CINERÀRIA (ash-colored, from the Latin, referring to the gray foliage). Compósitae. Herbs or under-shrubs, closely allied to Senecio, from which they are separated chiefly by technical characters of the akene. The genus is variously understood by different authors. As limited by Bentham & Hooker, it comprises about 25 South African species, and the common garden Cineraria be comes a Senecio. The Cineraria of the fiorists (Fig. 472) is now much modified by cultivation. There are two views of its origin, one holding that it is a direct
development of C. cruenta, Mass., the other that it is a hybrid, into which
C. cruenta, C. Heritieri, C. populifolia, and perhaps others, have probably blended. These are all natives of the Canary Islands. The writer is in clined to believe that it is a direct evolution from C.
cruenta. This species is figured in B. M. 406. For the more important literature of the recent discussion respecting the origin of the garden Cineraria, see Nature, 51:461, 605; 52:3, 29, 54, '78, 103, 128; 55: 341._. G.C. III. 3:654 and 657; 17:588, 655, 742; 18:89, 186.
See Senecio for Cinoraria acanthifolia, C. candidissima, and C. maritima. To the garden or florist‘s Cineraria (C. cruenta) belong the horticultural names C. hybrida, C. grandiflora, C. kewensis, C. nana, and the like. There are full-double forms (see R. H. 1874,p. 47; 1886, p. 41. F'.S. 22: 2347-8. I.H. 32: 556.
The single hybrid Cinerarias are among the most useful and beautiful of all greenhouse flowering plants. The ease with which they can be raised, the little heat required, together with their free-blooming qualities, brilliant and various-colored flowers, which last for a
considerable time in blossom, make them popular with most people possessing even only a small greenhouse. Though they are herbaceous in character and may be propagated by cuttings or division of the roots, the single varieties are best treated as annuals, raising them from seed each year and throwing away the plants after flowering. Though anyone may save one’s own seed, the Cineraria, like most hybrids, will deteriorate both in size and quality of the flower after one or two generations unless they are hybridized; therefore, unless one cares to hybridize his own plants, it is best to purchase fresh seed from some reliable firm who obtain their stock from by bridists. For florists’ use, or where a succession of those flowers is required, two sowings of seed should be made; the first aboufi the middle of August, and the second a month later. The seed should be sown in pans or shallow boxes one foot square; these should be well drained, and the soil should consist of one part fine loam, one part leaf mold, and one part clean, sharp silver sand. The surface should be made very fine and pressed down evenly. The seed should then be sown evenly and rather thinly,
and covered with sand about the eighth part of inch. This will in a great measure prevent the seedlings from what gardeners term “damping-off',” which they are very apt to do if the atmospheric conditions become at all stagnant. The seed-pans or boxes should be care
fully watered with a fine rose and then placed in some cool, shaded place, such as a frame placed on sifted coal ashes on the north side of a wall or building, where they will germinate in about a week or ten days. As soon as large enough to conveniently handle, the seedlings should be potted into thumb-pots and grown on as rapidly as possible, shifting on into larger size pots as often as required, never allowing them to become the least pot-bound, or suffer in any way during the season of growth. The soil should consist of half leaf-mold and half fine fibrous loam, with a good sprinkling of silver sand, until the final shift into their flowering pots, when the soil should be three parts fibrous loam and one part well-decayed cow-manure or pulverized sheep manure. About the first of October the plants should
all be removed to the greenhouse, where the atmosphere should be kept cool and moist, but not stagnant. If a rainy spell should set in, a little artificial heat should be given to cause a circulation of the atmosphere, and as the fall advances the temperature should be kept
about 45° at night, with a rise of ten degrees by day. Liquid stimulants should not be given until the flower buds begin to appear, when they are greatly benefited by an occasional watering of clear. liquid cow- or sheep manure water. Cinerarias are very subject to the attacks of green-fly. To keep these in check, the house in which they are grown should be fumigated with tobacco about once in ten days, or tobacco stems placed among the plants if fumigating is objectionable. Double-flowered varieties of Cineraria are not commonly grown, neither are they as beautiful as the single varieties. They may be propagated by seed or by cuttings, the latter being the best method, as a large percentage of seedlings are sure to turn out single, which will be inferior in size of flower as compared with the best single varieties. Double-flowering varieties must be propagated each year to obtain the best results. As soon as the plants have finished blossoming, the flower stalks should be cut away to induce the plants to make fresh growth,which, as soon as large enough for out tings, should be taken off and inserted in an ordinary propagating bed, where they will soon root, after which they should be potted and shifted on as often as required, growing them during the hottest months in as cool and shaded a position as can be rovided. Of the
different species of Cineraria from S. Europe, C. maritima is perhaps the best. It is of dwarf habit, with tomentose, silvery, pinnatifld leaves, and is a most useful subject for edging flower beds. It is not hardy in this climate, consequently must be treated as an annual, sowing the seeds early in March in the greenhouse, afterwards treating them as ordinary summer bedding plants. The other species from south and eastern Europe do not prove hardy here, and if grown should be treated as tender annuals, planting them in the her
baceous borders for the summer. The species from the Cape of Good Hope require greenhouse treatment, the culture being the same as for the common Cineraria, though, from an ornamental point of view, they would hardly pay for the room they would occupy.
Edward J. Carnning.