The Star Lichnediadetails

[Picture: The Star Lichnedia]
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The Star Lichnedia

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Systematic name—Phlox Drummondii; Class V., Pentandria; Order I., Monogynia; Natural order, Polemoniaceæ.

Generic Character.—Calyx inferior, monosepalous, prismatic, five-cleft or five-parted; segments converging: corol salver-form, regular, five-lobed, with a tube somewhat curved: stamens five, unequal in length, inserted into the middle of the tube of the corol, and alternated with its segments: stigma three-cleft: cells one-seeded, seeds oblong, concave. Herbaceous.

Specific Character.—Stolonifeious-procumbent, pubescent: leaves alternate, clasping, lanceolate, narrowing abruptly, awned, hairy, roughish: panicle lax, fastigiate: divisions of tha [sic] corol equal, tube pubescent: teeth of the calyx long, subulate. The color of the blossom varies from pale pink to deep carmine, with every intervening shade—deeper colored at the centre, pale blush beneath.

Geography.—Indigenous to the south-western part of North America.

Properties.—It possesses no medicinal virtues, or if it does, they are unknown.

Remarks.— The generic name is derived from φλοζ, a flame, because red is the prevailing color of the blossoms. The specific name is given it in honor of Mr. Drummond, a distinguished botanist from Scotland, who made a tour through Mexico and some of the Southern and Western States about fourteen years since, when he discovered this species of the Phlox in the prairies of Texas. He carried it to Scotland and England, where it was highly prized and cultivated with great care. It was brought from thence to America again, to grace our gardens, about seven years ago.

It is a beautiful little annual, requiring the seed to be sown every spring. It begins to blossom early in the season, and continues to throw out its chamelion flowers till the approach of frost. The seed should be sown early, in a rich, light soil, and this being done, the florist will be abundantly repaid for his labor by a constant and rich profusion of elegant blossoms. Its beauty is very much enhanced by its five bright stellated points in the centre of each flower—hence the common name of Star-lichnedia. These central spots, together with the different shades of color of the flowers in general, give to a bed of them a pleasing variety of aspect.

A London magazine speaks of this new species of Dwarf Annual Phlox in the following manner: “Every flower, though of the deepest carmine, has its petals of a pale blush color on the under side, and every petal, though of the palest pink, has a dark carmine spot at its base. Thus the variety of colors displayed in a bed of these flowers, almost exceeds description, and when they are seen under a bright sun, and agitated by a gentle breeze, the effect is extraordinarily brilliant.”

Sentiment.—Variety pleases.

I know the world is all for show,

  To fickle fancy given;

What satisfies the taste at morn

  Is thrown away at even.

 

So I bedeck myself to please,

  In varied costume flowing,

My gaudy hues expose to view,

  In dazzling sunbeams glowing.

 

And though the thought oft makes me smile,

  My heart with pride is swelling,

That exquisites and amateurs

  Crowd thick around my dwelling.

 

They quit the fragrant violet’s bed,

  Their praise on me to lavish;

Neglect a far more worthy flower,

  While I their bosoms ravish.

 

Thus human beauty oft is judged,

  By dress and carmine touches;

While real worth and solid sense

  Retire with modest blushes.

(p. 177)

This hand-coloured engraving of a flower, the Drummond Phlox, was drawn by E. G. Wheeler and engraved at Lossing & Co.

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100 x 150mm (3.9 x 5.9 inches)

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161-The-Star-Lichnedia-q90-325x499.jpg

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1600 dots per inch

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