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The craftsman
Volume XXVII, Number 5 (February 1915)

Our friends, the plants: how we can grow them and what they can do for us,   pp. 498-507 PDF (3.3 MB)


Page 507


OUR FRIENDS, THE PLANTS
rosy morn and salmon. These names like the names given by the
Indians, being descriptives, need no explanation. There is no limit
to the shades of cyclamen to be had, for they range from pure white,
through pinks, rose, magentas and cerises to the darkest of wine.
   The great family of primulas make charming house plants, for
their sweet star faces, velvety stems and soft gray leaves can be
depended upon as nearly as can anything in the whole flower world
to brighten winter-dull rooms. There is a delicate perfume to most
of the primulas which gives them additional charm. Malacoides is of
a delicate shade of lavender, growing in whorls on tall spikes; Forbesi-
baby primrose, a dainty rose color with golden eyes. Primroses show
beautiful lavender and lilac strains which give them value to people
insistent upon certain color harmonies in rooms.
   And what can be said in praise of the faithful geranium, that
humble flower which blossoms as gaily in an old tin can as in the
finest of porcelain jars, that good Samaritan of flowers which goes
down to the tenements, filling dull rooms with warm glory of coloring!
The red geranium in the kitchen window transforms a kitchen into
a living instead of a drudgery room. When all else fails the geranium,
pink or red, is to be had for but a few pennies and a trifling amount
of care.
   Schizanthus wisetonensis, the bridal veil, is much in demand for
pot culture and exhibitions. It grows well in greenhouses or in a
sunny window. The glossy-leaved drac~ena, almost more of a
favorite than the rubber plant, will stand apparently any amount of
neglect, continue to thrust its wine-colored new leaves above the dark
green older ones in a way that makes it seem in blossom. Some with
brilliant crimson foliage, suffused with pink and white make almost
as gorgeous a display as blossoming plants. Then there are the
araucarias which look much like dwarf pines and do well in cool
rooms or veranda sun parlors. The graceful asparagus fern, its
cousin, springerii, are invaluable as decorative plants.
   The dwarf citrus fruits, the orange and lemon, under favorable
circumstances will blossom indoors, filling the room with penetrating
perfume though seldom being able to mature fruit.
   Beside the large number of dwarf palms and pines, lacelike ferns,
ivies and bay trees, there are the great race of bulbs, the tulips,
daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, narcissus and jonquils which can be
made to bloom continuously from Thanksgiving until Easter. All
of the plants just mentioned are distinctly house plants which will
grow in rooms without the aid of conservatories. Many other plants
including azaleas, anterrhinums, nicotiana, pansies, require the warmth
and light of glass houses.
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