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VERNONIA

(Iron Weed. Nat. Ord. Compositse). This is a pretty genus of plants which should be more grown, as up to the present time it has been much neglected. Greenhouse Species. Only one species responds to cool greenhouse treatment, namely, Vernonia sericea (Syn. V. acutifolia). This bears purplish flowers in December, and averages 5 ft. in height. A number of Stove Species are excluded in accordance with our note on Stove Plants. Perennial Border Species.These are hardy herbaceous plants unsuitable for the front of borders as a rule since they grow somewhat tall. They may be used for the back rows, however, and are also useful for the sunnier front rows of the wild garden borders, where they form bold subjects. Ordinary light loam suits them admirably, and some will succeed well in town gardens. Propagation by seeds in the summer and root division in the usual manner in the autumn or spring is a simple matter, and successful results may confidently be anticipated by planting in March. We recommend the two following : Vernonia altissima (Sjrn. F. angustijolia scaberrima).This bears purple flowers in October, and averages lo-ii ft. in height. F. novaeboracensis (Syn. F. praealta). This also bears purple flowers, but blooms in July and August. Its height averages 4-8 ft

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VALERIANA

(Nat. Ord. Valerianaceae). This genus of plants is quite distinct from that described in our article on Valerian, although sometimes known by the same English name. It is a large but not very important family of hardy herbaceous perennials of which the dwarfer sorts may be used in the rock garden. V, officinalis is described under Valerian in our article on Medicinal Herbs, and our own medical BLACK*S AkDfiNING DICTIONARY VARlteGATD TREE MALLOW man informs us he has prescribed It with very satisfactory results in cases of hysteria, especially in young girls. Valerian tonic is one of the worst-tasting medicines in the Pharmacopoeia. Culture.The medicinal culture is fully described in the article mentioned above. Garden culture is not a matter of any difficulty. Ordinary garden soil and warm dry sunny situations suit the plants admirably. Propagation by seeds at the usual time (summer), and by root division in the autumn or spring, is quite an easy matter, and success may be anticipated and attained by planting in March. What to Grow.Only a few of the very numerous species can be described here ; for others larger works must be consulted : Valeriana alliariaejolia.This is a red sort blooming from June onwards, and growing i J ft. in height. V. globulariaefolia is similar but only I ft. high. V. officinalis.This, popularly known as Valerian, or Cats Valerian, is fully described, as already mentioned, in our article on Medicinal Herbs. V. Phu (Cretan Spikenard). This is a useful white sort blooming from July to August, and growing about I yd. in height. The yellowleaved variety V. P aurea is used for spring bedding. V. pyrenaica (Capons – tail Grass).This is a pretty pink species flowering from August to September, and growing 2-3 ft. in height. V. supina.There are both white and red forms of this July blooming species, which only grows 6 ins. in height.

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VERONICA

Scrophulariaceae).About a hundred, species of Veronica are grown at Kew, but obviously to describe anything like this number here would be quite beyond the scope of the present work. There are hardy annual, greenhouse perennial, shrubby, as well as hardy pereimial or herbaceous border species and rock garden species to choose from, but with the two former we need not trouble here, although Veronica glauca, a blue annual, is useful as an edging plant. The best evergreen shrubby Veronicas are included in our list of shrubs (see Shrubs), so these also are not described or included in the present article. Any ordinary garden soil (provided it is moderately gritty) seems to suit the plants, which are mostly very easy to grow. They are best propagated by division of the roots in the spring, which is also the best time to plant, though in warm districts November planting gives satisfactory results. Perennial Border Species.We describe a few of the best below, 1128 and may point out that most of the rock garden species are suitable also for the perennial border if used as edgings : Veronica Allionii.This blue sort flowers in May, and attains a height of 6 ins. F. alpina.This is a blue sort suitable for edging purposes and flowering in May. Its height is 4 ins. F. austriaca (Syn. F. multifida). This is a useful blue July flowering species growing about 12 ins. high. F. azurea.This attractive blue sort flowers in May, and grows about I yd. high. V. caucasica.A very useful sort bearing light red flowers from June onwards. Its height is about 12 ins. F. Chamaedrys (Germander Speedwell).This sort bears bright blue flowers for a lengthy period in the summer. It grows about 6 ins. high. V. gentianoides.This bears pretty violet blooms from June onwards, and grows about 2 ft. high. F. hybrida. There are two varieties of this, namely, newryensis and tobascorrensis. Both bear blue flowers and bloom from June onwards, averaging about 12 ins. high. F. incisa. This bears blue blooms from July onwards, and averages 2 ft. high. F. longifolia.This bears its attractive blue flowers from June to August, and averages 3 ft. in height. The variety subsessilis is now recognised as a distinct species, and is thus described separately. F. Montana.This attractive blue sort flowers in July, and grows about 6 ins. high. F. multifida.Syn. F. austriaca, which see. F. officinalis (Fluellen, etc.). This, used for medicinal purposes, is not largely grown. It is a blue June flowered plant averaging about 4 ins. in height. V. paniculata.Syn. V. spuria, which see. V. pectinata.This is quite a useful sort. It bears blue flowers from May onwards, and averages about 12 ins. in height. V. prostraia.This indispensable sort is now named V. Teucrium duhia, and is described under the rock garden species further on. V. repens.This is a useful white-flowered sort blooming in August and September. It height is about 3 ins. V. rupestris.This is a synonym of V. prostrata and V. Teucrium duhia. It is described under the latter name in the rock garden species below. V. spicata.This, described under rock garden species, is exceptionally useful as well for the front of perennial borders. V. spuria (Syn. V. paniculata). This useful blue sort blooms in June, and averages i8 ins. in height. V. subsessilis (Syn. V. longifolia subsessilis). This undoubtedly popular blue-flowered sort blooms from July through August and sometimes into September. Its height is 2-3 ft. V. Teucrium dubia (Syns. V. prostrata and V. rupestris).This sort, indispensable for edging, is described under the rock garden species below. Rock Garden Species. Many species of Veronica are most suitable for the rock garden on account of their dwarf compact habit. Six of the best are described below, which will thrive in any open position in sandy well-drained soil, and are propagated by division of the roots in autumn or spring. Veronica canescens.This is a creeping plant forming close carpetlike mats. Leaves minute hoary. Flowers pale lilac. Site, half-shade. Soil gritty, moist loam. Flowering Period, June to August. Height, I in. V. filifolia.This forms tufts of short stems clothed with finely divided leaves. Flowers light blue. Site sunny. Soil light loam. Flowering Period, May to July. Height, 9 ins. V. incana.This dwarf species has silvery-white foliage. Flowers deep blue in spikes. Site sunny. Soil gritty loam. Flowering Period, June to August. Height, 9 ins. V. saxatilis (Rock Speedwell). This forms mats of slender woody stems, with evergreen foliage. Flowers rich blue, with crimson eye. Site sunny. Soil gritty. Flowering Period, June to September. Height, 3 ins. V. spicata.This is a most useful dwarf evergreen species splendid alike in the herbaceous border and rock garden. Flowers clear blue in dense spikes. Site sunny. Soil gritty loam. Flowering Period, July to September. Height, 9 ins. V. spicata alba bears white flowers, while the variety rosea has pretty rose-pink flowers. V. Teucrium dubia (Syns. V. prostrata and V. rupestris).This is a low-growing evergreen plant. Flowers blue in long spikes. Site sunny. Soil sandy loam. Flowering Period, June to September* Height, 3 ins.

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