Type of Flower
Loasa is a genus of ornamental flowering plants, from Chile and Peru,which belongs to the family Loasaceae. These plants are usually prickly herbs, or subshrubs, and they are native of tropical America.
These are elegant colors flowers, very curious in their structure but the plants possess one quality which must forever banish them from the pleasure garden.the whole plant is covered with hairs, which, on being even slightly touched, eject a poison into the flesh, causing a painful blister, the effect of which does not pass off for several days.
The flowers of Loasa are both beautiful and curiously formed, but the plants have a stinging property. They grow well in any loamy soil, and are easily increased by seed sown in spring. Flowers are produced in June and July.
Their height is about two feet. Besides the annuals there is a half-hardy climber and attaining the height of ten or twelve feet.
The chief kinds are Loasa (Eucnide) hispida, lemon-yellow, marked with green and white; L. nitida, trailing, yellow, with red base; and L. vulcanica, white, with red and white centre. All bloom in August and September.
They grow for 2-3 ft. in height, and have deeply lobed leaves, with serrate (notched) edges, and measure from 3-6 in. in width. The flowers which are showy and borne in the axils of the leaves, are produced in small clusters or sometimes singly. They measure 1 in. in diameter and are red, white or yellow.
Although these plants are very attractive they are not widely cultivated, because the leaves sting to such an extent to cause acute pain for several days. The meaning of the name Loasa is unknown. It is the old original South American name for the plants.
The seeds are sown, early in March, in a greenhouse with a minimum temperature of 55 degrees in a compost of equal parts of loam leafmould and silver sand, which is passed through a sieve with 1/8-in. mesh, and pressed down lightly.
As soon as the seedlings have formed two pairs of leaves they are potted singly in small pots and, later on, transfer to 5-in. pots. When well rooted in these they are gradually hardened off and planted out of doors in June. They require a warm sunny position, preferably against a wall or fence. Ordinary garden soil is suitable, but it must be deeply dug and enriched with well-decayed manure. The climbing kinds are supported by pea-sticks or planted against a trellis, to which the shoots readily cling.
They may also be grown in a greenhouse; the seedlings are raised and treated in the manner already advised, but they are set in large pots or tubs and the shoots of the climbing kinds provided with stakes or wires.