HARDY ANNUALS. Annual plants are those which grow up from seed, flower, ripen seed, and die in the course of one season one year. They are useful in the mixed garden, for though in some cases they are of short duration, many of them are possessed of much beauty of hue and elegance of form. Annuals may be divided into three classes: the hardy, which are sown at once in the ground they are to occupy; the half-hardy, which succeed best when aided at first by a slight hot bed, and then transplanted into the open air; and the tender, which are kept in pots, and treated as greenhouse or stove plants, to which departments they properly belong. Some of the more popular annuals, hardy and half-hardy, have been very much varied as regards habit and the colour of the flowers, and purchases may be made in the seed shops of such things as China asters, stocks, Chinese and Indian pinks, larkspurs, phloxes and others, amongst which some of the most beautiful of the summer flowers may be found.
The hardy annuals may be sown in the open ground during the latter part of March or beginning of April, as the season may determine, for the weather should be dry and open, and the soil in a free-working condition before sowing is attempted. In favourable situations and seasons some of the very hardiest, as Silene pendula, Saponaria, Nemophila, Gilia, etc., may be sown in September or October, and transplanted to the beds or borders for very early spring flowering. Those sown in spring begin to flower about June. The plants, if left to flower where they are sown, should be thinned out while young, to give them space for proper development. It is from having ample room that pricked out transplanted seedlings often make the finest plants. The soil should be rich and light.
The half-hardy series are best sown in pots or pans under glass in mild' heat, in order to accelerate germination. Those of them which are in danger of becoming leggy should be speedily removed to a cooler frame and placed near the glass, the young plants being pricked off into fresh soil, in other pots or pans or boxes, as may seem best in each case. All the plants must be hardened off gradually during the month of April, and may generally be planted out some time in May, earlier or later according to the season.
The class of tender annuals, being chiefly grown for greenhouse decoration, should be treated much the same as soft-wooded plants, being sown in spring, and grown on rapidly in brisk heat, near the glass, and finally hardened off to stand in the greenhouse when in flower.
We add a select list of some of the more distinct annuals desirable for general cultivation as decorative plants for the open air:
Acroclinium roseum: half-hardy, I ft., rose-pink or white; everlasting.
Agrostis pulchella : hardy, 6 in. ; a most graceful grass for bouquets.
Amberboa moschata atropurpurea (Sweet Sultan): hardy, ij ft., purple; musk-scented.
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon): hardy, 6 in. to 2 ft., white, yellow and red. This plant is perennial, but is best treated as an annual.
Arnebia cornuta: hardy, 15 to 2 ft. yellow.
Bartonia aurea; hardy, 2 ft., golden yellow; showy and free.
Brachycome iberidifolia: half-hardy, I ft., blue or white with dark disk.
Calendula officinalis Meteor: hardy, I ft., orange striped with yellow.
Calliopsis or Coreopsis bicolor (lincloria} : hardy, 2 to 3 ft., yellow and chestnut-brown.
Calliopsis or Coreopsis Drummondii: hardy, I to 2 ft., golden yellow with red disk.
Callistephus hortensis or chinensis (the China aster) : half-hardy, 6 in. to li ft.; there are several groups of various colours. The species itself is a very handsome plant.
Campanula Loreyi: hardy, t j ft., purplish-lilac or white.
Campanula macrostyla : hardy, I to 2 ft., purple, beautifully veined.
Carnations, Marguerite: half-hardy, 9 to 12 in., colours various.
Centaurea Cyanus: hardy, 3 ft., blue, purple, pink or white; showy.
Centranthus macrosiphon: hardy, ij to 2 ft., rosy-carmine.
Centranthus ruber (known as Pretty Betsy and Red Valerian) : hardy, 2 to 3 ft., red.
Chrysanthemum carinatum: a charming half-hardy annual, 2 to 3 ft. high, with several varieties, of which C. Burridgeanum with zones of white, crimson and yellow is best.
C. coronarium, a yellow-flowered species requires similar treatment.
Clarkia pulchella: hardy, ij ft., rosy-purple; some varieties very handsome.
Collinsia bicolor: hardy, Ij ft., white and purple; pretty.
Gollinsia verna: hardy, I ft., white and azure; sow as soon as ripe.
Convolvulus tricolor atroviolacea: hardy, I ft., white, blue and yellow. This is the Convolvulus minor of gardens.
Cosmos bipinnatus: half-hardy, 3 ft., rose, purple, white; requires sunny spots.
Dianthus chinensis (Indian pink) : half-hardy, 6 in. to I ft., various shades of red and white.
Delphinium Ajacis and Delphinium Consolida (Larkspurs) : hardy, 3 ft., various colours.
Erysimum Peroffskianum: hardy, 2 ft., deep orange; in erect racemes.
Eschscholtzia californica: hardy, ij ft., yellow with saffron eye.
Eschscholtzia crocea flore-pleno: hardy, ij ft., orange yellow; double.
Eutoca viscida: hardy, 2 ft., bright blue, with white hairy centre.
Gaillardia Drummondii (picta): half-hardy, Ij ft., crimson, yellow margin.
Gilia achilleaefolia: hardy, 2 ft., deep blue; in large globose heads Godetia Lindleyana: hardy, 2 to 3 ft., rose-purple, with crimson spots.
Godetia Whitneyi: hardy, I ft., rosy-red, with crimson spots. The variety Lady Albemarle is wholly crimson, and very handsome.
Gypsophila elegans: hardy, ij ft., pale rose; branched very gracefully.
Helianthus cucumerifolius : hardy, 3 to 4 ft., golden yellow, black disk ; branching, free and bold without coarseness.
Helichrysum bracteatum: half-hardy, 2 ft.; the incurved crimson, rose and other forms very handsome.
Hibiscus Trionum (africanus): hardy, l ft., cream colour, dark purple centre.
Iberis umbellata (Candytuft): hardy, I ft., white, rose, purple, crimson. Some new dwarf white and flesh-coloured varieties are very handsome.
Kaulfussia amelloides: hardy, I ft., blue or rose; the var. kermesina is deep crimson.
Kochia scoparia (Belvedere or lawn cypress): hardy, graceful green foliage, turning purple in autumn.
Koniga maritima (Sweet Alyssum) : hardy, I ft., white; fragrant, compact.
Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Pea): hardy; there are two races, dwarf and tall, the latter far and away the most beautiful requires support; various colours; numerous immensely popular forms.
Lavatera trimestris: hardy, 3 ft., pale-rose, showy malvaceous flowers.
Leptosiphon densiflorus: hardy in light soil, I ft., purplish or rosy-lilac.
Leptosiphon roseus: hardy in light soil, 6 in., delicate rose; fine in masses.
Linaria bipartita splendida: hardy, I ft., deep purple.
Linum grandiflorum: hardy, I ft., splendid crimson; var. roseum is pink.
Lupinus luteus: hardy, 2 ft., bright yellow, fragrant.
Lupinus mutabilis Cruickshanksii: hardy, 4 ft., blue and yellow; changeable.
Lupinus nanus: hardy, I ft., bluish-purple; abundant flowering.
Lychnis Coeli-rosa: hardy, 15 ft., rosy-purple, with pale centre; pretty.
Lychnis oculata cardinalis: hardy, Ij ft., rosy-crimson; very brilliant.
Malcolmia maritima (Virginian Stock): hardy, 6 in., lilac, rose or white.
Malope trifida: hardy, 3 ft., rich glossy purplish-crimson; showy. M. grandiflora is a finer plant in every way.
Matthiola annua (Ten-week Stock and its variety, the intermediate stock) : half-hardy, I to 2 ft., white, rose and red.
Matthiola graeca (Wallflowcr-lvd. Stock) : hardy, I ft., various as in Stock.
Mesembryanthemum tricolor: half-hardy, 3 in., pink and crimson, with dark centre.
Mimulus cupreus: half-hardy, 6 in., coppery red, varying considerably.
Mimulus luteus tigrinus: half-hardy, I ft., yellow spotted with red ; var. duplex has hose-in-hose flowers.
Mirabilis Jalapa: half-hardy, 3 ft., various colours; flowers evening-scented.
Nemesia floribunda : hardy, I ft., white and yellow; pretty and compact.
Nemophila insignis: hardy, 6 in., azure blue, with white centre.
Nemophila maculata: hardy, 6 in., white, with violet spots at the edge.
Nicotiana affinis: half-hardy, 2 to 3 ft., white.
Nicotiana Sanderae: half-hardy, 2 to 3 ft., white, crimson, scarlet, etc.
Nigella hispanica: hardy, ij ft., pale blue, white or dark purple.
Oenolhera odorata: hardy, 2 to 3 ft., yellow; fragrant.
Omphalodes linifolia (Venus's Navelwort) : hardy, I ft., white.
Papaver Rhoeas flore-pleno : hardy, 2 ft., scarlet and other colours; showy.
Papaver somniferum flore-pleno: hardy, 3 ft., white, lilac, rose, etc. ; petals sometimes fringed.
Petunia violacea hybrida: half-hardy, ij ft., various colours; sow in heat.
Pharbitis hispida: hardy, 6 ft., various; the many-coloured twining Convolvulus major.
Phlox Drummondii: half-hardy, ? ft., various colours.
Platystemon calif ornicus : hardy, I ft., sulphur yellow; neat and distinct.
Portulaca splendens: half-hardy, 6 in., crimson, rose, yellow, white, etc., single and double; splendid prostrate plants for sunny rockwork.
Pyrethrum Parthenium aureum: half-hardy, I ft.; grown for its golden foliage, and much used for bedding.
Reseda odorata (Mignonette) : hardy, I ft., greenish, but exquisitely fragrant ; there are some choice new sorts.
Rhodanthe maculata: half-hardy, ij ft., rosy-pink or white; larger flower-heads than the next.
Rhodanthe Manglesii: half-hardy, I ft., rosy-pink; a drooping everlasting.
Salpiglossis sinuata: half-hardy, 2 to 3 ft., yellow, purple, crimson, etc. ; much varied and beautifully veined.
Sanvitalia procumbens flore-pleno: half-hardy, 6 in., golden yellow; procumbent.
Saponaria calabrica: hardy, 6 to 8 in., bright rose pink or white; continuous blooming, compact-growing.
Scabiosa atropurpurea: hardy, I to 2 ft., rose, white, lilac, crimson, etc.
Schizanthus pinnalus: hardy, I to 2 ft., purple-lilac, prettily blotched; curiously lobed flowers.
Schizopetalon Walkeri: hardy, I ft., white, sweet-scented at night; curiously fringed petals.
Senecio elegans: half-hardy, ij ft., white, rose or purple; the various double forms are showy.
Silene pendula: hardy, I ft., bright rose pink; very showy in masses; var. compacta forms close dense tufts.
Silene Pseudo-Atocion: hardy, I ft., rose pink; free-flowering.
Specularia Speculum: hardy, 6 in., reddish-violet; free-flowering.
Sphenogyne speciosa: half-hardy, I ft., orange-yellow, with black ring around the disk.
Statice Bonduelli (Sea Lavender): half-hardy, ij ft., yellow.
5. Limonum: bluish purple.
5. sinuata: white, blue, yellow.
5. Suworowi: lilac.
Tagetes signata: half-hardy, ij ft., golden yellow; continuous blooming, with elegant foliage. The French and African marigolds, favourites of some, are allied to this.
Tropaeolum aduncum (Canary creeper) : half-hardy, 10 ft., yellow, fringed ; an elegant climber.
Tropaeolum majus (the nasturtium of gardens) : hardy. There are two races, dwarf and tall, various shades of red and yellow.
Waitzia aurea: half-hardy, ij ft., golden yellow; a showy everlasting.
Xeranthemum annuum flore-pleno: hardy, 2 ft., lilac-purple; floriferous.
Zinnia elegans: half-hardy, I to 2 ft., various colours.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)