psuedo-bulb begin to appear.
Cleansing the Leaves. Take down the
plant from its high position; if the moss,
or peat, whichever it may happen to be
growing in, is dry, give it a good soaking
in the cistern, the water of which is at
a temperature of 70. Whilst it is
soaking, all dead leaves are to be care-
fully removed, and every part of the
plant thoroughly washed with a sponge.
If the leaves are thick and leathery,
the sponge is to be rubbed over them
several times with a heavy hand. In
fact, it might be called a good scrub-
bing ; being careful, of course, not to
injure it. For more tender leaves, we
have, very lately, used something else.
We observed that the sponge, though
used ever so lightly on these tender
thin leaves, injured them slightly.
Happening to observe a piece of thick
leather, such as soldiers' belts are
made of, it was taken and wrapt round
the end of a small stick, fastening it
firmly to it with some small copper
wire, leaving half-an-inch of it project-
ing beyond the stick ; it had then the
appearance of a brush made of leather.
With this instrument the leaves were
washed, and it was so soft and pliable
that it did not injure the youngest or
tenderest leaf, yet effectually washed
the dust and dirt off from the leaves.
This washing not only clears off the
parasites, and any other obstruction,
but also destroys insects, particularly
the red spider and black thrip, two of
the most pernicious enemies to orchids.
Let every part of the plants be well
cleansed leaves, stems, and psuedo-
bulbs. Not only will the plants look
better, but they will be greatly benefited
in their health.
Potting. Generally speaking the
months of January, February, and
March, are the proper times, but as
there is no rule without exceptions,
some orchids require potting at all
seasons of the year. The beginner
may know when to pot his plants by
this observation : Whenever they are
determined to grow, they must be
potted. The only precaution neces-
sary to observe, in the dark seasons,
will be to use the stuff you pot them
in (for it can hardly be called soil) in
a moderately dry state, and give no
water excepting a sprinkling to settle
In the first place, have ready a
quantity of broken pots or potsherds
of several sizes; next, procure some
good turfy peat, knock it into pieces
with a heavy hammer, crushing the
finer soil entirely out of it ; then pass
it through a fine sieve, and what re-
mains in the sieve is the best stuff for
orchids ; it is light, open, and porous.
Next, have some charcoal at hand
broken into pieces no larger than a
hen's egg, nor smaller than a hazel
nut. Another article, and you will
have all you need for pots and baskets :
this is white bog moss or sphagnum,
which should be partially chopped with
a sharp hatchet, and the dust also
sifted out of it. W r e have a great ab-
horrence for anything close or fine
about orchids, excepting terrestrial
Having all in readiness, take your
plant, turn it out of the pot carefully,
be mindful of the roots, and bruise or
injure them as little as possible. Per-
haps some roots Avillbe found adhering
very firmly to the sides of the pot ; to
part them from which we have used a
long thin-bladed knife, thrusting it
carefully down between the root and
the pot. In very bad cases we have
found it necessary to break the pot, but
this must be done very gently, or the
very act of breaking may destroy the
roots. The plant being cleared from
the pot, shake away all the old compost ;
then examine the roots closely, and cut
off all the dead ones. This is a conve-
nient opportunity, also, to look after
insects, especially the white scale, the
most pernicious of all vermin to orchids
(excepting, perhaps, the black thrip).
With a brush clean them all off, and
wash the whole plant with strong soap
water. Your plant is now ready for
potting. Choose a pot of the proper
size; generally speaking, orchids, to
grow them well, take larger pots in
proportion to their size than any other
class of plants. Let your pots be per-
fectly clean both inside and out. Lay
a large piece of potsherd over the hole
[ 06:2 ]
at the bottom of tlie pot ; then place
some rather smaller pieces of the same,
and over these the smallest ones.
Altogether the pot ought to be three
parts filled with this drainage. This
point is of the utmost importance, for
if the plants are not superlatively well-
drained they will not thrive long or
satisfactorily. Over this drainage place
a thin layer of charcoal, and then a
layer of the turfy peat, mixing with it
some broken pots and charcoal. Intro-
duce the plant now, and spread the
roots, if many, all over the surface of
the compost, working it amongst them,
gradually filling it in till the pot is full,
and keeping the body of the plant \vell
up ; raise the compost up about two or
three inches above the level of the edge
of the pot in proportion to its width.
A small pot need not have the plant
above one incli raised, a middling plant
two inches, and for the largest sized
plant three inches will be sufficient.
The whole of the plant, psuedo-bulbs
and all, excepting the roots, ought to
stand clear up above the compost. It
will be loose and ready to tumble over
if of such kinds as Cattleyas or Dendro-
biums; to prevent which, thrust into the
compost some stout sticks, and tie
each psuedo-bulb to each stick firmly.
These will secure the plant, and give it
a neat, tidy appearance.
Orchids in Baskets. A considerable
number of species require baskets, be-
cause the flower-stems are pendant,
and, consequently, naturally require a
position to allow the flowers to grow
down. In fact, some send the flower-
sterns perpendicularly down through
the soil or compost. Now, if these
are grown in pots, the flower-stems run
down into the soil, and there perish.
It is true they have been grown in
pots on a hillock built up six inches or
a foot above the rim of the pot, and
then part of the flower- stems manage
to find their way to the outside of the
little mound j but a considerable num-
ber descend straight downwards, and
soon rot for want of air and light. By
growing them in baskets this evil is
prevented, and every raceme (bunch)
of flowers arrives at perfection.
The baskets should bu of u biiie suit-
able for small plants small ones re-
quiring only small baskets, middling
ones the middle-sized, and large ones
in proportion. The way to basket the
plants is this : Have the peat or com-
post prepared exactly as for potting
above-mentioned ; cover the bottom of
the basket with a thin layer of moss
green would do, though we prefer white,
or sphagnum. This moss is to prevent
the peat from dropping through the
openings between the rods forming the
bottom. Then place a portion of peat
upon the moss. In the next place,
prepare the plant by taking it out of
the old basket or pot, or perhaps on"
from a log. Do this as carefully as
possible without injuring the living
roots. If the old peat, in which it
has been growing, perhaps, for years,
is very hard, and the living roots are
so firmly attached to it that they cannot
be detached without breaking them,
take the plant and put it into the
cistern, and let it remain there till the
peat is thoroughly soaked. Take it
out, and set it in some convenient
place to drain off the water. If this is
done a full week before you intend to
re- basket the plant, it will be all the
easier to do ; the object being to soften
the peat so as to be able to pick away,
with a small-pointed stick, as much of
the old peat as possible. Examine, also,
the pseudo-bulbs and leaves, and clean
them thoroughly from dirt and insects.
Prune away all dead roots, and then
the plant will be ready to be put in its
new habitation. Place it in the middle
of the basket, and fill in all round it
with the new compost. Set the basket
then on the floor, and, with the syringe
held pretty close to the peat, give it a
good watering, forcing the water out of
the syringe pretty strongly : this will
be found to make the compost firm,
so that future waterings will not wash
it off the basket on to the floor, or
plants underneath. One thing we
would especially guard our readers
against, and that is, having the baskets
made deep. Some may have an idea
that if the plants have a large lot of
stuff to grow in they will thrive better
and produce more flowers, but this is
u mistaken notion. The roots of orchids
.[ 663 ]
of this class run on the surface, or, at
least, very closely beneath it ; in truth,
if the air is properly surcharged with
moisture, the roots will prefer running
out of the* compost. Frequently the
long roots of Stanhopeas, that push
strongly, and run along the surface of
the compost, send forth fibres, not into
the compost, but, strange to say, up-
wards into the congenial air, gathering,
as it were, aerial food to support and
feed the plant they belong to. This
proves satisfactorily enough that deep
baskets are 110 advantage even to the
growth of the plant, but to the flower-
stems of some kinds of Stanhopeas
they are certainly injurious. We say
some kinds, such as Slanhopea insignia
and its varieties, S. tigrina and its va-
rieties, and all that have, like these,
short and few-flowered racemes. Such
lands as S. oculata, Wardii, and quad-
ricornis, which have long flower-stems,
may find their way through a deep
basket, but would do so easier and safer
through a shallow one.
Pots. The kind we use and prefer
may be described as a shallow, Avide
pot, the proportions of which are as :
two, three, and five : that is, two inches
wide at the bottom, three inches deep,
and five inches wide at the top, all in-
side measure. Larger pots to be in
the same proportions. Small ones need
only have one hole at the bottom, but it
should be larger than those generally
made. For the two-inch-wide pots at
the bottom, the hole ought to be three-
quarters-of-an-inch in diameter, the
great object being to allow the escape
of water quickly. Larger pots must
have three holes;, each of the same
diameter. Hard -burnt ones must be
avoided for these plants, as well as for
any other. The reason why we prefer
these wide, shallow pots is, that the
roots of orchids are, generally speaking,
either on the surface or very near it ;
besides, a large proportionate surface is
exposed to the benefit Of air and mois-
ture, both of which are beneficial to
the roots of an epiphyte. Terrestrial
orchids, whose roots descend deeper,
will be better in the ordinary-shaped
Baskets. Various materials and
forms have been used hi this necessary
article. The first probably was made
of common iron-wire, painted green,
and the form round, deep, and with a
flat bottom. This material is almost
entirely disused, for, although the paint
for a time prevented them from rusting,
the great moisture and heat soon de-
composed the paint, and then the wire
became oxydized or rusty, and is then
very injurious to the roots, as well as
being unsightly. Those made with
copper wire are much better, lasting
longer, and are not so injurious to the
plants. The only objection we know
of is the expense. Where that is no
consideration, we should have no great
objection to their adoption. Baskets
have also been made of earthenware;
but, if there was no other objection,
their great weight would be sufficient
to set them aside as bad. We have tried
all these, and have come to the conclu-
sion that baskets made of wooden rods
are the best for this purpose. We men-
tioned before, that the most ornamental
are made of the corrugated or rough-
barked maple rods ; but, as these are
not always to be met with, hazel rods
may be used, and make excellent
baskets. The way we make them is
simple enough. First, the rods are
sawn into proper lengths. The smallest
we use are about the thickness of a
man's middle finger. With this size,
the smallest baskets are made. These
are seven inches wide, and three
rods deep. In this size, small Stan-
hopeas, and small plants of Aerides^
Saccolabiums, Vandas, Gongoras, &c.
are grown. For larger plants, larger
baskets are made, and thicker rods
used. The largest we ever had oc-
casion to make was for a fine plant
of Acrides odorata. This plant is four
feet high, and two - and - a - half feet
through. The rods used for it are
nearly as thick as a moderate-sized
man's wrist. The basket is two feet
square, which is the shape we prefer,
as being the most simple and easiest
made. When the rods are sawn into
lengths, the ends are pared smooth
with a knife ; then small holes are
bored through each, one at each end,
as nearit as possible without splitting.
The instrument used to bore the holes
with is a very small steel rod, about six
inches long, with a wooden handle ; it
is filed to a point at the end intended
to bore the hole with. We find it con-
venient to have two or three, for a
reason we shall state presently. After
a certain number of rods are cut and
smoothened, they are taken to a place
where there is a small, clear, red fire ;
the sharp end of one of the borers is
put into it about one inch. As soon as
that is red hot, the other is put in, the
heated one drawn and thrust into the
rod very near the end, and held there
as long as it continues to burn its way
without much pressure. If too much
force is used, the wood will be apt to
split. As soon, therefore, as the in-
strument ceases to burn its way through,
it is replaced in the fire. The other by
this time will be red also; this is then
taken out of the fire, and applied to
the hole. This operation is thus per-
formed with each bore alternately till
the hole is made through the rod. The
description of this operation takes up
considerably more time than the opera-
tion itself. It is quickly and easily
done, as any of our readers may prove
on trial. After as many rods are
bored as may be wanted at one time,
the next thing is to put them together.
The articles necessary for this are some
copper wire and a few flat-headed cop-
per nails. Each basket will require
four lengths of wire, the length of
each to be in proportion to the size of
the basket they are intended for. They
should be long enough to meet at least
eight inches above the top of the
smaller-sized baskets, and from a foot
to eighteen inches above the larger
ones. At the end of each piece of wire
make a loop so large that it will not
draw through the holes; then lay the
first two rods, and upon them, for the
smallest basket, lay three others ; nail
these three to the two outside rods,
thus forming a sort of raft, to use a
nautical term for want of a better ; turn
this over, and underneath it put two
other rods, to form the other two sides
of the basket; then draw the four
pieces of wire through the holes at each
corner, the looped end being under-
neath. Continue to lay a pair of rods
alternately, drawing the wire through
each till the basket is of the required
depth. The smallest size, three rods
deep ; the two next, four deep, and so
on. When that is done, make four
small pointed pegs, and drive them into
each hole at the four corners. This
will fasten the rods in their places, and
prevent them from ever starting up-
wards ; then draw the wires together
at the top, twisting each pair over each
other, and fasten them with a piece of
fine wire. Your basket is now complete
and ready for use.
Logs. None are so good as the wood
of the Acacia, commonly so-called, but
which really is the Robinia Pseudo-
Acacia. Its wood is firm, and does not
soon decay. The next best is the oak.
In all cases we strongly recommend the
removal of the bark; our objection to
retaining it being, that it only serves as
a hiding place for wood-lice, small
snails, and other destructive insects,
besides retaining in winter too great a
quantity of moisture. The wood should
be procured a year before it is used,
and then the bark will come off very
easily. We except cork wood, which
we think very good when it can be
procured readily for this purpose ; and
the bark of cork suits the orchids well,
and, unlike the others, does not rot so
soon, and consequently has not the
objection to its use of being a receptacle
for vermin. The best wood for baskets
is the rough-barked common maple ;
the branches of this tree make the
handsomest baskets, but as it is not so
plentiful as the hazel, the latter is the
sort we recommend. Some object to
baskets of this description on account
of their soon perishing. This we con-
sider no objection at all, but rather an
advantage ; for as soon as the basket
is decayed the plant lias grown so
large that it requires a new one, and
the rotten sticks of which the old basket
is made are more easily broken and
removed than sounder ones.
O'RCHIS. (From orchis, testiculate ;
referring to the two oblong bulb-like
roots of many of the species. Nat.
ord., Orchids [OrchidaceajJ. Linn., !iO-
[ G65 ]
Chiefly an European genus of ground orchids.
Seeds, as in Ophrys, when obtainable ; division
of the tuberous roots, though they do not relish
transplanting well ; it should be done when the
plants are in a dormant state. The British
species are chiefly found on chalky hills, and in
pastures where calcareous matter abounds.
The exotic kinds like an addition of fibry peat.
The tender ones, in fact all, when cultivated,
should be treated as Alpines ; those found in
rich pastures require a moister situation.
O. acumina'ta (pointed-flowered). 1. Purple.
May. Barbary. 1815.
corio'phora (bug-bearing). 1. Brown. June.
folio' sa (leafy -spiked). 1. Purple, May.
fusce'sens (drying-brown). . Yellowish.
June. Pennsylvania. 1831.
globo'sa (round-spiked). %. Purple. June.
Ibe'rica (Iberian). White. June. Caucasus.
latifo'lia (broad-leaved). 1. Pink. June.
laxiflo'ra (loose-flowered), f . Purple. June.
longibractea'ta (long-bracted). l. Purple.
May. Sicily. 1818.
longico'rnis (long-horned), g. Purple. May.
ma'cra (lean). Pale purple. May. Britain.
macula'ta (spotted). 14. Flesh. June.
ma'scula (male-curly). 1. Purple. May.
militu'ris (military). 1. Purple. May.
we'ra(true). Purple. May. Switzer-
rno'rio (buffoon). |. Purple. May. Britain.
papiliona'cea (butterfly). 14. Purple. April.
Provincia'lis (Province). |- Purple, yellow.
June. Switzerland. 1825.
pauciflo'ra (few-flowered), f.
Purple. July. Italy. 1825.
pseu'do-sambu'cina (false - Elder - smelling).
$. Purple. April. Italy. 1828.
. Yellow. June. Italy. 1828.
quadripuncta'ta (four-spotted). 3. Purple.
April. Italy. 1828.
sacca'tu (pouched). . Purple. April.
sambu'cina (Elder -scented}. $. Yellow.
April. Switzerland. 1825.
specta'bilis (showy). Pink. June. North
tei)hrosa'nthos ( Ash-coloured-flowered). l.
Purple. April. England.
densiflo'rum (crowded-spiked) .
1. Purple, white. May. Europe.
undula'ta (wavy). 1. Pale purple. Decem-
ber. Sicily. 1818.
undulatifo'lia (wavy-leaved). Pale purple.
ustula'ta (scorched). $. Purple. May.
variega'ta (variegated). . Pale purple.
May. South Europe. 1818.
ORI'GANUM. Marjoram. (From oros,
mountain, and <janos, joy ; referring to
the natural places of growth. Nat.
ord., Labiates [Lamiacese]. Linn., 14-
Didynamia \-Gymnospermia. )
The following are all hardy herbaceous pe-
rennials. Seeds ; division of the roots and
cuttings ; sandy soil. See Marjoram.
0. JEgypti'acum (Egyptian). 1. Pink. July.
crassifo'lia (thick-leaved). Purplish. June.
Dicta'mnus (Dittany of Crete). 1. Pink.
July. Candia. 1551.
heracleo'ticum (bastard- Winter-sweet). 1.
White. August. South Europe. 1640.
horte'nsis (garden). Purplish. June. North
ma'ru (mastic). 1. Pink. June.
nervo'sa (large-nerved). Pink. June. Egypt.
norma'le (normal). 1. Blue. June. Nepaul.
Oni'tes (Onites). 1. Whitish. August,
sipy'leum (Mount Sipylus). 1. Pink. August.
stoloni'ferum (runner-bearing). 1. Pink.
June. Pedolia. 1828.
Tournefo'rte (Tournfort's). 1. Pink. Au-
gust. Arnogos. 1788.
vulga're (common). 2. Pink. August.
flo're-a'lbo (white - flowered). 1.
White. June. Britain.
hu'mile (dwarf). 1. Purple. June.
prisma'ticum (prism - shaped).
White. July. Mediterranean.
m'rens (green). ]. Purple. June.
OKMO'SIA. Bead-Tree. (From ormo^
a necklace; referring to the seeds of
O. coccinca, which are scarlet with a
dark spot, which are strung for neck-
laces. Nat. ord., Leguminous Plants
[Fabacese], Linn., 10-Dccandria 1-
Monoyynia. Allied to Sophora.)
Stove evergreen trees, blue-flowered. Cut-
tings of half-ripened shoots, in sand, under a
bell-glass, and in bottom-heat, in May ; sandy
fibry peat, and a little loam. Winter temp.,
48 to 55 ; summer, 60 to 85.
0. cocci' nea (scarlet-seeded). 10. July. Guiana.
dasyca'rpa (thick-fruited). 10. June. West
ORNITHO'GALUM. Star of Bethlehem.
(From ornis, a bird, and yala, milk.
Nat. ord., Lilyivorts [Liliaceae]. Linn.,
G-Hcxandria 1 - M on ogynia . )
Pretty bulbous plants, white-flowered where
not otherwise specified. Offsets; sandy loam
and a little leaf-mould for the hardy kinds;
a little peat added for those that require a cold
[ 006 ]
pit in winter. If the latter are planted out in
dry border, the border must be protected from
wet and frost during winter, or the bulbs taken
.up and kept in drawers or bags where no fros
will reach them.
0. bulbi'ferum (bulb-bearing). . April
como'sum (tufted). . July. Austria. 1596
divarica'tum (spreading). 2. July. Cali-
e'xscapum (stemless). . May. Italy. 1824
fimbria'tum (fringed). . February. Cri-
margina'tum (w/uYe-edged). $. Greenish
white. March. Asia. 1843.
monta'num (mountain), i. May. Italy.
Nurbone'nse (Narbonne). 1A_. July. South
nu'tans (nodding). . June. Britain.
pyramida'le (pyramidal) . 2. June. Spain.
Pyrena'icum (Pyrenean). 2. Green. June.
stachyoi'des (Stachys-like). 24. Lilac,
yellow. May. South Europe. 1771.
umbella'tum (umbelled). 1. May. England.
0. attia'ceum (Onion-like). . September.
Ara'bicum (Arabian). 1*.. May. Egypt. 1629.
au'reum (golden). $. Yellow. June.
Cape of Good Hope. 1790.
barba'tum (bearded), l. June. Cape of
Good Hope. 1795.
Bc'rgii (Bergius). White, green. March.
biflo'rum (twiiiflowered). 1A. April. Peru,
bifo'lium (two-leaved), j. August. Chili.
brachy'stachys (short-spiked). March.
cauda'tum (tailed). 3. White, green. May.
Cape of Good Hope. 1774.
chloroleu'cum (greenish- white). 1. July.
cilia' turn (hair-fringed). . April. Cape
of Good Hope. 1819.
coar eta' turn (compressed-flowered). 1$.
White, green. June. Cape of Good
conci'nnum (neat). . May. Portugal. 1797.
co'nicum (conical). 1. White, green. June.
Cape of Good Hope. 1823.
corymbo'sum (corymbed). l. White,
green. May. Chili. 1823.
crenula'tum (scolloped). . April. Cape
of Good Hope. 1816.
ela'tum (tall). 3. March. Egypt. 1804.
flavi'ssimum (yellowest). 1. Yellow. June.
Cape of Good Hope. 1804.
fuscu'tum (dull). 4. Grey. June. Cape
of Good Hope. 1820.
geminiflo'rum (twin-flowered). 1. Greenish,
hi'spidum (bristly). . June. Cape of
Good Hope. 1824.
-moi'des (Uia-hke). &. May. California, 1796,
O.juncifo'lium (Rush-leaved). 3. July. Cape
of Good Hope. 1794.
la'cteum (milk-white). 1. June. Cape of
Good Hope. 1796.
latifo'lium (broad-leaved). l*. June.
longibractea'tum (long-bracted). . May.
Cape of Good Hope. 181 /.
macula 1 'turn (spotted). 4. May. Cape of
Good Hope. 1823.
minia'tum (red-stained). Yellow. June.
Cape of Good Hope. 1/90.
na'num (dwarf). $. Greenish- white.
March. Berbeck. 1843.
ni'veum (snowy). A.. May. Cape of Good
nota'tum (ftroMW-marked). July. Cape of
Good Hope. 1825.
odor a 1 turn (sweet-scented). 14. Pale yel-
low. May. Cape of Good Hope. 17Q5.
ova' turn (egg-shaped). 1. May. Cape of