Auricula

(Primula Auriculn-, Linn.). Fig. 17l. A European perennial, sending up short scapes, bearing fls. of many colors. It is one of the most famous of florists’ flowers, but it has never received the attention in this country that it has in Europe. Our summers are generallytoo hot for it. In this 00\ll1tl:1y generally treated as a greenhouse plant; but it is har y, and in the Old World is grown largely in frames. See Primula. Auriculas may be propagated by seed for general pur poses and for the production of new varieties, but to perpetuate very choice varieties, it is necessary to propa gate either by oflsets or division of the plants. Seed should be sown in shallow pans or 4-inch pots early in March, so that the seedlings will be well developed be fore very warm weather sets in. The soil used in the seed pans should be very light and sandy, the surface should be made smooth,and the seeds then pressed lightly into the soil, after which a light covering of sand should be given, and the pans placed in a temp. of 60° until they have germinated, which usually takes from three to four weeks ; they should then be removed to alight position, shaded from direct sunlight, in a rather lower tempera ture, to induce a stocky growth. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle convenientlyathey should be pricked ofl into other pans or shallow xes containing a mixture of three parts leaf-mold and one part sifted loam and clean silver sand. Watering should be care fully attended to, and everything done to promote active growth, so that, if possible, the plants may be large enough to require a second shift into other boxes, simi larly prepared, by the end of June. Aurlcula seedlings go through the hottest months much better in boxes than in pots. as they can be kept more evenly moist. For their summer quarters, a wooden frame placed on sifted coal ashes on the north side of a building or wall, or almost any position where they will be sheltered from the sun and still receive plenty of light, should be given them. The frame should be provided with sash, which should be kept over the plants most of the time, giving air in abundance in favorable weather. and during the warmest weather the whole frame should be raised by placing a brick under each corner, so as to allow a good cir culation of air among the plants. About the second week in September the young plants should be potted, using a compost of two parts good, fibrous loam, one part leaf-mold, and one part well decayed cow or sheep manure, with a little sand added. The frame should be kept a little close for a few days after potting, and from this time care must be taken not to wet the foli age in watering. The plants may remain in the frame until dan ger of freezing, when they should be trans ferred to a cool green house for the winter. All decaying leaves should be carefully removed, and but lit tle water will be re quired during the dull winter months. Towards the end of February the plants will show signs of flowering, when they should be given a top-dressing of pulverized sheep manure and placed in a light, airy position, in a temp. of 55°. The flowering season lasts about two months, after which the plants should receive their annual potting. All diseased or decayed roots should be cut away, and most of the old soil carefully removed. The propagation of very choice varieties by oflsets or division is best done at this time. The pots used in potting should be well drained, and no larger than will just accommodate the plants. The soil best suited is the same as before recommended. After pot ting the may be placed in their summer quarters. Offsets s ould be inserted round the edge of 4-inch pots, using very sandy soil, and kept in a moist, shaded posi tion until rooted. By annually repotting and giving a little extra care during the summer months, a batch of Auriculas will return very satisfactory results, and may be kept in a good, healthy condition for several years. Eowasn J. C.\.\'s1.\'o.