or three feet in height, the leaves by the petioles of the non-distichous leaves; flowers in less than a yard long, and the inflorescence a conspicuous panicles of several umbels in the axils of large bright-col- erect terminal cluster of bright red boat-shaped bracts enored branch-bracts, the flowers themselves various in color; closing yellow flowers, M. Sumatrana has elegant green fruit small, usually blue. Twenty-nine species are de- foliage, with large blotches of claret-brown. M. sanguinea, scribed, all native of tropical America. H. Bihai, intro- M. rosacea and M. Mannii are also attractive when in duced into cultivation from the West Indies in I786 and flower. many times since under various names, is the commonest It will be seen from the above that Mr. Baker's latest adand best-known in gardens. Mr. Baker refers to this spe- dition to systematic botany is a valuable contribution to cies the plants known in gardens under the following the literature of the garden also. names: H. Caribcea, H. aureo-striata, H. triumphans, H. The Index Kewenszis. This work is now rapidly apstriata, H. Siemanni. Other species in cultivation here are proaching completion, part I., contaiining 728 pages quarto, H. psittacorum, H. metallica, H. pulverulenta and H. au- being just issued. The following:communication from Sir rantiaca. All the Heliconias known to me are handsome Joseph Hooker, published in the prospectus, explains the foliage-plants for the stove, and when in flower they pre- origin, plan and purpose of this important and comprehensent a singular and attractive appearance. sive undertaking: "Shortly before his death, Mr. Darwin Strelitzia contains only four species, all natives of south informed me of his intention to devote a considerable sum Africa. They are all old garden plants in England and in aid or fur'theran-ce:of some work of utility to biological are handsome, both in leaf and flower. They thrive science, and to provide for its completion should this not equally well in a stove or greenhouse, the large species be accomplished during his lifetime. He further informed being as effective as Musas. S. parvifolia is remarkable me that the difficulties he had experienced in accurately for its long slender petiole, like a stout rush bearing a small designating the many plants which he had studied, and oblong blade, the variety juncea having the blade reduced ascertaining their native countries, had suggested to him to a mere flattened tip. This species rarely flowers with the compilation of an index to the names and authorities us. S. Reginae, with its varieties, glauca, ovata and fari- of all known flowering plants and their countries, as a work nosa, besides various others under garden names, is a first- of supreme importance to students of systematic and georate garden-plant, as it is only about a yard high and flow- graphical botany, and to' horticulturalists, and&as a fitting ers freely every year, the strange-looking orange and blue object of the fulfillment of his intentions. I have only to flowers lasting for some weeks. S. Augusta and S. Nicolai add that, at his request, I undertook to direct and superare tall species with stout woody stems and large flowers vise such a work; and that it is being carried out at the borne on a thick horizontal branch produced from the base Herbarium of the Royal Gardens, Kew, with the aid of the of the leaves. staff of that establishment." As a reference-work regardRavenala (Urania) consists of two species. R. Madagas- ing the nomenclature of plants, Index Kewensis will stand cariensis is the well-known Traveler's Tree and one of the pre-eminent. Mr. Henry Froude, Oxford University Press noblest of all plants for large stoves. It is said to attain a Warehouse, Amen Corner, London, E. C, is the publisher. height of a hundred feet in the forests of Madagascar, where London. W. Watson. it is called Ravin-ala (forest leaves) and Akondro-ala (forest banana). There is a specimen of it in the Kew Palm-house with leaf-blades twelve feet long. The other species, which, Cultural Department. singularly, is a native of Guiana and Para, is smaller, grow- Spring Bulbs.-II. ing only to a height of thirty feet, with ovate leaf-blades two feet broad. It is in cultivation at Kew. "THE Narcissus family, the "Golden Host," comes to the The genus Musa, I believe, gave Mr. Baker considerable mind of every one when spring bulbs are mentioned. trouble. He admits thirty-two species, and divides them They are all beautiful, all worthy of being grown, and nearly all can be grown out-of-doors. Of about one hundred and into three sub-genera: (I) Physocaulis, with bottle-shaped fifty species and. varieties which I have tried, I can think of stems; example, M. Ensete. Seven species are included- only three which:Ishould fear to trust out-of-doors over win here, but only one other besices- M. Enseite is in culti- ter with a light coveting to shade the ground and keep it from vation-namely, M. superba. (2):-Eumusa, with cylindri- cracking with alternate freezing and thawing. These are the cal stems, many flowers to a bract, and ovate acuminate beautifulwhiteNarcissusBulbocodium monophyllusofAlgeria, petals; example, M. Sapientum. Fourteen species belong N. pachybulbus, also Algerian, and the true Chinese variety, to this group, the most valuable of all, as it contains all now so much recommended for house-culture in pebbles and those species which have edible fruits and that which is now sold, un i ttingly, no doubt, as Chinese. Tazetta varieties are nowsold, unwittingly, no doubt, as Chinese. These three variethe source of Manilla hemp, M. textilis, the cultivation, of ties I grow in pots or in a cold-frame, as well as the autumnal which is limited to the Philippines, from whence about species, N. Serotinus and N. serotinus elegans, which bloom 5o,ooo tons of the fibre are annually exported to Great in October, but are not very desirable. I have never seen
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