New Plants from Afghanistan

by Max Leichtlin


Arnebia cornuta.—This is a charming novelty, an annual, native of Afghanistan. The little seedling with lancet-like hairy, dark green leaves, becomes presently a widely branching plant two feet in diameter and one and one-half feet high. Each branch and branchlet is terminated by a lengthening raceme of flowers. These are in form somewhat like those of an autumnal Phlox, of a beautiful deep golden yellow color, adorned and brightened up by five velvety black blotches. These blotches soon become coffee brown and lose more and more their color, until after three days they have entirely disappeared. During several months the plant is very showy, the fading flowers being constantly replaced by fresh expanding ones. Sown in April in the open border, it needs no care but to be thinned out and kept free from weeds. It must, however, have some soil which does not contain fresh manure.

Delphinium Zalil.—This, also, is a native of Afghanistan, but its character, whether a biennial or perennial, is not yet ascertained. The Afghans call it Zalil and the plant or root is used for dyeing purposes. Some years ago we only knew blue, white and purple larkspurs, and then California added two species with scarlet flowers. The above is of a beautiful sulphur yellow, and, all in all, it is a plant of remarkable beauty. From a rosette of much and deeply divided leaves, rises a branched flower stem to about two feet; each branch and branchlet ending in a beautiful spike of flowers each of about an inch across and the whole spike showing all its flowers open at once. It is likely to become a first rate standard plant of our gardens. To have it in flower the very first year it must be sown very early, say in January, in seed pans, and transplanted later, when it will flower from the end of May until the end of July. Moreover, it can be sown during spring and summer in the open air to flower the following year. It is quite hardy here.

Max Leichtlin