|Known as Mesembryanthemum
Dolabriforme, Hatchet Leav'd or Fig-Marigold, this is plant from
Icosandria Pentagynia family.
Though many Latin names of
plants, as Geranium, Hepatica, Convolvulus, etc. are more familiar to the
ear, and more generally used than their English ones, yet Mesembryanthemum
though used by some, appears too long to be generally adopted, its English
name of Fig Marigold is doubtless to be preferred.
The Fig Marigolds are a very
numerous tribe, chiefly inhabitants of the Cape of Good Hope; no less than
thirty-three species are figured in that inestimable work the Hortus Elthamensis
of Dillenius. As most of these plants grow readily from slips, or cuttings,
and require only the shelter of a common greenhouse, and as they recommend
themselves to our notice, either from the extreme singularity of their
foliage, the beauty of their flowers, or the peculiarity of their expansion,
so they are a favourite class of plants with many.
The present species is a
native of the Cape of Good Hope, and is particularly distinguished by having
leaves somewhat resembling a hatchet, whence its name; it is as hardy as
most, and flowers as freely, but its blossoms fully expand in the evening
and night only. It is very readily propagated by cuttings.