A New Departure in Chrysanthemums

by A. H. Fewkes


Fig. 1.--Chrysanthemum—Mrs. Alpheus Hardy.
Fig. 1.—Chrysanthemum—Mrs. Alpheus Hardy.


THE Chrysanthemum of which the figure gives a good representation is one of a collection of some thirty varieties lately sent from Japan to the lady for whom it has been named, Mrs. Alpheus Hardy of Boston, by a young Japanese once a protégé of hers, but now returned as a teacher to his native country. As may be seen, it is quite distinct from any variety known in this country or Europe, and the Japanese botanist Miyabe, who saw it at Cambridge, pronounces it a radical departure from any with which he is acquainted.

The photograph from which the engraving was made was taken just as the petals had begun to fall back from the centre, showing to good advantage the peculiarities of the variety.

The flower is of pure white, with the firm, long and broad petals strongly incurved at the extremities. Upon the back or  outer surface of this incurved portion will be found, in the form of quite prominent hairs, the peculiarity which makes this variety unique.

Fig. 2.--Hair from Petal of Chrysanthemum
Fig. 2.—Hair from Petal of Chrysanthemum, much enlarged. a—resin drop. b—epidermis of petal with wavy cells.

These hairs upon close examination are found to be a glandular outgrowth of the epidermis of the petals, multi-cellular in structure and with a minute drop of a yellow resinous substance at the tip. The cells at first conform to the wavy character of those of the epidermis, but gradually become prismatic with straight walls, as shown in the engraving of one of the hairs, which was made from a drawing furnished by Miss Grace Cooley, of the Department of Botany at Wellesley College, who made a microscopic investigation of them.

This is one of those surprises that occasionally make their appearance from Japan. Possibly it is a chance seedling; but since one or two other specimens in the collection are striking in form, and others are distinguished for depth and purity of color, it is more probable that the best of them have been developed by careful selection.

This Chrysanthemum was exhibited at the Boston Chrysanthemum Show last December by Edwin Fewkes & Son of Newton Highlands, Mass.