Lantana.—These dwarf, bushy, half-hardy perennial shrubs bear Verbena-like blossoms. They like a dry and warm situation and rich, light soil. The seed is sown in March to produce summer and autumn blooming plants. If cuttings are placed in sand, in heat, they will take root easily. Height, 1 ft. to 1-1/2 ft.
Lapageria Rosea.—A beautiful climbing plant which bears large rose-coloured flowers in May. It can be grown in any light, rich soil, but a compost of leaf-mould, sand, and peat suits it best. It makes a very desirable greenhouse plant, and can be increased either by cuttings or by division. Lapagerias require partial shade, plenty of water, and good drainage. Height, 10 ft.
Lardizabala Biternata.—This climbing shrub has fine ornamental foliage. It is most suitable for a south or west aspect, where it proves hardy; in other positions protection should be afforded. It will grow in any good soil. May is the month in which it flowers. Height, 20 ft.
Larkspur.—The Stock-flowered Larkspur is of the same habit as the Dutch Rocket, but has longer spikes and larger and more double flowers. The Hyacinth-flowered is an improved strain of the Rocket. Among other of the hardy annual varieties may be mentioned the Candelabrum-formed, the Emperor, and the Ranunculi-flowered. They are charming flowers for beds or mixed borders, and only require the same treatment as ordinary annuals, when they will flower in June. Height, 1 ft. to 2-1/2 ft. For perennial Larkspurs, see “Delphinium.”
Lasiandra.—Stove evergreen shrubs, flourishing best in a mixture of equal parts of loam, peat, and sand. They are propagated by cuttings of the young wood, plunged in heat. July is their flowering month. Height, 5 ft.
Lasthenia.—A hardy annual of a rather pretty nature, suitable for flower-beds or borders. Autumn is the best time for sowing the seed, but it may also be sown early in the spring. It blooms in May. Height, 1 ft.
Lathyrus.—Handsome plants when in flower, the larger kinds being well adapted as backgrounds to other plants in the shrubbery, where they will require supports. They may be planted in any garden soil, and can be increased by seed, and some of the perennial kinds by division of the root. L. Latifolia (Everlasting Pea) flowers in August, other varieties at different times, from May onwards. Height, 1 ft. to 8 ft.
Laurel.—Laurels will grow in any good garden soil. They are grown both as bushes and standards, and require but little attention beyond watering. The standards are produced by choosing a young Portugal plant and gradually removing the side-shoots on the lower part of the stem, and when the desired height is reached a well-balanced head is cultivated, any eyes that break out on the stem being rubbed off with the thumb. Lauro Rotundifolia is beyond dispute the best of all Laurels; it is of free growth and of dense habit, and its leaves are roundish and of a lively green. (See also “Epigaea.”) All Laurels may be propagated by cuttings and by layers, the latter being the plan usually adopted.