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' am art I sa S unto pu, tfrat tbcn Solomon, in all Jia B Iotg, mas 
not arragrti Itfte one of tjje« " 










Plate I. 
























Dendrobium Devonianum. 
Dendrobium Ainsworthii. 
Dendrobium Nobile. 
Masdevallia Veitchii. 
Cattleya Triane. 
Cattleya Chocoensis. 
Cattleya Mossle. 
Cattleya Loddigesii. 
l^elia autumnalis. 


Phal^enopsis Stuartiana. 
Phal^enopsis Schilleriana. 
Oncidium Barkerii. 
Calanthe Veitchii. 
Brides Quinquevulnerum. 
Odontoglossum Roezlii Album. 
Odontoglossum Triumphans. 
Odontoglossum Alexandra. 
Lycaste Aromatica. 
Vanda Sua vis. 
Cymbidium Hookerianum. 
Cypripedium Niveum. 
Cypripedium Haynaldianum. 
Cypripedium Spicerianum. 



Outline of the Orchid Flora 

Hymn to the Flowers .... 

Dendrobium {Life-giving Tree) ... 

Dendrobium Devonianum ... 

Dendrobium Ainswortiiii ... 

Dendrobium Nobile 


Masdevallia. (For Don Jos& Masdevall.) . . . . 22 

Masdevallia Veitchii 

• • 23 

Cattleya. {For William Catthy.) 26 

Cattleya Trian^e 


Cattleya Chocoensis . 


Cattleya Mossle 


Cattleya Loddigesii . 


L^lia {Roman Lady's Name) .... o 


• . 39 



Phal^enopsis (Butterfly Plant) . 

Phal^enopsis Stuartiana . 

Phal^nopsis Schilleriana ' " r 


Oncidium (Tuberculous appearance) .... 

Oncidium Barkerii 


Calanthe (Beautiful flower) 

Calanthe Veitchii 

• 54 


^Erides {Air -plant) 


Odoxtoglossum {Tooth and Tongue) 
OdontoGlossum Roezlii Album 
Odoxtoglossum Triumphans 
Odoxtoglossum Alexandra 
Lycaste {A Lady's Name) 
Lycaste Aromatica 
Vaxda {Sacred Misletoe) 
Vaxda Suavis 
Cymbidium {Boat-shaped) . 
Cymbidium Hookerianum . 
Cypripedium ( Venus'' Slipper) 
Cypripedium Niveum 
Cypripedium Haynaldianum 
Cypripedium Spicerianum . 










This royal plant-family of ancient Grecian name,-'„ w - 
whose structure and leading characteristics the following pages 
are designed to illustrate, is part of the world's flora until Re- 
cently little known in this country. The singularly curious fea- 
tures of many varieties, and the exquisite beauty or fragrance of 
others, have rapidly and widely, since their introduction from 
abroad, attracted the admiration of students in natural history, 
and of all lovers of flowers. 

One of our most enthusiastic and thoroughly capable flor- 
ists justly says: "Orchids are the elite of the floral kingdom. 
The flowers are, without exception, the most curious and 
beautiful in nature. Their qualities, taken separately, would 
give eminence to a race of plants; the singularity of their 
shapes, their delicate and aromatic odors, and the richness and 
variety of their colors,— all being different from anything we 
elsewhere meet." 

This weird and wonderful plant has its natural habitat chiefly 
in the tropics, the most beautiful of the species coming from 
the East Indies ; but the orchidacea? are found in all warm and 
moist latitudes, and in nearly all localities, except such as are 
extremely dry and cold. A few varieties are found as far north 
even as the Canadas. 

Scientific research has as yet discovered but few econom- 
ical or practical uses of the orchid. A single variety, indeed, 
produces the vanilla of commerce, a highly valuable flavoring 
substance. The tubers of several species furnish a mucilagi- 
nous substance, named by the Turks salep, which is nutritious 
and is used for food. A number of varieties give choice perfumes ; 
and a very few plants are understood to have a recognized place in 
the Materia Medica. But we need not doubt that future investi- 
gations will in due time furnish proofs of other uses for this 
strangely beautiful family of the world's flora. 

The Author gratefully acknowledges the kindness of Major 
Alexander H. Davis, of Syracuse, N. Y., and the kindness of 
Frederick L. Ames, Esq., of North Easton, Mass. (as well as 
that of their very capable and obliging florist gardeners, Messrs. 
II. Youell and W. Robinson), for free access to their splendid 
collections of plants and flowers. 

H. s. M. 

The designs of the artist have been engraved on stone 
and reproduced in colors by the Hatch Lithographic Company 

of New York. 

Outline of the Orchid Flora. 

This great family is divided into two general classes, of which 
the first live upon trunks and branches of trees, on blocks of dry 
wood, and even on stones, receiving nourishment from the air. 
These are named Epiphytes, a Greek word signifying plants which 
grow upon other plants, but do not penetrate their substance or 
absorb their juices. The other general class, fewer in number, 
is named terrestrial, and comprises such as grow in and upon 
the soil, like vegetation generally. 

These two classes are distributed into seven orders or tribes, 
namely: — 

ist Tribe. Malaxed: i. e. Softness or Waxy Softness. 

2d " Epidendre^e: Something growing upon Trees. 

3d " VandKjE: Sanskrit for Mistletoe, or Tree Orchid. 

4th " OphrEjE: The Eyebrows; referring to the ancient fash- 

ion of painting the e\ T ebrows. 

5th " Arethuse^e: From the name of a nymph of Diana, 

fabled to have been transformed into a fountain. 

6th " Neotte^e : A Bird's Nest. 

7th " Cypripede^e: Venus 's Slipper. 

The most beautiful and valued of the whole great family of 
orchids are found in the first, second, third, and seventh tribes ; 
and nearly all these are Epiphytes, excepting the Cypripedeae. 

"The flowers of all orchids" (we quote now from the last 
and very recent issue of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica "), "though 
extremely diverse within certain limits, and superficially very 
different from those of other monocotyledons, are all formed 
upon one common plan, which is only a modification of that 
observable in such flowers as the narcissus or snowdrop. 

" The conformation of those flowers consists, essentially, in 
the presence of a six-parted perianth, the three outer segments of 
which correspond to a calyx, and the three inner ones to a corolla. 
These segments spring, apparently, from the top of the ovary ; 
the real explanation, however, being that the end of the flower- 
stalk or thalamus, as it grows, becomes dilated into a sort of cup 
or tube closely enclosing and adhering to the ovary, so that the 
latter organ appears to be beneath the perianth, instead of above 
it, as in a lily. 

" Within the perianth, and springing from its sides, are six 
stamens, whose anthers contain pollen grains. These stamens 
encircle a style which is the upward continuation of the ovary, 
and which shows at its free end traces of the three originally sepa- 
rate but now blended carpels of which the ovary consists. 

"A main distinguishing feature is, that one of the inner pieces 
of the perianth becomes in course of its growth much larger than 
the rest, and usually in texture, color, and form, has a distinct 
name, — lip or labellum." 


'Neath cloistered boughs, each floral bell that swingeth 
And tolls its perfume on the passing air, 
Makes Sabbath in the fields, and ever ringeth 
A call to prayer. 

There — as in solitude and shade, I wander 
Through the green aisles, or, stretched upon the sod, 
Awed by the silence, reverently ponder 
The ways of God. 

Your voiceless lips, O Flowers, are living preachers, 
Each cup a pulpit, and each leaf a book, 
Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers 
From loneliest nook. 

"Thou wert not, Solomon! in all thy glory, 
Arrayed" the lilies cry, "in robes like ours;" 
How vain your grandeur! Ah, how transitory 
Are human flowers! 

Posthumous glories! angel-like collection! 
Upraised from seed or bulb interred in earth, 
Ye are to me a type of resurrection, 

And second birth. 

Were I, O God, in churchless lands remaining, 
Far from all voice of teachers or divines, 
My soul would find, in flowers of thy ordaining, 
Priests, sermons, shrines! 

Horace Smith. 

DENDROBIUM. {Life-giving Tree) 

This name represents a very large variety in the first of the 
seven tribes of Orchids. They originated chiefly in the East 
Indies. They grow upon trees and even rocks; that is, they 
are epiphytes. Some of the species are deciduous, having the 
peculiarity of dropping their leaves before blossoming, while 
others are accounted evergreens. They are among the most 
beautiful of the orchidaceas; by newly discovered varieties they 
are every year increasing, and there is hardly one that is not 
worth growing, though some in blossom are not showy. 

This family is understood to have been discovered and 
named by a German botanist, Schwartz; he having first and 
specially noticed the flowers hanging from and even overspread- 
ing trees in some forests of the Orient. Hence he sought to 
affix a name that would express the idea of life-bearing or Life- 
giving Tree. 

The name Dendrobium is from the Greek Jivdqov, a tree, 
and Bioq, life ; and the word has here the Latin termination, as is 
common in botanical uses. The names given to flowers have 
generally (as is apparent in the following pages) been designed to 
point out some particular feature of the plant, or were given on 
account of some economical use, or out of respect to the discov- 
erer, or in compliment to an eminent patron. 

Plate I. Dendrobium Devonia 



The adjunct Devonianum, marking this variety, — which is 
represented by Plate No. I, — is affixed as a compliment to the 
sixth Duke of Devonshire, who was a generous promoter of 
botanical science, and in whose famous gardens at Chatsworth 
the new plant first blossomed in 1840. This variety is under- 
stood to have been originally found by Mr. John Gibson, who 

was the Duke's collector of foreign plants, — hanging from trees 
in dense forests of the Khasya Hills, India, which are 4,500 feet 
above the sea level. 

Immediately before the appearance of bud or blossom, this 
plant much resembles a group of dried sticks; for a singularity 
is, that, having made its annual growth, the leaves drop off; the 
stalks appear for a brief space to be dead, and then start out 
and unfold exceedingly attractive blossoms. No one unacquainted 
with it would conceive the possibility of luxuriance and beauty 
growing out of such unsightly and hopeless stalks. 

This variety blossoms in summer, and is a free bearer ; for 
the author has seen in the orchid house of Mr. Ames, of North 
Easton, Mass., a single plant bearing seventy-five flowers. 

What prodigies can power divine perform 
More grand than it produces year by year, 
And all in sight of inattentive man? 
Familiar with th' effect we slight the cause, 


And, in the constancy of Nature's course, 
The regular return of genial months, 
And renovation of a faded world, 

See, not to wonder at 

All we behold is miracle; but, seen 

So duly, all is miracle in vain. 

Where now the vital energy that moved, 

While summer was, the pure and subtile lymph 

Through th' imperceptible meandering veins 

Of leaf and flower? It sleeps; and th' icy touch 

Of unprolific winter has impressed 

A cold stagnation on th' intestine tide. 

But let the months go round, a few short months, 

And all shall be restored. These naked shoots, 

Barren as lances, among which the wind 

Makes wintry music, sighing as it goes, 

Shall put their graceful foliage on again, 

And, more aspiring, and with ampler spread, 

Shall boast new charms, and more than they have lost. 

Then each, in its peculiar honors clad, 

Shall publish even to the distant eye 

Its family and tribe 

The beauties of the wilderness are His 

That makes so gay the solitary place, 

Where no eye sees them. And the fairer forms 

That cultivation glories in are His. 

He sets the bright procession on its way, 

And marshals all the order of the year; 

He marks the bounds which winter may not pass, 

And blunts its pointed fury; in its case, 

Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ, 

Uninjured with inimitable arts; 

And, ere one flowery season fades and dies, 

Designs the blooming wonders of the next. 


4 1 








This variety — represented in Plate No. II. — is a hybrid, 
a cross between D. nobile and D. heterocarpum, and is considered 
one of the choicest and most desirable of the family. It was 
grown by Mr. Mitchell, gardener for Dr. Ainsworth, of Manchester, 
England, whose name the plant bears. 

Our drawing could present but a small part of the whole 
thrifty growth of this variety, or its multiplied buds and blossoms, 
its stalks being two feet in length. Some of them present a 
metallic appearance also, not easily represented by colors. 

At the Boston Horticultural Fair, in 1883, Mr. Robinson, 
gardener for F. L. Ames, Esq., took the highest prize for the finest 
specimen of this variety of Dendrobe seen or known in this 
country. It was indeed a noble specimen; but one needs to see 
the whole plant to appreciate its real beauty. 

It is not easy to speak truly and fully of this royal plant family 
without appearing to use the language of exaggeration. Baron 
Humboldt, the great naturalist, relates that "such is their number 
and variety in valleys of the Peruvian Andes, that the entire life 
of an artist would be too short to delineate all the magnificent 
forms adorning those deep recesses." 

Credible travellers in Brazil report that the "monkeys swing, 
leap, climb, and chatter in the tops of trees, surrounded by thou- 
sands of twisting and drooping orchids, breaking out into 
golden yellows to be dreamed of, into wonderful chocolates and 
the most delicate lilacs." 

One can readily believe that a sight of the magnificent 
growths, the rare fruits and endlessly variegated orchid beauties 
overspreading all, in semi-tropical forests and valleys, must give 
a sense of reality to the picture fancied by the great English 
poet as the Eden of our first parents: — 

Thus was this place 
A happy rural seat of various view, — 
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm; 
Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind, 
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true, 
If true, here only, and of delicious taste: 
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks 
Grazing the tender herb, were interposed; 
Or palmy hillock or the flowery lap 
Of some irriguous valley spread her store, 
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose. 

More of these orchid plants are already known than exist 
of all the different grasses. What has brought to pass the 
extraordinary diversity in this grand flora is not only a curious 
question, but, since the botanical experiments and researches of 
our own days, — especially those of the eminent English natural- 
ist, Mr. Darwin, — a subject of fascinating interest. We may 
safely say, no doubt, that very great changes of beautiful color, 
fragrance, and curious form, as well as still multiplying varieties 
of orchids, have resulted largely from three causes: — 

I. From climatic changes through which this earth has 
passed during unknown thousands of ages. It will not be ques- 
tioned that the present Arctic region once enjoyed semi-tropical 
warmth, at least; while what are now the temperate latitudes an- 
ciently and long endured, more or less, the rigors of a glacial age. 

2. Great changes in the structure and coloring of flowers 
have been wrought by what may be termed chance and artificial 

3. Very many curious and even grotesque modifications have 
been effected by cross-fertilization through the agency of insects. 
This topic will receive further consideration on subsequent 
pages, and more appropriately when we come to speak of the 

Until within a few years the general public — and scholars 
even supposed that trees and shrubs and flowers had been 
always from their creation the same; that daisies had ever 
been what daisies now are ; that the crocus, primrose, dandelion, 
etc., had never been but what they are to-day. Truer views 
of nature are accepted now. The luscious strawberry can be 
traced back to an insignificant cinquefoil as its ancient parent. 
Our plum is only a cultivated variety of the blackthorn. All 
learned men agree that, after our. earth began to be clothed with 
vegetation, plants were few, and flowers very small and incon- 
spicuous, consisting probably of a single stamen and a single 
pistil each. 

Not now to go further back than the well-known history of 
the Amaryllids, these may be termed tubular lilies. The Iris 
family are a similar but rather more advanced species; and a 
small further growth or progress, might bring us to the Gla- 
diolus. We now quote verbatim from the admirable little work 
of Grant Allen, entitled " Flowers and their Pedigree." 

" From these the step is not great to the orchids, undoubt- 
edly the highest of all the trinary flowers, with the triple arrange- 
ment almost entirely obscured, and with the most extraordinary 

varieties for the adaptation to fertilization by bees or by humming- 
birds, in the most marvellous fashions. Alike by their inferior 
ovary, their bilateral shape, their single stamen, their remarkable 
forms, their brilliant colors, and their occasional mimicry of insect 
life, the orchids show themselves to be by far the highest of 
the trinary flowers, if not indeed of the entire vegetable world." 




Plate III. Dendrobium Nobile 

l 9 


This variety, characterized by name as noble, grandly 
fine, — represented by Plate No. III., — is a native of Assam, 
in China, a useful plant for winter decoration, of easy culture, and 
valuable, too, for color and fragrance. Its numerous and jointed 
stalks, often two feet long, when thrifty, blossom at nearly 
every joint. It blooms in winter and spring. 

"In the extensive genus of Dendrobium" says an American 
florist, Mr. Henderson, "we are presented with some truly 
magnificent epiphytes, which, regarded either for their singular 
manner of growing, graceful or grotesque habits, and large, hand- 
some, richly-scented flowers, are perhaps unsurpassed in the entire 
range of vegetable forms. And they may be divided into two 
sections, the pseudo-bulbous class and those with tall, bulbous 
stems Many of the former are extremely small compared with 
the splendid flowers they produce, and, from this circumstance, 
are usually grown on blocks of wood or cork, lest the young 
shoots receive injury from excessive moisture. 

"Those belonging to the other section are again divisible. 
The upright-growing, such as D. nobile, make the best appearance 
when cultivated in pots and trained by the aid of stakes Plants 
of pendant and trailing habit (like the D. macranthum) should be 
grown in baskets suspended from the roof of the house. _ 

-The genus Dendrobium consists of two hundred varieties, of 
which eighty and more are naturalized in our greenhouses, and 
some of them are grown to an extent that warrants their use as 

cut flowers. [This was all true some years since.] The D. nobile 
blossoms freely during the winter, and is one of the very few 
orchids that will grow and blossom quite well in ordinary 

The hand that gives the angels wings, 
And plants the forests by its power, 

O'er mountain, vale, and champaign flings 
The seed of ever}' herb and flower; 

Nor forests stand nor angels fly 

More at God's will, more in his eye, 

Than the green blade strikes down its root, 

Expands its bloom, and yields its fruit. 

How earnest thou hither? From what soil, 
Where those that went before thee grew, 

Exempt from suffering, care and toil; 
Clad by the sunbeams, fed with dew? 

Tell me on what strange spot of ground 

Thy rock-borne kindred yet are found, 

And I the carrier-dove will be 

To bring them wondrous news of thee. 


We insert here an appropriate extract from a delightful book 
by the Rev. W. C. Gannett, entitled "A Year of Miracle." 

"What would summer be without the flowers? And yet sum- 
mer with flowers is a modern improvement. For ages and ages, 
through far the greater part of its life, thus far, a flowerless earth 
has turned its sombre face up to the sun. It had not learned 
to smile. Even the summers of the ages to which we owe our 
coal-beds had no flowers, no fruit-blossoms, no grass, and of 
course no bees and no song-birds, in them! All the plants, 
wise men say, were like our ferns, or club-mosses, or meadow- 


horsetails, — only 'there were giants in those days,'— or else 
like our cone-bearing trees, all reproducing in the secret way 
ferns still know, or the quiet way pine-cones have. Not till 
long ages afterward did the Junes bear blossoms. 

"Thinking of that, we can hardly say the 'good old times.' 
We thank Heaven that the birds and flowers came before us. 
Indeed the earth had to be ripe for them before it could be ripe 
for us. So here we are to-day; and the whole land, all summer 
through, laughs for us in grass and flowers, — that peal begin- 
ning in the anemones and violets, rising into roses, and ending 
in the golden rod and asters. Great tribes of beings have been 
already born, and others are on their way to life, for peopling 
this planet with color and beauty. 

"Flowers and art! flowers and poetry: we must now add, 
the flowers and science; for in the flowers a name is written, 
and to-day that name is found to have been written from the 
beginning in all things that are. All things grow. The flower 
is type of the universe, and the lily of the field is sowing afresh 
for us the problems of creation." 

We linger at the vigil 

With him who bent the knee 
To watch the old-time lilies 

In distant Galilee; 
And still the worship deepens, 

And quickens into new, 
As, brightening down the ages, 

God's secret thrilleth through. 
The flower-horizons open, 

The blossom vaster shows, 
We hear the wide world's echo, 

" See how the lily grows ! " 

MASDEVALLIA.— For Don Jose Masdevall. 

This genus, belonging to the second, tribe, has its title from a 
Spanish botanist, whose name is printed above. It includes an 
extensive variety of epiphytal orchids, natives chiefly, of the Cor- 
dilleras or mountain ranges of South America. These were but 
poorly represented in orchid collections till about fifteen years ago, 
when Messrs. James Veitch & Son, of England, obtained living 
specimens from Peru. Since that time, new varieties have steadily 
continued to be imported, notwithstanding many difficulties con- 
nected with the removal of these small bulbless plants from cool, 
moist homes in their, native highlands, through warm valleys, and 
across the seas. 

Leaves in the wild specimens exceed a foot in length, produc- 
ing a raceme (a form of inflorescence very common in orchids) of six 
or eight flowers, which issue, one above another, from sheathing 
bracts. The flowers have a short cup, with spreading sepals ; all 
with long yellow tails, the broader portions of them closely dotted 
over with fine reddish-brown spots ; petals and column being 
white, the lip yellow. 

M. Roezl, an eminent orchidist, states that he found, in the 
mountains near Ocana, the Masdevallia growing by hundreds of 
thousands amid low shrubs. 

Plate IV. 
Masdevallia Veitchii. 




This variety, represented by Plate No. IV, -named in compli 
ment to the eminent English florists, is a native of Peru It bios 
soms in February and March. The specimen here presented is 
from the greenhouse of Mr. Ames, of North Easton, Mass and 
is a good example of those classed as "cool orchids," requiring a 
lower temperature than most other species. 

These flowers are not so much chosen by amateurs (or for com- 
panionship in these pages), on account of especial beauty, as for 
their strangely curious or grotesque appearance. Some of the 
Masdevallia take on resemblances of the spider, or look much like 
long-legged insects of different kinds. The object of their collec- 
tion in orchid-houses seems to have been to present a distinct 
phase of the singular and odd features to be occasionally found in 
this great and wonderful family. 

Since these pages were begun, however, we are informed that 
a new impulse has been given and a deep interest, recently mani- 
fested among orchid-growers, in this species, as a result of the 
importation and growth of Masdevallias of uncommon attractive- 
ness and beauty. 

There is a lesson in each flower, 
A story in each stream and bower; 
On every herb on which you tread 
Are written words which, rightly read, 
Will lead you from earth's fragrant sod 
To hope — to holiness — to God. 


Such true poetry in prose as the subjoined extract, — though 
not specially related to the Masdevallia, — may justly have place 
anywhere in the literature of plants and flowers : — 

"These last words, linking leaves, limbs, and blossoms, touch 
the deepest flower-secret that has thus far been discovered. School- 
boys know it now; but the wisest men were just knowing enough 
a century ago to guess it. It is the secret that botanists call ' met- 
amorphosis : ' the secret that each and every organ of the flower is 
but a transformed leaf; that bud-scale and bract, sepal and petal, 
stamen and pistil, back to the new bud-scale, in spite of all the 
difference of their forms, and all their varied tints, — are but suc- 
cessive leaf transfigurations. Economic Nature gets her new 
effects, not by selecting new themes, but by playing variations on 
the old themes. When she would make a blossom on an apple- 
tree, or on a pasture weed, she only shortens and alters what would 
else have been a common leafy branch. 

"But not content with such transfiguration, the mother of all 
beauty takes up the separate organs, and tenderly carries out her 
variations on each one. She bears fixed laws in mind, and never 
really forgets her arithmetic, — the rules of twos and threes and 
fours and fives ; but by multiplying parts, by dividing parts, by 
joining them at this place on their edges, then on that ; by enlarg- 
ing some, and making others smaller ; by their complete abortion 
sometimes ; by moulding horns and cups ; by unfurling wings, by 
hanging bells, by ravelling fringes out,- by all sorts of dainty 
devices of sculpture, she makes the myriad distinct species of 
miracles that men stare at untiringly, as the flowers of spring. 
It is rare luck to turn up from the soil of some classic land frag- 
ments of a marble statue of old beauty. But Nature flings her 


carvings everywhere, — each one complete and fresh and perfect 
for its niche ; and such a joy, that, were it the only one of its race, 
it would draw people into pilgrimages for its worship." — Rev. W. 
C. Gannett. 


CATTLEYA. — For William Cattley. 

This very numerous genus in the second tribe of orchids, 
bears the name of an eminent English florist. And quite a 
number of varieties of this same species or genus, have received, 
in compliment, the names of other cultivators and patrons. It 
is an epiphyte, originating in Brazil and Mexico. One European 
collection is reported to contain six hundred different varieties of 
the Cattleya. 

" What the rose and lily are among garden flowers," says 
Mr. Henderson, "the Cattleya is among orchids, — pre-eminently 
beautiful. Not a specimen but possesses strong claims on the 
florist's attention, for its delicate loveliness, and the rich and 
vivid coloring of its large flowers. Being natives of the tem- 
perate parts of South America, their cultivation better succeeds 
in a lower temperature than is necessary for a majority of 
plants of the same order. They grow on billets of wood, in 
pots or baskets. They arc increased by division of the roots. 
The flowers present all shades of rose, rosy-lilac, crimson, carmine, 
and ruby-purple." 

The four varieties drawn from nature, on the next following 
pages, were from the greenhouse of Major Alexander H. Davis, 
of Syracuse, N. Y. 

Plate V. Cattleya Trian^e 

'—i — umma-iim 


2 7 


Th:s variety, -represented in Plate No. V.,-a native of 
New Granada, was named in compliment to Signer Triana, a 
large collector of orchids in that province. It blossoms in 

It need hardly be said that this variety is considered on 
all hands, one of the richest and most splendid of floral beauties. 
It is not, indeed, superior to the C. Mossice, but by many is 
preferred, because it blooms in winter. 

In the finely appointed orchid-house of Mr. Corning, of 
Albany, there are, at the holiday seasons, hundreds of these Cat- 
tleya Trianae in full blossom. In presence of this floral magnifi- 
cence, beholders might imagine that they had gained a glimpse 
of the true Eden, of "many mansions," — 

Where everlasting spring abides 
And never-withering flowers; 

which Elizabeth Stuart Phelps has so ingeniously sought to 
describe to us, as being just " Beyond the Gates." 

We are the sweet flowers, 

Born of sunny showers, 
( Think, when e'er you see us what our beauty saith; ) 

Utterance, mute and bright, 

Of some unknown delight, 
We fill the air with pleasure, by our simple breath: 

All who see us love us — 

We befit all places; 
Unto sorrow we give smiles, and unto graces, races. 


Think of all these treasures, 

Matchless works and pleasures, 
Every one a marvel, more than thought can say; 

Then think in what bright showers 

We thicken leaf and bowers, 
And with what heaps of sweetness half stifle wanton May; 

Think of the mossy forests 

By the bee-birds haunted 
And all those Amazonian plains, lone lying as enchanted. 

Oh! true things are fables, 

Fit for sagest tables, 
And the flowers are true things — yet no fables they; 

Fables were not more 

Bright, nor loved of yore — 
Yet they grew not, like the flowers, by every old path way; 

Grossest hand can test us — 

Fools may prize us never — 
Yet we rise, and rise, and rise — marvels sweet for ever. 

Who shall say that flowers 

Dress not heaven's own bowers ? 
Who its love, without us, can fancy — or sweet floor? 

Who shall even dare 

To say we sprang not there — 
And came not down, that Love might bring one piece of Heaven the 

Oh, pray believe that angels 

From those blue dominions 
Brought us in their white laps down, 'twixt their golden pinions. 

Leigh Hunt. 

Plate VI. Cattle ya Chocoensis. 


2 9 

This variety - represented in Plate No VI U 

° fthep r nceofch ^^ 

js somewhat rare though a favorite with florists; especially desira- 
ble on account of its winter blossoming. 

It is not easy to present in the drawing, the full beauty of this 
flower, because of its drooping habit and the shutting or closing 
tendency of its petals. The Chocoensis is of delicious fragrance^ 
not showy, perhaps, as the C. Man*, but justly to be prized for 
its fine perfume. 

Sweets of the wild! that breathe and bloom, 

On this lone tower, this ivied wall; 
Lend to the gale a rich perfume, 

And grace the ruin in its fall; 
Though doom'd, remote from careless eye, 
To smile, to flourish, and to die, 

In solitude sublime: 
Oh! ever may the spring renew 
Your balmy scent and glowing hue, 

To deck the robe of time! 

Breathe, fragrance! breathe, enrich the air, 

Though wasted on its wing unknown ! 
Blow, flow'rets! blow, though vainly fair, 

Neglected and alone ! 
These flowers that long withstood the blast, 
These mossy towers are mouldering fast, 

While Flora's children stay — 
To mantle o'er the lonely pile, 
To gild destruction with a smile, 

And beautify decay! 


Sweets of the wild! uncultured blowing, 
Neglected in luxuriance glowing; 
From the dark ruins frowning near, 
Your charms in brighter tints appear, 

And richer blush assume; 
You smile with softer beauty crown'd, 
Whilst all is desolate around, 

Like sunshine on a tomb! 

Thou hear'st the zephyrs murmuring, dying; 
Thou hear'st the foliage waving, sighing, 
But ne'er again shall harp or song, 
These dark deserted courts along, 

Disturb thy calm repose: 
The harp is broke, the song is fled, 
The voice is hush'd, the bard is dead: 
And never shall thy tones repeat, 
Or lofty strain, or carol sweet, 

With plaintive close! 

Nor wilt thou, Spring! refuse to breathe 

Soft odors on this desert air; 
Refuse to twine thine earliest wreath, 

And fringe these towers with garlands fair! 

Sweets of the wild, oh! ever bloom 

Unheeded on this ivied wall! 
Lend to the gale a rich perfume, 

And grace the ruin in its fall! 

Thus, round Misfortune's holy head 
Would Pity wreaths of honor spread; 
Like you, thus blooming on this lonely pile, 
She seeks despair, with heart-reviving smile ! 

Mrs. Hemans. 


Until very recently, orchids were an expensive luxury. The 
Chocoensis was more costly than many other species ; for this, 
with most others, our countrymen were obliged to import directly 
from English florists. The demand has now so increased, that 
American cultivators receive their plants in quantities direct from 
Brazil, Mexico, etc. 

At public auction sales in England, not long ago, a very 
choice specimen of C. Triauce sold for two hundred and fifty 
guineas, i. e., nearly eleven hundred dollars. An original 
importation of the ^Erides brought two hundred and thirty-five 
guineas. Some two or three years since, a choice Cypripedium, 
represented on these pages, was sold in this country for one 
hundred guineas. Recently, at auction sales in London, the 
highest price given for orchids was twenty-six guineas for an 
Odontoglossum. A fine Laelia brought seventy dollars; a Phalen- 
opsis Stuarticma (a new variety, a drawing of which is found on 
these pages), brought thirty dollars. Now, very good plants of 
many different species can be had of agents in this country, at 
from three to five dollars apiece. And purchasers will be wise to 
pay a dollar or two more for good specimens, than purchase 

smaller plants, for whose blossoming they must wait long, at 

less prices than those last named, because they are called cheap. 

Travellers in different parts of the Orient had long known 
that there were many orchidaceas of remarkably brilliant colors, 
singularly curious form, and of fine fragrance ; but for many years 
they were only known to the horticultural world by preserved 
specimens, pressed out of shape, and withered. At length a few 
living plants were brought to England, but their proper treatment 
was not understood; they were kept alive for a season, but ere 



long perished. In 1800, there is said to have been only a dozen 
poorly grown orchids in the greenhouses at Kew ; and during the 
next twenty years, probably the addition of some fifty varieties 
comprised all that were possessed or known, in England at least. 

From the year 1820 may be dated the real and gradually 
rapid progress of orchid culture. It was at this time that Wil- 
liam Cattley, Esq., of Hertfordshire — (to whom has worthily been 
dedicated the noble species bearing his name, Cattleya), — by a 
thorough system of experimenting, discovered the true methods of 
cultivation. His success being made known, many followed, and 
amateurs began to stock their greenhouses with these new trea- 
sures. Orchid florists multiplied in the different states of Europe, 
and collectors were sent, at great cost, to the East and West 
Indies for new and rare species. 

Knowledge of their cultivation and widely differing treatment 
is now so fully gained, that (as we are instructed by Mr. Rand), 
"the same species are found to grow equally well under very 
different modes of culture." Thus it is concluded that many or- 
chid plants gradually, if not easily, adapt themselves to various 
conditions and treatment, and are not as capricious as was formerly 



Plate VII. Cattleya Mossle 




This choice specimen, - represented in Plate No VII _i s 
a native of La Guayra, South America, and received its name in 
honor of Mr. Thomas Moss, an early cultivator of Liverpool, 

Its blossom of exquisite coloring and finish, and the general 
appearance of the plant, resemble closely the C. triance, only the 
Mossias blooms in summer. 

Great care and delicacy of treatment are essential in the culti- 
vation of the Cattleyas, - as indeed all this is needful in most 
other varieties and species. Heat, ventilation, and moisture are 
three chief factors always. Not great heat, for experience has 
shown that many varieties do better in a lower temperature. Es- 
pecially during a full season of rest, which Orchids must enjoy 
after blossoming, they should be given a somewhat cooler atmos- 

An orchid-house, in which plants are growing, should smell 
sweet as a flowery meadow does during a sudden burst of sunshine 
after a summer shower. No dust, or cobwebs, or dry rubbish which 
could breed lice or vermin, must be permitted. One gardener said 
to us, "these varieties require as much care as a large family of 
children, and in bestowing such attention on the plants, we come 
to love them." 

One thing should be emphasized for its importance, namely, 
the absolute necessity of cleanliness in order to raise flourishing 
plants. Frequent but careful washings with water are essential; 


for, while all varieties require ablution for their leaves and stalks, 
blossoms, especially of the Cattleyas, if wet with but few drops 
of water, quickly become brown and decay. In large orchid- 
houses, men are constantly employed in washing these pets, even 
using soap at times. 

Aye, " using soap." We can but be reminded, in this connec- 
tion, of the old proverb, — that though "godliness is first in im- 
portance, cleanliness is the next." And it is noteworthy how very 
many of the moral inculcations addressed to men, find strikingly 
analogous duties required even in the vegetable kingdom. 

Those who have become familiar with greenhouse scenes will 
see an appropriateness with preceding notes, we think, and enjoy 
the descriptive poem annexed: — 

Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too. 

Unconscious of a less propitious clime, 

There blooms exotic beautj-, warm and snug, 

While the winds whistle and the snows descend, 

The spiry myrtle with unwith'ring leaf 

Shines there, and flourishes. The golden boast 

Of Portugal and Western India there; 

The ruddier orange, and the paler lime 

Peep through their polish'd foliage at the storm, 

And seem to smile at what they need not fear. 

The amomum there with intermingling flowers 

And cherries hangs her twigs. Geranium boasts 

Her crimson honors; and the spangled beau, 

Ficoides, glitters bright the winter long. 

All plants of every leaf, that can endure 

The winter's frown, if screen'd from his shrewd bite, 

Live there, and prosper. Those Ausonia claims, 

Levantine regions these; the Azores send 

Their jessamine; her jessamine remote 


Caffraria; foreigners from many lands, 
They form one social shade, as if conven'd 
By magic summons of the Orphean lyre. 
Yet just arrangement, rarely brought to pass 
But by a master's hand, disposing well 
The gay diversities of leaf and flower, 
Must lend its aid t' illustrate all their charms, 
And dress the regular, yet various scene. 
Plant behind plant aspiring; in the van 
The dwarfish, in the rear retir'd, but still 
Sublime above the rest, the statelier stand. 

Much yet remains 
Unsung, and many cares are yet behind, 
And more laborious; cares on which depend 
Their vigor, injured soon, not soon restored. 
The soil must be renew'd, which, often wash'd 
Loses its treasure of salubrious salts, 
And disappoints the roots; the slender roots 
Close interwoven, where they meet the vase 
Must smooth be shorn away; the sapless branch 
Must fly before the knife; the wither'd leaf 
Must be detach'd, and, where it strews the floor, 
Swept with a woman's neatness, breeding else 
Contagion and disseminating death. 
Discharge but these kind offices (and who 
Would spare, that loves them, offices like these?), 
Well they repay the toil. The sight is pleas'd, 
The scent regal'd, each odorif'rous leaf, 
Each opening blossom, freely breathes abroad 
Its gratitude, and thanks him with its sweets. 




This fine variety — represented by Plate No. VIII. — is a 
native of Brazil, and received its name in compliment to Mr. Con- 
rad Loddiges, one of the earliest and most extensive orchid culti- 
vators of the famous Hackney Nurseries, England. 

This variety differs from others, in that the flower-spike, instead 
of bearing a single blossom, has from three to five. It blooms in 
August and September. 

The "London Gardener's Chronicle " for April, 1884, contains 
a very surprising account of one of the Cattleyas found in Costa 
Rica. It was the variety known as the Skinnerii, and was the 
largest — in fact, the most wonderful — specimen ever seen growing. 
The plant was seven feet in diameter, and six feet high. Gentle- 
men at different times had sought to purchase this monster beauty 
of the natives, but in vain. At length, and but recently, Messrs. 
F. Sander & Co., of the south part of England, offered such a price 
that they became its possessors. The plant grew upon a large 
tree, whose trunk was cut just above and below it. The Cattleya, 
with the block of wood, weighed twelve hundred pounds, and 
M. Roczl counted upon it, at one time, fifteen hundred full blos- 
soms. The whole was safely transported to Southampton, thence 
to St. Albans, England, where a new house has been built for its 
reception. It is suspended by a chain from the roof centre, where 
multitudes gaze upon the floral wonder with constant delight. 

It is in place here to remark that numbers of the orchid 
family grow to enormous size, sending up stalks fifteen feet high. 
A few varieties are indeed but pigmies,- measured by a very few 


Cattleya Loddigesii. 

- ~*«i g'uiiHu^jiuiuwwiujua 



inches; while several of the Dendrobes, a few of the T r 

one at least, of the Oncidii,™ 3Sllas ' and 

of a man. The duration of soms orch(d , 

aUo. An expenenced gardcncr ,„ ay ^ much rf ^ 

iii. ""s 1 "" luuiiary omcer 

eclares that he saw in Burmah, a gigantic specimen which bor 
trustworthy marks of being a hundred years old. 

Thou hast not left 
Thyself without a witness in these shades, 
Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace 
Are here to speak of Thee. 

That delicate forest flower 
With scented breath, and look so like a smile, 
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould, 
An emanation of the indwelling Life, 
A \ isible token of the upholding Love, 
That are the soul of this wide universe. 
My heart is awed within me when I think 
Of the great miracle that still goes on, 
In silence round me — the perpetual work 
Of Thy creation, finished, yet renewed 
Forever. Written on Thy works I read 
The lesson of Thy own eternity. 

Oh, there is not lost 
One of earth's charms: Upon her bosom yet, 
After the flight of untold centuries, 
The freshness of her far beginning lies, 
And yet shall lie. 



LAELIA. — Roman Lady's Name. 

This genus bears the name of the daughter of Caius Lselius 
(an ancient Roman nobleman), who was famed for intellectual ac- 
quirements, and for her beauty. The plant originates chiefly in 
Brazil ; is of easy culture, and several of the varieties blossom 
in winter. 

The Laelia is closely allied to the Cattleya, being of the same 
tribe — the second. Many varieties are known indiscriminately by 
either name, so close is their resemblance. Some very choice 
hybrids are produced by crossing the two species. Like the Cat- 
tleya, the Laelia thrives well on blocks of wood. 

A French florist says that " the Laelia rivals, while it resem- 
bles, the Cattleya. The species are compact in growth, with 
evergreen foliage, producing their flowers (some of which are very 
large) on spikes from the top of bulbs. So far as gracefulness of 
leaf, brilliancy of coloring, form and size of flowers are considered, 
the orchids of this division are among the gems of the vegetable 




Plate IX. Laelia Autumnalis, 




This variety -represented on Plate No. IX.- flowering prob- 
ably ,„ its native tropical home (Central America) in autumn blos- 
soms here in early winter. It is of luxuriant growth; produces 
from five to fifteen blossoms on a drooping spike. Those who 
study ,t will not doubt that the variety is every way worthy of 

In Eastern lands they talk in flowers, 

And they tell in a garland their loves and cares; 

Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers, 
On its leaves a mystic language bears. 

"The fathers of the Church were in the habit of comparing 
the soul to a garden. Gardens figure conspicuously in the my- 
thology of all nations living in a hot or temperate climate. The 
Mohammedan paradise is represented under that symbol. The 
Chinese speak of the gardens of the immortals, which are said to 
be situated among the mountains of Thibet, and blessed with per- 
petual summer; nothing within their bounds can die or grow old, 
and several ancient sages are believed to have retired to dwell 
among their bowers. There is a wild tradition among the Arabs 
concerning gardens of the desert, which are believed to have been 
formed by an ancient king, at enormous expense and labor. They 
say he conquered all the nations of the East, and boasted he would 
conquer the sands also, but, having completed his design, the 
gardens suddenly became invisible in the pomp of their richest 
bloom, and neither the monarch nor any of his successors ever again 



beheld them; but bewildered travellers have caught glimpses of 
them at times, through the falling twilight, and given splendid 
accounts of their gorgeous trees and flowers." 

"The Royal Garden at Stockholm contains one of the best 
collections of plants in Europe; and more pineapples are pro- 
duced in the neighborhood of St. Petersburg (in spite of nine 
months of winter) than in any other capital in Christendom. 

" God Almighty first planted a garden, and indeed it was the 
purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment to the 
spirits of man ; and a man shall ever see that when ages grow 
to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than 
to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater perfection. Yes, 
gardens are clearly significant of elegancy. He cannot be a bad 
man who loves either a garden or flowers." — Lord Bacon. 


Plate X. Laelia Dayeana. 



This small plant — represented by Plate No. X. — received its 
name in compliment to Mr. John Day, whose magnificent collec- 
tion of orchids is at Tottenham, England. 

The variety is a native of Brazil ; a new and distinct addition 
to the species. It blossoms in summer; is a small grower, but 
remains in bloom several weeks. 

The Laelias, which belong to the second tribe, Epidendrea, 
find themselves associated with many varieties, noteworthy for 
their fine perfume, and for this feature, also, that their sweet floral 
fragrance is diffused in evenings or during the night. Of such 
plants the poet speaks : — 

That keep 
Their odors to themselves all day, 
But when the sunlight dies away, 
Let the delicious secret out, 
To every breeze that roams about. 

It is a curious fact in natural history, also, respecting that 
magnificent tree of Central and Southern Africa, the Baobab, 
whose trunk grows to be sixty feet in circumference, — that its 
very beautiful blossoms spread open their surfaces as soon as day 
fully dawns, and closes them again at night. Hence this vege- 
table wonder has been named by Prench Naturalists, " Beauties 
of the Day." 

African natives, though sunk in ignorance, and apparently 
stupid, show themselves possessed of some fine imagination and 
poetic thought; for, assembled in small groups, and viewing this 
phenomenon of nature during the season of the Baobab's bios- 

try VJV^y^rLLUJ. 

soming, — as soon as the flowers awake from sleep, — they salute 
them with the words, " Good day, Sweet Lady ! " 

" Poetry is full of the flower-fields ; because each flower seems 
full of poetry to us. The flower-names are often little poems in 
themselves. Those long uncouth names, dreaded in Botany, hide 
nature-meanings in them. Heliotrope is 'she who turns to the 
sun;' Mesembryanthemum is 'flower of the mid-day;' Nasturtium 
carries its meaning of 'bent nose' in its face; Geranium is 'crane's 
bill,' — let the seed-vessel grow and it will tell the reason why; 
Saxifrage is 'rock-cleaver,' so named from its birthplace in the 
clefts; Anemone is 'wind-flower.' These, you see, were but simple 
heart and eye names to the Greeks or Romans, just as we call the 
pets heart's-ease, day's-eye, morning-glory, honeysuckle, mignonette. 
Each people has its own. Other flower-names come down to us 
impearled with myth and story, — the hyacinth, narcissus, Solo- 
mon's-seal, arethusa, the passion-flower. What sacred romances 
the lotus flower, the martyr's palm, the victor's laurel, recall ! 
There is probably no famous poet who has not sealed his fame 
into a song about some favorite of the fields. Nay, every one 
plays poet with them, even those who write no verses. We use 
them to interpret all the tenderest things in life. When lovers 
would tell unutterable thoughts, they seek the floral messengers 
who have learned to say silently so much. When we want to send 
the home-presence tangibly in a letter, flowers from the window, 
or the field close by, will carry it best. The wounded in army 
hospitals, longing for familiar faces, tones, and touch, — greet 
flowers as the best substitute. ' Now, I 've got something for you 
that will talk of home,' said the nurse to a very sick New Eng- 
land soldier. 'Lilacs,' he whispered and smiled. But the lilacs 
outlived him." — Rev. W. C. Gannett. 


Though it bloom afar from the minstrel's way, 
And the paths where lovers tread, 

Yet strength and hope, like an inborn day, 
By its odors hath been shed. 

Yes! dews more sweet than ever fell 

O 'er island of the blest, 
Were shaken forth from its perfumed bell, 

On a suffering human breast. 

A wanderer came, as a stricken deer, 

O 'er the waste of burning sand, 
He bore the wound of an Arab's spear, 

He fled from a ruthless band. 

And dreams of home, in a troubled tide 

Swept o'er his darkening eye, 
As he lay down by the fountain side, 

In his mute despair to die. 

But his glance was caught by the desert's flower, 

The precious boon of heaven! 
And sudden hope, like a vernal shower, 

To his fainting heart was given. 

For the bright flower spoke of One above; 

Of the Presence, felt to brood, 
With a spirit of pervading love, 

O'er the wildest solitude. 

Oh ! the seed was thrown those wastes among, 

In a blest and gracious hour! 
For the lorn one rose, in heart made strong, 

By the lonely, loneliest flower! 


PHAL^ENOPSIS. — Butterfly Plant. 

This genus, which is of the third tribe, has its name from a 
fancied resemblance of the central part of the flower to a winged 
moth or butterfly. It has but few varieties, chiefly natives of the 
Indian Archipelago. 

" Phalaenopsids are of much interest," says Mr. Rand, " from 
the ease with which their flowers may be artificially fertilized, and 
from the curious phenomena attending the reception of the pol- 
linia (seed-grains), by the stigmatic cavity. Before the pollinia are 
communicated, this cavity gapes widely; in the course of a few 
hours the sides draw together, and eventually the seed-grains or 
mass are held so tightly that they can only be removed by tearing, 
or with a knife." 

Mr. Henderson adds further, respecting this Indian Butterfly 
Plant: "The flowers are borne from five to fifteen in number on 
a half-pendent spike. They are nearly circular in outline, and a 
fancied resemblance is traced between the blossom and a large 
white moth. In culture, the species require a high temperature 
while growing, with abundant moisture in the form of vapor, keep- 
ing floors and walls wet all the time. After summer growth, the 
temperature for these plants should be moderately reduced." 







This variety, a native of the Philippine Islands, was named 
in honor of Mr. Stuart Low, senior partner of a florist firm i„ 
London. It is represented by Plate No. XI, and the drawing was 
made from a specimen in the greenhouse of F. L. Ames, Esq. 

This is a new and choice variety, as yet quite rare, having 
been mtroduced into this country scarcely three years since. Of 
course but little is publicly known of it. It blossoms during the 
winter, and the plant seems too small even to support its long and 
graceful flower-spikes. 

A recent English journal tells of one fine Phatenopsis of this 
variety that bore a three-branched spike, having twenty open blos- 
soms; another which had twenty-one after some had been removed. 

Look on these flowers! As on an altar shedding, 
O'er Milton's page, soft light from colored urns; 
They are the links, man's heart to nature wedding, 
When to her breast the prodigal returns. 

They are from lone, wild places, forest dingles, 
Fresh banks of many a low-voiced hidden stream, 
Where the sweet star of eve looks down and mingles 
Faint lustre with the water-lily's gleam. 

They are from where the soft winds play in gladness, 
Covering the turf with flowery blossom showers — 
Too richly dower'd, O friend! are we for sadness, 
Look on an empire, — mind and nature, — ours! 



This variety — represented by Plate No. XII. — received its 
name from Consul Schiller, of Hamburgh, a celebrated florist, and 
is a native of the Philippine Islands. 

It is not possible to put upon a single sheet the whole of a 
thrifty specimen and its blossoms ; and if this were done, it would 
be difficult to find language that would justly describe their varied 
beauties. Our drawing was made from a plant in Major Davis's 

The roots, so far as seen, resemble a bunch of twisting earth- 
worms. Upon these rest broad, singularly mottled leaves; the 
stalk, often parting into several branches, and sometimes two feet 
long, bears a profusion of blossoms, unique in shape, and of 
mellow richness in colors. The plant is slow of growth, but, 
when well matured, has been known to bear more than a hundred 

Some orchids continue to blossom for months after the first 
flowers are faded ; but such blossoms are always smaller than the 
first, and this prolongation of the flowering season tends to exhaust 
the vitality of the plant ; it should, therefore, be checked by giv- 
ing the plant rest. The Phalasnopsids are apt to over-flower and 
become exhausted. 

Many plants have only two and three leaves, yet throw out a 
great profusion of fine blossoms. Some of the leaves are hand- 
somely marked, and would render the species desirable even with- 
out a blossom. 

J&Wih mk 

Plate XII. 




Our readers will not fail to see that constant eulogium is 
offered to the flowers of the royal family of plants,- without 
taking much notice of the grace and elegant finish of their leaves 
Before dismissing, therefore, our notice of the Phalaenopsis - 
which is notable for the elegance of its leaves, -we may read 'the 
quaint reasons for doing honor to the « leafe," rather than to the 
"floure" given in the poem which has been universally but wrongly 
attributed to Chaucer. & 

The poet, who imitates the manner of Chaucer, but not his 
melody nor his wit, represents that "a Gentlewoman out of „ 
arbour in a grove seeth a great companie of Knights and Ladie_ 
in a daunce upon the greene grasse ; " the which being ended, they 
all kneele downc and do honour to the daisie, — some to the flower 
and some to the leafe.* 

In which were okes great, streight as a line, 
Under the which the grasse so fresh of hew 
Was newly sprong, and an eight foot or nine, 
Every tree well fro his fellow grew 
With branches brode, laden with leves new 
That sprongen out ayen the sunn'e-shene, 
Some very red, and some a glad light grene. 

" Now faire madame," quoth I, "j'et I would pray 

Your ladiship, if that it mighte be 

That I might knowe by some maner way, 

Sith that it hath liked your beaute, 

The trouth of these ladies for to tell mc; 

What that these knightes be in rich armour, 

And what tho be in grene and weare the flour? 

* The Flower and the Leaf. 

And why that some did reverence to that tre, 

And some unto the plot of floures faire? " 

"With right good will my faire doughter," quoth she, 

" Sith your desire is good and debonaire." 

And as for her that crowned is in greene 

It is Flora, of these floures goddesse, 

And all that here on her awaiting beene, 

It are such folke that loved idlenesse, 

And not delite in no businesse 

But for to hunt, and hauke, and pley in medes, 

And many other suchlike idle dedes. 

And for the great delite and pleasaunce 
They have to the floure, and so reverently 
They unto it do such obeisaunce 
As ye may se." 

The Instructor then gives answer why the knights have the 
ensign of honor rather by the leafe than by the floure. 

"Soothly, doughter," quod she, "this is the truth; 

For knightes ever should be persevering 

To seeke honour without feintise or slouth; 

Fro wele to better in all maner thing; 

In signe of which, with leaves aye lasting, 

They be rewarded after their degre, 

Whose lusty greene May may not appaired be, 

But aie keping their beautie fresh and greene; 
For there n' is storme that may hem deface, 
Haile nor snow, winde nor frostes kene; 
Wherfor they have this property and grace; 
And for the floure, within a little space 
Woll be lost, so simple of nature 
They be, that they no greevance may endure. 


And every storme will blow them soone awaye; 

Ne they laste not but for a sesone; — 

That is the cause, the very trouth to saye, 

That they may not, by no way of resone 

Be put to no such occupation. 

Madame (quoth I), with al mine whole servise 

I thanke you now, in my most humble wise, 

For now I am ascertained throughly 
Of everything that I desired to knowe; 

Unto the Leafe I owe mine whole observaunce. 
That is, quod she, right well done certainly, 
And I pray God to honour you avaunce." 


ONCIDIUM. — Tuberculous appearance. 

This is an extensive genus, belonging to the third tribe. 
It receives its name from knobby protuberances in the blos- 
soms, resembling tubercles. The family is chiefly from tropical 
America. According to Monsieur Figuier, a French florist, "the 
prevailing color of their flowers is yellow, spotted with rich reddish 
brown, and they are known by their broad labellum or lip, contin- 
uous with the column, and furnished at the base with a tuberculated 
(knobby) disc. In their native forests these epiphytes wholly over- 
run some trees, clasping them round, and covering them from top 
to bottom with brilliant and grotesque flowers." 

One variety of Oncidium is spoken of as having golden pani- 
cles nine or ten feet long. They all belong to the class of cool 
orchids, are evergreens, very showy, of easy culture, and give 
abundance of gay blossoms. 




This plant — represented by Plate No. XI 1 1. — received its 
name in compliment to Mr. George Barker, a late eminent florist 
of Birmingham, England. The specimen from which our drawing 
was made was very luxuriant in growth, the flower-stalk being over 
four feet long. It was from Mr. Ames's garden at North Easton. 

The plant much resembles, in foliage and bulbs, the Odonto- 
glossum, the flower a rich brown, barred with yellow. This variety 
is a native of Mexico, and blooms in late winter. 

Our eminent American florist, Henderson, gives the subjoined 

curious and very interesting sketch of the Oncidium genus : 

"This is perhaps the most extensive and varied genus in the 
order or tribe to which it belongs. Some of its species have ex- 
tremely large pseudo-bulbs; others have pseudo-bulbs very small. 
Another portion are entirely destitute of these, and have, instead, 
thick leathery leaves, which again vary in size from two feet long 
and nearly half as much in breadth, to scarcely six inches in their 
greatest measurement. A third group are distinguished by their 
rounded, rush-like leaves, about the thickness of one's little finger, 
and from two to four feet long. Besides this, quite as much dis- 
parity exists in the size and color of the flowers, and in the length 
of the flower-spike, which in some species attain to twenty feet ; 
while in others to not more than three or four inches. Yet each 
individual plant is beautiful, and worthy a place wherever orchids 
are grown. 

"They are all natives of South America, Mexico, and the 
West Indies; and as they thrive in a much lower temperature than 


the Dendrobe and many other varieties, they are very suitable for 
the ordinary greenhouse. It is better to cultivate the larger grow- 
ing kinds in pots ; the smaller on blocks of wood, cork, or in bas- 
kets. They need abundant drainage, moist temperature, shade 
from strong light, cleanliness, and a moderate rate or time for 
sleep in winter. These conditions will secure healthy flowering 

As one stands at the entrance of the long, cool orchid-house 
of Mr. Ames, and looks down the vista of successive banks of 
flowers, it can be easily imagined that the poet Wordsworth had 
enjoyed a similarly beautiful sight just before composing the fol- 
lowing lines : — 

There is a fresh and lovely sight; 

A beauteous heap and hill of moss. 

All lovely colors there you see, 

And mossy net-work, too, is there, 

As if by hand of lady fair 

The work had woven been. 

And cups, the darlings of the eye 

So deep in their vermilion dye. 

Ah, me! what lovely tints are there, 

Of olive, green, and scarlet bright ! 

In spikes and branches, and in stars, 

Green, red, and pearly white. 


CALANTHE. — Beautiful Flower. 

This genus is a terrestrial, belonging to the third general 
tribe, and a native of the East Indies. The name comes from two 
Greek words, z«X6g— beautiful or elegant— and av&oq — a flower. 
It does not number many varieties when compared with the Odon- 
toglossums, but all of them are commended to us as rich in color 
and form. 

This genus of stemless terrestrials has broad, many-ribbed 
leaves, and long spikes of flowers of various colors, most com- 
monly white and pink. Most of the species are evergreen, though 
the variety represented in these pages is not. They require a very 
light house for their best development of blossoms, and to give 
them good color. They are propagated by division of the roots. 



This variety — represented on Plate No. XIV. — received its 
added name in compliment to a distinguished family of English 
florists — Messrs. Veitch. It is a hybrid; a cross between the 
Limatodes Rosea and Calanthe vestita, and was first grown by Mr. 
Dominy, gardener of James Veitch. Its fine flowers of different 
s-hades grow on stalks often three feet long, continuing in bloom 
for months. The variety is of easy cultivation, deciduous ; and as 
no leaves remain to hide the unsightly bulbs when its blossoms 
are fully opened, florists often conceal them with ferns. 

For winter house decorations this variety is very desirable; 
their only defect is want of foliage. Orchid collections can hardly 
possess too many of them, for they come to cheer us, and are a 
constant pleasure through the winter months. 

We do not claim for this beautiful bulbous plant such anti- 
quity as is mentioned by the poet Tupper — ("On a Bulbous 
Root"). But in appearance, this (as well as many others) seemed 
quite as dead as the wonderful bulb of which he speaks: — 

What, wide awake, sweet stranger, wide awake? 

And laughing coyly at an English sun, 

And blessing him with smiles for having thawed 

Thine icy chain, for having woke thee gently 

From thy long slumber of three thousand years? 

Methinks I see the eye of wonder peering 

From thy tall pistil, looking strangely forth 

As from a watch-tower at thy fellow flowers, 

Admiring much the rich variety 

Of many a gem in nature's jewel-case — 

Unknown to thee, — . 

Plate XIV. Calanthe Veitch 



Methinks thy wondenng leaves 
And cunous petals at the longest sun 
Gazew ith a lingering We, bedWd o'er 

W'th a small firmament of ey es to catch' 

J he luxury of his smile; 

Methinks I see thy fair and foreign face 
Blush with the ardor of first love 

When some bright butterfly descends to sip 

The exotic fragrance of thy nectarous dew- 
Even so, Zabal's daughters in old time 
Welcomed the sons of God, who sprang from heaven 
I o gaze wth rapture on earth's fairest creatures 
And fan them with their rainbow-colored wings' 

Didst ever dream of such a day as this; 

A day of life and sunshine, when entranced 

In the cold tomb of yonder shrivelled hand? 

Didst ever try to shoot thy fibres forth 

Through thy close prison-bars, those parchment fingers, 

And strive to blossom in a charnel house? 

Didst ever struggle to be free, — to leap 

From that forced wedlock with a clammy corpse,— 

To burst thy bonds asunder, and spring up, 

A thing of light, to commerce with the skies? 

Or didst thou rather, with endurance strong, 

BafHe corruption, and live on unharmed 

Amid the pestilent steams that wrapped thee round, 

Like Mithridates, when he would not die, 

But conquered poison by his strong resolve? 

O Life, thy name is mystery, — that couldst 
Thus energize inert, be, yet not be, 
Concentrating thy powers in one small point; 
Couldst mail a germ, in seeming weakness strong, 
And arm it as thy champion against Death; 
Couldst give a weed, dug from the common field, 




What Egypt hath not, — Immortality. 

It may be, suns and stars that walked the heavens, 

While thou wert in thy slumber, gentle flower, 

Have sprung from chaos, blazed their age, and burst, 

It may be, that thou see'st the world worn out, 

And look'st on meadows of a paler green, 

Flowers of a duskier hue, and all creation, 

Down to degenerate man, more and more dead, 

Than in those golden hours, nearest to Eden, 

When Mother Earth, and thou, and all were young. 

But this dry hand, — 

Wert thou some garden-lover, and this bulb 

Perchance most rare and fine, prized above gold 

(As in the mad world's dotage, yesterday 

A tulip-root could fetch a prince's ransom), 

Was to be buried with thee, as thy praise, 

Thy Rosicrucian lamp, thine idol weed? 

Perchance, O kinder thought and better hope, 

Some priest of Isis shrined this root with thee 

As nature's hieroglyphic, her half guess 

Of glimmering faith, that soul will never die. 

What emblem liker, or more eloquent 

Of immortality, 

Or all whatever else were symbols apt 

In Egypt's alphabet, — as thou, dry root, 

So full of living promise? 


DERIDES. — Air Plant. 

In this genus, epiphytes from the East Indies, of the third tribe, 
are combined with rich evergreen foliage and opposite leaves, grace- 
fully curving flower-stalks, and blossoms of fine fragrance, of sin- 
gular rather than beautiful form, proceeding from the axils of the 
leaves. They are natives of the hottest parts of India and other 
tropical regions, attaching themselves to trees, generally such as 
overhang running streams of water. 

These plants possess a remarkable tenacity of life, imbibing 
their whole nutriment from the atmosphere, without aid or inter- 
vention of any soil or other substance. One writer tells us that if 
the flower-stalks are removed from the main plant before the blos- 
soms are fully developed, and suspended by strings from the ceil- 
ing of a room, they will live for weeks, and even months, supported 
by the moisture floating in the atmosphere, and continue blossom- 
ing luxuriantly. Hence they are among the favorite ornaments 
of dwellings in China and Japan. 



The whole name of this most singular, grotesque, one-sided 
variety — represented by Plate No. XV. — put into intelligible 
English, would be Air Plant of five wounds, and the name accu- 
rately describes the number of petals with their apparently bloody 
marks. It is a native of the Philippine Islands, and blossoms 
in September. 

This variety may be characterized as an evergreen of luxuriant 
growth, having small, unusually shaped blossoms, — white, spotted 
with purple, and rope-like roots, often three feet and more in length. 

High floral authority gives the subjoined description of the 
characteristics of the whole family of the /Erides, which we con- 
fess seems to us somewhat exaggerated : " These plants are all 
peculiarly beautiful, uniting rich evergreen foliage, graceful habit, 
and elegant flowers of exquisite fragrance. The stem of the plant 
is straight, or slightly bent, with leaves attached on opposite sides ; 
the plants have large, fleshy roots, shooting horizontally from the 
lower part of the stem. The racemes of flowers are from one to 
three feet in length, often branched. They are of easy growth; 
must have a good supply of heat and moisture in the growing 
season ; are propagated by cutting them in pieces, having root 
attached to each piece. No collection of orchids can be complete 
without some of these charming plants." 

So forth issew'd the Seasons of the yeare: 
First, lusty Spring all dight in leaves of flowres, 
That freshly budded and new bloosomes did beare, 
In which a thousand birds had built their bowres 
That sweetly sung to call forth paramours ; 

5 * u^_m » .jj^ <m&Bmm Bm^ fm^ 


And in his hand a iavelin he did beare, 
And on his head, as fit for warlike stoures * 
A guilt, engraven morion he did weare; 
That, as some did him love, so others did 'him feare. 

Then came the iolly Sommer, being dight 
In a thin silken cassock coloured greene, 
That was unlyned all, to be more light: 
And on his head a girlond well beseene 
He wore, from which, as he had chauffed been, 
The sweat did drop; and in his hand he bore 
A boawe and shaftes, as he in forrest greene 
Had hunted late the libbard f or the bore, 
And now would bathe his limbes, with labor heated sore. 

Then came the Autumne, all in yellow clad, 
As though he ioyed in his plentious store, 
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad 
That he had banisht hunger, which to-fore 
Had by the belly oft him pinched sore: 
Upon his head a wreath, that was enrold 
With eares of corne of every sort, he bore; 
And in his hand a sickle he did holde, 
To reape the ripened fruits the which the earth had yold. J 

Lastly came Winter, cloathed all in frize, 
Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill; 
Whil'st on his hoary beard his breath did freese, 
And the dull drops, that from his purpled bill 
As from a limbeck § did adown distill: 
In his right hand a tipped stafte he held, 
With which his feeble steps he stayed still; 
For he was faint with cold, and weak with eld; || 
That scarse his loosed limbes he hable was to weld.^j 



* Strifes. t Leopard. t Yielded. 


ODONTOGLOSSUM.— Tooth and Tongue. 

We come now to the third and most numerous of orchid 
tribes. Odontoglossum is from the Greek od'ovs, a tooth, and yl&oaa, 
a tongue, with the usual Latin termination; so named from a 
fancied resemblance, in the blossom's centre, to a tooth, and the 
likeness of the lip underneath to the tongue. This species is 
nearly related to, and much resembles, the Oncidium. It is of the 
class epiphytes; and was first collected by Humboldt and Bon- 
pland, during their travels in South America. 

This genus is classed among the cool orchids, and is found 
chiefly in the mountain ranges. Our best American author, Mr. 
Rand, says that "in 1833 there were only five known species of the 
Odontoglossum, but every year has brought additions, and each 
new comer seems to be more attractive than any before known." 
One firm in England, Messrs. Shuttleworth & Co., of Clapham, not 
long since, had in their greenhouses ten thousand of these plants. 

A recent English journal instructs us that, "as with most 
other variable orchids, the extraordinary variability of this species 
may be accounted for largely by the different latitudes over which 
it is distributed. In this respect, its stability is still further en- 
croached upon by the great variations exhibited in the flowers of 
plants from each locality. Thus it is that different names, well 
understood when the plant was rare, have now but little meaning." 

M. Roezl employed native children to collect specimens for 
him on the western slope of the central Cordillera, in San Domingo; 
he derived much pleasure from his business relations with them, 
and the young natives seemed to find great pleasure as well as 
profit in their new occupation. 




This variety - represented on Plate No. XVI.- is named for 
M. Roezl, a Belgian, whose labors have discovered and given to 
florists many rare orchids. Its mingled Greek and Latin title may 
be put mto botanic English, as Roezl s White Tooth-tongued plant 
It >s a native of New Granada; it blossoms in winter, and is espe- 
cially desirable as being delightfully fragrant. 

The specimen here drawn was found in the greenhouse of 
Major Davis, of Syracuse, N. Y. 

Sweet nurslings of the vernal skies, 

Bathed in soft airs and fed with dew, 
What more than magic in you lies 

To fill the heart's fond view? 

Relics ye are of Eden's bowers, 

As pure, as fragrant, and as fair, 
As when ye crowned the sunshine hours 

Of happy wanderers there. 

Fall'n all beside — the world of life, 
How it is stained with fear and strife! 
In reason's world what storms are rife, 
What passions range and glare! 

But cheerful and unchanged the while 

Your first and perfect form ye show, 
The same that won Eve's matron smile 

In the world's opening glow. 

The stars of heaven a course are taught, 

Too high above our human thought; 

Ye may be found if ye are sought. 

And as we gaze, we know. 



Many in this country have supposed that these tropical 
plants could not be successfully cultivated here, for the want of 
sufficient heat. This is a mistake, especially with respect to the 
classes denominated "cool orchids." A maximum temperature 
during hot summer days is more harmful than one very much 
lower. Many Odontoglossums, Masdevallias, and Oncidiums suffer 
as much from summer heat as would the Phalenopsis from too cold 
a temperature. Gardeners often say that an orchid is very touchy ; 
that it will do well in only one particular place. No doubt the 
heat is too great in some places, and for some particular plants, 
and the temperature too low for others. 

"The Odontoglossums," says Mr. Rand, "are not of easy cul- 
ture ; they perish if kept hot. The heat of our summers is a great 
obstacle to the successful cultivation of the cool species, how to 
overcome which is hardly yet known. Perhaps the best way to 
attempt their culture would be in houses facing the north, from 
which, during the hottest weather, lights could be removed and 
replaced by canvas on rollers. They all need free air, clean potting 
and are hurt by sour soil." 

There is, in truth, need of several houses with different degrees 
of temperature, so that each species shall enjoy a climate as nearly 
as possible like that of its native land. The Odontoglossums are 
all evergeens, and must not be allowed to dry up, but be carefully 
watered. "To obtain success in the culture of this beautiful genus 
of plants is worth any labor, which will be well repaid by the 
stately grandeur of some of the species, the delicate beauty and 
charming fragrance of others." 

Indulged in what they wish, they soon supply 
Large foliage, overshadowing golden flowers, 
Blown on the summit of the apparent fruit. 







The drawing of this variety -shown in Plate No XVII _ 
was made from a luxuriant specimen in the orchid house of Mr 
Ames. The name triumphant, or excelling all others, justly marks 
it as one of the finest in a large and choice species. Art can hardly 
expect here to equal the brilliancy of nature. 

Only a part of the specimen, on account of its size, could be 
represented on these pages. The variety is a native of New Gra- 
nada. Its flowers are very large, blossoming late in winter; they 
are quite fragrant, though not pleasantly so to all persons. 
Bright and glorious is that revelation 

Written all over this great world of ours, 
Making evident our own creation 

In these stars of earth, — these golden flowers. 
In all places, then, and in all seasons, 

Flowers expand their soul-like wings; 
Teaching as by most persuasive reasons 
How akin they are to human things. 

Following the exquisite lines of Longfellow, which appropri- 
ately touch the appearance of "these golden flowers" of the'Odon- 
toglossum, we now turn to the soberness of scientific thought: 
" In the distinction of sex, plant life lays hold of us. It comes 
between the mineral and animal kingdoms as the connecting link. 
For plants not only exercise the primitive digestion, — feeding on 
minerals, which they organize into the food on which we higher 
creatures live; they not only hint, while they prepare, our respira- 
tion, — draining clear the air of that which poisons us, and restock- 
ing it with that which we must breathe ; but in this distinction of 


sex in their flowers, they rise to the height of their stature, and 
foreshadow the third great function of animal life, — that of repro- 
duction. Of the whole plant, the flower is the part nearest akin to 
us. Like us, it breathes oxygen, and gives out carbonic acid. Like 
us, it therefore gives out heat ; for the flower is the warmest part 
of the plant. Like us, it has rest, — seasons of sleep, so called; 
and for reproduction needs to hoard, and in the process exhausts 
vitality. Like animals, too, plants have ancestry, and cousinship, 
and can only be arranged in a true system when we arrange them 

Following in the same line of instruction as above, from a 
different author — and with but little repetition — we copy this : — 

" The indoor culture of plants is intimately connected with the 
sanitary condition of our dwellings. The oxygen of the atmos- 
phere is indispensable to respiration of animals. It purifies the 
blood, affords them internal heat, and united with certain elements, 
is expired in the form of carbonic acid gas, — a compound of oxy- 
gen and carbon. This gas which is deleterious to animal life, 
constitutes the main nourishment of plants, which absorb it, appro- 
priate its carbon, and restore its oxygen to the atmosphere, again 
to be breathed in purity by men and animals. It is true that pure 
air is necessary alike to the life of plants and animals; but the 
amount of oxygen absorbed by the former is by no means equal 
to that which they restore, and thus through their agency the at- 
mosphere is kept in healthy equilibrium. 

" It is only during the day, and under the influence of light, 
however, that carbonic acid is employed for the nutrition of plants. 
That which they absorb in the night is returned to the atmosphere 
with the water which is constantly evaporating from the surface of 


leaves. From this explanation it will be understood how the night 
air of an apartment containing flowers is said to be less healthy 
than the atmosphere pervading it during the day; though under 
ordinary conditions of ventilation no danger need be apprehended 
from this source. 

" Besides their directly purifying influence, plants also tend 
indirectly to the health of dwelling-houses. For their sakes, win- 
dows that contain them will be oftener cleaned ; the sash will be 
more frequently thrown open, and the air and sunshine intended for 
them will also lighten and purify the interior of the apartment." 

Think me not unkind and rude 

That I walk alone in grove and glen; 
I go to the god of the wood 

To fetch his word to men. 

Tax not my sloth that I 

Fold my arms beside the brook; 
Each cloud that floated in the sky 

Writes a letter in my book. 

Chide me not, laborious band, 

For the idle flowers I bi-ought; 
Every Aster in my hand, 

Goes home loaded with a thought. 

There was never mystery 

But 'tis figured in the flowers; 
Was never secret history 

But birds tell it in the bowers. 

One harvest from thy field 

Homeward brought the oxen strong, 
A second crop thy acres yield, 

Which I gather in a song. 




This variety — represented in Plate No. XVIII. — of cluster- 
ing floral richness, is understood to have been first noticed growing 
upon the branches of trees in New Granada. It received its name 
in honor of the Danish Princess Alexandra, now the everywhere 
beloved Princess of Wales. 

This variety grows many thousand feet above the sea level, 
and blooms freely from late autumn into winter. Mr. Rand says 
this is "a very beautiful species, sporting in many varieties. The 
type seems to be pure white, with bright golden spots on the lip, 
but the markings vary to red, rose, purplish brown, and many 
shadings, —varying also greatly in the size of the spots and mark- 
ings. The flower-spike is about twelve inches high, gracefully 
arching, and bearing from six to twelve large flowers, often three 
inches or more in diameter; but in fine varieties the spike is often 
much longer, and bears many more blossoms. It blooms freely, 
but requires to be kept very cool." 

We have elsewhere given an extract describing some of the 
difficulties — and dangers, even — of explorations in tropical re- 
gions for orchids. The notes following, from a late London journal, 
give further insight into this business. A traveller says: — 

"One would find Bogota full of orchid-hunters, and nearly 
every tap-room in the place crowded with them, and with Indians 
bringing down Odontoglossums for sale. And here it might be ob- 
served that the honesty and civility of the people, who are nearly 
all Indians, with a little Spanish blood in them, is remarkable. To 
those accustomed to the morality of highly civilized lands, the sim- 





pie-hearted honesty of these poor Indians is something well-nigh 

" At a place called Monkey Hill, where the cemetery of Colon 
is situated, the trees were covered with parasites. There were Epi- 
dendrese in any quantity, but the hollow pseudo-bulbs were so full 
of an obnoxious little black ant, as to render handling them disa- 
greeable work." . . . 

"The scenery up the Magdalena River is very fine, but rather 
monotonous, as the banks are always low. The shades of green in 
the foliage are very various, relieved now and again by masses of 
scarlet and yellow flowers. The jungle is very dense, and can only 
be traversed by a frequent use of the machete, or hatchet-knife, 
that Indians always carry. Monkeys are not very plentiful through 
the woods. Caymans, or alligators, swarm on every mud-bank all 
the way up the Magdalena." 

Nature! to me than art more beautiful 

In thy most simple forms, than all that man 

Hath made with all his genius and his power 

Of combination; for he cannot raise 

One structure, pinnacled, or domed, or gemmed, 

By architectural rule, or cunning hand, 

Like to the smallest plant, or leaf, or flower, 

Which, living, hath a tongue that doth discourse 

Most eloquent of Him, the great Creator 

Of all living things. Man's makings fail 

To tell of aught but this, that he, the framer, 

Sought also to create and failed, because 

No life can he impart, or breath infuse 

To give inertness being. 

LYCASTE. — A Lady's Name. 

This small family, belonging to the third tribe of orchids, 
originating in Central and South America, bears the name, it is 
supposed, of a celebrated Sicilian beauty. They are epiphytes of 
the pseudo-bulbous class. Being natives of the Western hemi- 
sphere, the species do not need a very high temperature ; neither do 
they require so decided a rest as some other varieties of the order. 
They must be freely supplied, when growing, with air and water. 




The member of the third tribe of orchids — represented by 
Plate No. XIX. — is worthy of cultivation for its manifold green- 
ish-yellow blossoms, unique in shape, and for its spicy odor which 
the name suggests. 

It blossoms in early autumn. This specimen was from Major 
Davis's greenhouse. 

Some gardeners imagine that the Lycaste Aromatica is of the 
same tribe as the Vanilla Aromatica, that remarkable climbing 
orchid which furnishes the rich vanilla of commerce. And although 
this relationship is quite doubtful — the article now in hand fur- 
nishes not unfit occasion to speak of its partial namesake. 

One of our best American florists describes the Vanilla as 
" a small genus of tropical climbing orchids, the most valuable of 
the whole family; not on account of its flowers, but for the com- 
mercial importance of its fruit, which is so widely and largely used 
in flavoring extracts. The best vanilla is from Mexico, but several 
other South American varieties are valued. The flowers of this 
(Mexican) species are white, striped with red, and quite insig- 
nificant. These flowers are succeeded by pods, generally growing 
to six inches long, and one fourth of an inch in diameter. The 
pods contain, besides numerous seeds, a substance which is black, 
oily, and balsamic. When recently gathered, this dark mass is 
moist, and its odor is said to produce intoxication. 

" The pods are to be gathered during the last three months of 
the year, carefully dried by exposure to the sun, and, while warm, 


wrapped in woollen cloths (to promote and absorb evaporation). 
When thoroughly cured they are ready for shipment. 

"The extract is obtained by cutting the pods in small pieces, 
and pulverizing them in a mortar containing about four parts of 
fine glass to one part of vanilla. It requires a great amount of 
labor to pulverize the pods sufficiently, so that diluted alcohol will 
extract and secure the whole flavoring substance. When the pul- 
verized mass has been several days in alcohol, it is filtered through 
paper, and then is fit for use." 

In addition to the above, a recent English journal gives, with 
very few words of repetition, this very interesting detail of the 
character and treatment of the vanilla plant: — 

" This climbing orchid is met with in its wild state at Sante 
Gomapan. It is occasionally met with on the cocoanut trees, but 
it rarely fruits. It must raise itself beyond the shade which pre- 
vents access of air and light. That is to say, its flexible stems 
must climb to the top of a tree, from whence they fall in graceful 
garlands, swaying to and fro — provided that the Indian does not 
come, pruning-knife in hand (stimulated by hope of gain) — to 
clear away the dense foliage of the forest. 

"The Vanilla also thrives on dry and bare rocks — which it 
covers in the fashion of our ivy — in which position it always 
bears numerous excellent fruits, whose presence is revealed, about 
the time they attain maturity, by the perfume which they give off. 

"The fruit is a pod from five to eight inches long, and it must 
be gathered before quite ripe, otherwise the valves separate, and 
their contents become soaked by rains and spoiled. The sawdust- 
like seeds, now to be considered as the seat of the vanilline, are 
scattered, and the aromatic perfume of the plant disappears. 



" Mexican Vanilla is highly esteemed, and is cultivated in cer 
tain villages of the State of Vera Cruz. In the interest of the 
toiling and rarely thrifty Indian, it is to be wished that vanilline 
should no longer be extracted from fir-tree sawdust, -otherwise 
the true vanilla must lose its character and value." 

The bud is in the bough, and the leaf is in the bud, 
And earth 's beginning now in her veins to feel the blood 
Which, warmed by summer suns, in their alembic of the vine, 
From her founts will overrun in a ruddy gush of wine. 

The perfume and the bloom that shall decorate the flower, 
Are quickening in the gloom of their subterranean bower,' 
And the juices meant to feed trees, vegetables, fruits, 
Unerringly proceed to their preappointed roots. 

Thou hast fanned the sleeping earth till her dreams are all of flowers, 
And the waters look in mirth for their overhanging bowers; 
The forest seems to listen for the rustle of its leaves, 
And the very skies to glisten in the hope of summer eves. 

Horace Smith. 

7 2 

VANDA. — Sacred Misletoe. 

This plant is an East Indian species, having very many 
varieties, all exceptionally fine. It belongs to the third tribe. 
The name seems to have come to us through the Sanskrit; 
Vanda meaning the parasite or misletoe growing out of an 
oak. For this evergreen parasite, growing upon and out of 
other trees, rarely appeared upon an oak; and when this 
occurred, a peculiar sacredness was supposed to attach to it. 
Vandaca, among these Orientals, was an oak. With the addi- 
tion, Amaravanda, we have the meaning Tree Orchid. 

Perhaps this following statement is too strong, but one 
English writer says, " there is no hesitation about what plant 
is to occupy the premier position — the post of honor, in this 
grand family. By universal consent it would be accorded to 
the Vanda." 

Vanda Suavis. 




This variety, — represented by Plate No. XX., — is described 
as Suavis, that is, sweet-scented. It is a native of Java, blos- 
soming late in the winter, and sometimes at other seasons. 
The specimen from which this drawing was made could be 
but partially reproduced, it was so large. This variety much 
resembles the brides; is of free growth and easy culture; 
has dark evergreen foliage, with long rope-like roots. The 
blossom is very fragrant and of rare beauty. 

An English florist speaks of one specimen of the Suavis 
as having a spike with fifteen flowers ; and five spikes bearing 
sixty-five blossoms, — an unusual number. This plant was four 
and a half feet high, and had forty leaves running down to the 

God might have bade the earth bring forth 

Enough for great and small, 
The oak-tree and the cedar-tree, 

Without a flower at all. 
We might have had enough, enough, 

For every want of ours, 
For luxury, medicine, and toil, 
And yet have had no flowers. 

Then wherefore, wherefore, were they made, 

All dyed with rainbow light? 
All fashioned with supremest grace, 

Upspringing day and night? 
Springing in valleys, green and low, 

And on the mountains high, 
And in the silent wilderness 

Where no man passes by? 

74 ORCHlDb. 

Our outward life requires them not, — 

Then wherefore had they birth ? 
To minister delight to man, 

To beautify the earth; 
To comfort man, — to whisper hope, 

Whene'er his faith is dim, 

For who so careth for the flowers 

Will care much more for him! 

Mary Howitt. 

One of our leading American florists gives the following 
instruction respecting the whole family of the Vanda : — This 
is a genus of exquisitely beautiful epiphytal orchids, from 
tropical Asia. Several of the species were found in our best 
orchid houses some years since, where they are most con- 
spicuous objects, both on account of the size and beautiful 
colors and marking of the flowers, as well as for their deli- 
cious fragrance. 

From March till May, the heat for their rooms should 
range from 70 to 90 Fahrenheit, and even more in sunny 
weather; and every morning and evening they should be sur- 
rounded with vapor, besides having an application of water with 
a garden syringe once a day. From May till September, 
which in New Jersey is the blooming season, — the same degree 
of heat, but with a diminution of moisture as the flowers 
advance. Afterward, through the winter, moisture may be with- 
held, and the temperature reduced to 6o°. 


CYMBIDIUM. — Boat-Shaped. 

This genus belongs to the third tribe. Its title is a 
Greek word, xli/ijiog, that is, boat-shaped; because the centre 
of its flower resembles a canoe or boat. It is a native of 
the East Indies, and numbers both the epiphytal and terres- 
trial class. Some florists say that they are all successfully 
cultivated if treated as of the terrestrial class; that is, planted 
in a rich soil and kept very moist. 

Many of the varieties are of rare beauty, and all are worthy 
of cultivation. Some are remarkable for their delicious fra- 
grance. They are generally of large habit and of stately foliage. 

7 6 


This variety, — represented by Plate No. XXL, — is a native 
of the Himalaya Mountains, and was named in compliment to 
Dr. J. D. Hooker, a director in the Kew Gardens. This very 
curious specimen, attractive from its prominent and parti-colored 
bulbs, was impossible of complete representation on these pages, 
from the large number of its bulbous and leafy portions, form- 
ing a mass two and a half feet in diameter, while the flower- 
stalk was two feet long. 

The specimen from which our drawing was made was evi- 
dently a plant of many years' growth, — which fact is known 
from the size and number of bulbs. It was in the orchid house 
of Mr. Ames, of North Easton, Mass. 

Few persons are aware of the magnificence of the Kew 
Gardens in England; the Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh; the 
College Gardens of Dublin ; or similar establishments in Glas- 
gow, Manchester, and other cities, especially of Western Europe. 
Thousands of deeply interested people are attracted to these 
floral centres, from nearly all parts of the world. We are told 
that large cargoes of plants, chiefly orchids, and very costly, are 
brought nearly every week to the great emporium upon the 
Thames, — from South America, from Southern Africa, and Asia; 
from Queensland and the Islands near the equator, — to be dis- 
tributed throughout the United Kingdom, and by agents in this 

Our own country is far behind England in the cultivation of 

Plate XXL Cymbidium Hookerianum. 


orchids ; but the noble collections near Boston, in Albany, and 
-we doubt not — near New York city and Philadelphia 'also, 
already present treasures worthy of study, and give a promise of 
nobler things to come. 

It has been elsewhere observed in these pages, that very few 
of the great orchid family are as yet found useful in the various 
economies of life. But there is one notable exception, in the 
article of commerce known as Salep, a nutritious food prepared 
from several of the orchid plants. The subjoined somewhat 
variant accounts of the matter will interest the general reader. 
Appleton's Encyclopaedia says: — ■ 

"Salep (Persian Sahaleb) is a substance consisting of the 
dried bulbs of various species of the orchidacea;. Any of the 
tuberous-rooted orchids afford it, and it is ascribed to more 
than a dozen species, natives of different countries, from Eng- 
land to India. It is known in commerce by the country 
rather than by the plant producing it; but is chiefly sup- 
plied through Smyrna. Some species have roundish, others 
lobed tubers, which when taken up, are stripped of their epi- 
dermis and plunged into boiling water, or dried in an oven, 
after which they are strung together in bunches. In drying 
they form small, oval, irregular masses, — hard, horny, semi- 
transparent, of a yellowish color, feeble odor, and mild, 
mucilaginous taste. It is used in a powdered state, in which 
it is also sometimes kept. 

" Salep has long been in use in Oriental countries, where 
it has been for ages regarded as able to restore virility — 
but at best, it is only an article of diet of no special value. 
It contains a small proportion of starch, and forty-eight per 

cent of a peculiar mucilage, more nearly allied to celluloid 
than to gum. It will convert forty parts of water into a thick 
jelly. Small amounts of sugar and albumen are also present. 
Salep is hardly known to Americans. Druggists keep it to 
supply the wants of Europeans, who use it in a decoction 
flavored with spice, wine, and sugar." 

Chambers's Encyclopaedia teaches as follows : — 
" Salep, the tubers of many species of Orchidacese, dried, 
are used as an article of food. Of the two tubers usually found 

at the roots of these plants, only one is gathered for salep, 

the younger and more solid of the two. The tubers are gathered 
when the stalk is about to fall. They vary from the size of a 
cherry-stone to that of an olive. They are cleaned, dipped for a 
few minutes in boiling water, and dried as quickly as possible, 
by which process they are rendered hard and horny. The greater 
part of the salep of commerce is brought from the East, and 
much of it from Persia. It is supposed to be obtained from 
species of Enlophia; but most of the European species of 
orchids are used for it. 

"Before coffee became so common in Britain, salep was an 
article of considerable importance, and large quantities were 
imported from Turkey, Persia, and India. In France it is still 
in considerable request. For use it is ground into a fine powder, 
and mixed with boiling water, sugar and milk being added 
according to taste. As a diet-drink it was considered very nutri- 
tious and wholesome, and, thirty years ago, it was sold, ready 
prepared, to the working classes of London, early in the morn- 
ing, from numerous street stalls. Its principal constituents are 
bassorine, starch, and phosphate of lime." 


CYPRIPEDIUM.— Venus Slipper. 

We are introduced by this name to the seventh and last 
tribe of orchids. Although its varieties are constantly increas- 
ing, its single family consists as yet of but a few score, while 
each of the other six tribes number their varieties by hundreds. 

This whole genus may be reckoned cosmopolitan, and it is 
remarkable that a family with such marked and distinctive 
characteristics should find congenial homes in such diversified 
conditions of soil and climate. Species are quite generally dis- 
tributed over most Northern States, and into Canada; through 
Mexico, South America, the islands of the Pacific, and India. 
The State of New York furnishes six varieties, all worthy of 

The oldest known orchid was the Cypripedium Calceolus, a 
terrestrial and dwarf evergreen ; for epiphytal orchids were 
wholly unknown till the discoveries of Messrs. Rumphius and 
Koempfer, at the commencement of the eighteenth century. It 
was a hundred years later that they were brought to England 
and cultivated with any success. 

The word Cypripedium is from the Greek Kvmqoc, or Cyprus, — 
one of the names given to the goddess Venus, because the 
island of Cyprus was an early and chief worshipper of this deity, 
— and from nMior, a sock or little shoe. Thus we get the botanic 
name Venus Slipper. 

It is a fact of interest, in this connection, that, in the ages 
long ago, beautiful flowers, as well as many other things, were 

dedicated to, and superstitiously associated with, gods and god- 
desses of the nations. Upon the banishment of heathen mytho- 
logy by the spread of Papal civilization, these dedicated or 
worshipped things were transferred to the Virgin Mary, or to 
some canonized saint. Hence the beautiful plant we are now 
considering received the name Calceolus Mariannus, — Mary's 
Slipper, — in the popular language of those times, "Slipper of 
our Lady;" in the common phrase of to-day, Lady's Slipper. 




Plate XXII. Cypripedium Niveum. 



Venus' Slipper, Snowy White, is the name (when translated 
into our vernacular) given this variety, which is represented in 
Plate No. XXII. It presents us with a plant of unusual and 
curious structure, — we are tempted to say of unapproachable 
beauty, — having blossoms of pure white, dotted minutely in 
violet. Its origin is in the Malayan Peninsula. It blooms in 
November and in later months, and is as yet a somewhat rare 

A look at this exquisite floral gem well suggests the 
devout sentiment of Mrs. Sigoiirney: — 

" Who hung thy beauty on such slender stalk, 
Thou glorious Flower." 

Though orchid collections are growing by immediate and 
natural increase, florists of many countries, especially of England, 
are sending abroad trained collectors, and sparing no expense, 
in searching through Brazil, Mexico, the highlands of New- 
Granada, Ceylon, and even Australia, in the hope of discover- 
ing some new and hitherto unknown orchid plants of value. 
Nor are florists content with this, but are now turning at- 
tention to processes of hybridizing, — among the most promi- 
nent and successful of whom are to be named Messrs. Seden, 
Dominy, and Mitchell of England, and Monsieur Bleu of 

Thus far, florists have not succeeded in raising orchids from 


the seed. Reproduction by germination of plants with their 
own pollen (or breeding in and in, as this is called) is not apt 
to give desirable stock; and of all the different tribes and 
species,, none so readily accept the process of hybridizing and 
cross-fertilization, as the Cypripedium. 

It is a singularity of the great orchid family, that few of 
all the species are capable, by themselves, of perpetuation, but 
most varieties are wholly dependent for the germination of seed, 
and their future growth, upon insect agency. These little minis- 
ters of reproduction — generally bees and the butterfly, — are 
attracted by the perfume, or by their hunger, to the bosom of 
flowers where pollen is stored. While feeding or visiting in the 
blossom, a portion of the pollen adheres to the insect, and is 
by it soon carried to a needed spot, — some pistillate plant. The 
ovaries expectantly open, receive the pollen, close at once, and 
hold the seed deposit till it becomes a floral birth. 

The poet Cowper gives scientific truth, in the following 
lines, respecting orchid reproduction: — 

"These have their sexes, and, when summer shines, 
The bee transports the fertilizing meal 
From flower to flower, and e'en the breathing air 
Wafts the rich prize to its appropriate use." 

Charles Darwin, in his admirable book on Insect Fertiliza- 
tion, relates things wonderful on this subject. For example, the 
species called Catasetum has several varieties exclusively stami- 
n-ate (of the male form), so the pollen must be transported to 
other and pistillate plants, in order to germination. The pollen, 
instead of being placed where likely to touch a visiting insect, 
is quite beyond its reach. Nature has therefore endowed the 


plant with sensitiveness and power to forcibly eject, or throw 
out, the waxy seed even to a considerable distance. When, 
therefore, the definite points of flowers are touched by an insect, 
the pollen is shot forth like an arrow, having blunt and very 
sticky points. The little visitor, disturbed by a sharp blow, or 
having eaten its fill of the inviting nectar, flics to some near 
pistillate plant, — and, while standing in the same position as 
before, the seed-bearing end of the pollinia reaches into the 
stigmatic cavity, and some of the seed is left on its viscid sur- 
face. Thus alone (says this learned naturalist) can five varie- 
ties of this species be fertilized. 

Says one, speaking of Darwin's investigation of the orchids: 
" Moth-traps and spring-guns set on these grounds," might well 
be the motto of the flowers. There are channels of approach 
along which the nectar-loving insects are surely guided, so as to 
compel them to pass the given spots. There are adhesive plas- 
ters nicely adjusted to fit their probosces, or to catch their 
brows, and so unload their pollen-burden. Sometimes where 
they enter for the honey, there are hair-triggers carefully set in 
their necessary path, communicating with explosive shells that 
project the pollen-stalks with unerring aim upon their bodies." 

It has been ascertained, by experiments, that flowers ferti- 
lized by the wind rarely if ever have gayly-colored petals. But 
in plants similar of structure to that of the greater green 
orchid, the act of fertilization is very simple, and may be imi- 
tated by the use of a lead pencil or artist's small brush. In 
conservatories, to which insects have not access, this is the 


This very rare variety — represented in Plate No. XXIII. 
— was recently brought from abroad, and very little is known of 
it. The variety is understood to have originated in the 
island of Borneo. From a cluster of leaves at its base 
proceeds a lateral flower-stalk, nearly two feet long, downy, 
and bearing a number of flowers, marked with dark spots, and 
enriched with many .colors. It blossoms late in the fall and 

" Some of the tropical species require the temperature and 
humid atmosphere of the hot-house, while others do best in a 
lower temperature. The flowers are greatly valued in the winter 
months for florists' work. Propagated by division of roots and 
sometimes from seed, but this has not as yet proved very suc- 

As there is little to be said about the above imported' 
variety, something in regard to our native species may be inter- 
esting here. Says one florist: "The State of New York furnishes 
six varieties of Cypripedium, all beautiful, charming, and 
worthy of cultivation. These native species may all be culti- 
vated in the garden by placing them in shady borders. The 
soil should be liberally mixed with leaf mould. Their unique 
blossoms render them highly deserving of much care. 

"The best time for transplanting them from their native 
localities is when they are in bloom, and they should be re- 
moved with a ball of earth attached to the roots." 

Plate XXIII. Cypripedium Haynaldianum. 


Another writer tells us that the best time is early spring, 
when the shoots first appear; but the plants have been moved 
successfully when in full bloom, as is stated above. 

The six varieties which grow wild with us are the Cypri- 
fedium acaule, C. pubescens, C. parviflorum, C. candiditni, C. 
arietinum, C. spectabile. 

The C. calceolns is a European species, resembling our C. 
pubescens, and quite hardy. Says one writer: "There is a lovely 
orchid (the C. calceolus) common in Siberia and Russia, almost 
up to the arctic circle, but now found only in one Yorkshire 
station in England, where, like the Perthshire heath, it is rapidly 
verging to complete local extinction." 

The most common in New England is the C. acaule. It 
loves the pine woods, is very handsome and somewhat different 
from the other varieties ; for, if one will notice these flowers 
closely, they will see that most (if not all, with this exception, 
the acaule) have a little opening in the top of the slipper, while 
this variety has the opening the whole length, down to the toe. 

Acaule, i. e., slemless. It has been called stemless, the 
flowers being pendent from a sort of skin, technically called 
a scape, which is in fact but a flower-stalk supporting no 
leaves, 'they springing up from the- roots, and hence called 
radical leaves. It usually blossoms in June. This is rather 
more difficult of culture than some of the others; it needs a 
more sandy soil, and to be mulched with pine needles. 

The two yellow varieties -pubescens and parviflorum are 
very much alike, except in size. Many could not tell the differ- 
ence. These are the most common, easy of culture, and wdl 
live in common garden soil, sometimes for years. They flounsh 
in central New York. 

The C. candidum — white lady's slipper, is a Western 
species, small, a low-grower, thriving in cultivation, charming 
and attractive. 

The C. arietinum — ram's-head so called, is the smallest and 
rarest of all; more curious than beautiful, and quite resembles a 
ram's head. 

But we must give the palm to the lovely C. spectabile, by 
far the most showy and stately of all our native species. It is 
the largest variety among them. It is found in central New 
York, in woods and marshes, is easily cultivated, and it would 
be difficult for one to have too many of these charming pets. 

It is not easy to obtain all these varieties, unless one goes 
to regions where they grow wild abundantly; but specimens of 
all can be obtained from Mr. Menand of Albany, who takes 
great pride in cultivating this interesting and beautiful family. 

Eyes of some men travel far 
For the finding of a star; 
Up and down the heavens they go, 
Men that keep a mighty rout! 
I'm as great as they I trow, 
Since the day I found thee out, 
Charming flower! I'll make a stir 
Like a sage astronomer. 

Pleasures newly-found are sweet 

When they lie about our feet; 

February last, my heart 

First at sight of thee was glad; 

All unheard of as thou art, 

Thou must needs, I think, have had 

Stately flower, and lone ao-o 

Praise of which I nothing know. 



This variety — represented by Plate No. XXIV. — is new 
and rare in this country. Three years ago a single plant 
sold here for nearly five hundred dollars; now they can be 
bought for fifty. It is a native of the island of Borneo; it 
blossoms in midwinter. 

Of its superior beauty some just opinion can be formed 
from the drawing. Of its desirableness in many other respects 
amateurs will better judge after longer acquaintance. To the 
author of this work, the whole genus of the Cypripedeas are the 
most interesting of all orchids ; they are so charming, so sug- 
gestive, so wonderful. And this seems to be the opinion of 
Mr. Rand, who says of a single variety: "This is one of the 
most extraordinary of orchids. When its flowers expand, the 
petals are only about an inch long, but in a few clays they 
extend to two feet in length, so that they trail on the ground, 
unless the plant is placed upon a stand. The sepals and petals 
are yellowish-brown, the lip reddish-brown." 

When the three plates of this publication were drawn, 
sixteen varieties of Cypripedium were in bloom in the con- 
servatory of Mr. Ames at North Easton. 

Yes, lovely flower, I find in thee 

Wild sweetness which no words express, 

And charms in thy simplicity 

That dwells not in the pride of dress. 


The following very interesting story, which comes to US 
from a recent English journal, will give the reader new ideas 
of Asiatic insect life among flowers, and of the serious diffi- 
culties with which researches for new orchid plants are 
sometimes prosecuted in the Hast. 

"Coryanthes is a superb orchid, abundant in Sante Coma- 
pan, but a stranger can hardly guess in what company it is 
found. At the summit of trees above those which bend over 
a ravine or rivulet, there arc nests inhabited by very large 
ants. The upper part of these trees is usually covered with 
Coryanthes, and sometimes an Epidendrum may be seen be- 
tween their pendent spikes. At first sight this might be 
taken for a Cypripedium. 

"In a sort of pitcher or slipper, sweet-tasting liquid is 
contained, probably much appreciated by the epicures among 
the little colonies of ants established in the neighborhood. 
It is a delicate sweetmeat factory, close at hand. Unfor- 
tunately — doubly unfortunately for those who audaciously 

endeavor to remove a plant from the spot where it grows 

the ants have worse stings than our wasps. Neither the 
explorer nor his assistants dare think of climbing a tree to 
obtain the elegant ornament which decorates it. The ape- 
like agility of the wild Indian is required for such an enter- 
prise to be successful. 

"There is no other means of obtaining possession of the 
desired plant than by levelling the tree with a hatchet; but 
this task is neither free from difficulties nor danger. At each 
shake which disturbs the tree, the ants become furious. One 
might imagine that they are aware that their hive or colony 


is endangered, and they rush, infuriated and exasperated, upon 
the daring individual who ventures to disturb their rest. 

" Then an extraordinary fight begins. The besieger — at- 
tacked on all sides by these little creatures, whose bites, though 
not deep, are very painful — gets wild, ejaculates at each fresh 
sting one or other of those energetic oaths, of which the 
Spanish language offers ample store; then either flies from 
his tormentors in despair, or plies his axe like a madman, in 
order to hasten the tree's fall, and put an end to his suffer- 

"When once the tree is felled, he is obliged to work 
very quickly, for now he has to defend himself against the 
whole colony. A final blow with the hatchet, having separated 
from the top a branch bearing the nest, — a lasso is firmly 
fixed on it, and the whole is dragged to a neighboring stream, 
where it is left for some hours, with the nest and the terri- 
ble colony which inhabit it. When it is believed that this 
prolonged submersion has put an end to these wretched little 
animals, it only remains to detach the plants by the aid of a 
pruning-knife, and the work is over. 

"Unfortunately, it seems as if a close connection joints 
the Coryanthes to the nest, and perhaps to the ants, — like 
Castor and Pollux of old ; for the plant, once drawn from 
its natural habitat, can no longer thrive, in spite of the help 
of the old abandoned nest ; so that we cannot help conclud- 
ing that the ants are absolutely necessary to its normal 
development; but I should hardly be favorable to adding this 
new insect-vermin to all those already imported. I leave any 
explanation of the phenomenon to Darwinians, and content 


myself with saying that the cultivation of this curious orchid 
has but rarely succeeded in our conservatories." 

Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle 

Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime; 

Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle, 

Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime? 

Know ye the land of the cedar and vine, 

Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine; 

Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppressed with perfume, 

Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her bloom? 

Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, > 

And the voice of the nightingale never is mute; 

Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, 

In color though varied, in beauty may vie, 

And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye; 

Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, 

And all, save the spirit of man, is divine? 

'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the sun, 

Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done? 

O, wild as the accents of lover's farewell 

Are the hearts which they bear and the tales which they tell!