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CINERARIA. The garden plants of this name have originated from a species of Senecio, S. cruentus (nat. ord. Compositae), a native of the Canary Isles, introduced to the royal gardens at Kew in 1777. It was known originally as Cineraria cruenta, but the genus Cineraria is now restricted to a group of South African species, and the Canary Island species has been transferred to the large and widespread genus Senecio. Cinerarias can be raised freely from seeds. For spring flowering in England the seeds are sown in April or May in well-drained pots or pans, in soil of three parts loam to two parts leaf-mould, with one-sixth sand; cover the seed thinly with fine soil, and press the surface firm. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out in pans or pots of similar soil, and when more advanced pot them singly in 4-in. pots, using soil a trifle less sandy. They should be grown in shallow frames facing the north, and, if so situated that the Sun shines upon the plants in the middle of the day, they must be slightly shaded; give plenty of air, and never allow them to get dry. When well established with roots, shift them into 6-in. pots, which should be liberally supplied with manure water as they get filled with roots. In winter remove to a pit or house, where a little heat can be supplied whenever there is a risk of their getting frozen. They should stand on a moist bottom, but must not be subjected to cold draughts. When the flowering stems appear, give manure water at every alternate watering. Seeds sown in March, and grown on in this way, will be in bloom by Christmas if kept in a temperature of from 40° to 45° at night, with a little more warmth in the day; and those sown in April and May will succeed them during the early spring months, the latter set of plants being subjected to a temperature of 38° or 40° during the night. If grown much warmer than this, the Cineraria maggot will make its appearance in the leaves, tunnelling its way between the upper and lower surfaces and making whitish irregular markings all over. Such affected leaves must be picked off and burned. Green fly is a great pest on young plants, and can only be kept down by fumigating or vaporizing the houses, and syringing with a solution of quassia chips, soft soap and tobacco.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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