POLYANTHUS

P. This plant has lately been greatly improved in variety and beauty of colours, many blossoms being in pastel shades. Its cultivation is perfectly simple, for it will thrive in any garden soil, though it prefers one which is rich and moist, and flourishes best in a sheltered and somewhat shady situation. It can easily be raised from seed sown in the open during the summer months, and being perennial may be increased by division in autumn or early spring. Division is mostly adopted as giving greater certainty of preserving strains. Lift clumps, immerse in a pail of water, thus silting out the earth, when the rooted offsets can be seen, and the plants divided, to suit requirement, into single offsets, or a few together. Primulas and primroses are of the same family but are given separate entries. One of the best strains is Carter’s Sunset Hybrids which embrace orange, tangerine, buff and amber shades. The Blackmore and Langdon strain gives extra large flowers with a wide colour range and with very intense shades. Langdon’s Blue, Langdon’s Pink and Langdon’s Gold are first-rate selections from this strain, especially the first-named which includes both Oxford and Cambridge blues.

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