26TH ANNUAL CATALOGUE 1896
[image of a woman in a red dress waving an american flag in a field of sweet peas. a child in a cupid costume is facing her. insert of a sweet pea flower with a heart shaped border]
IOWA SEED CO DES MOINES, IOWA "SEEDSMEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE"
Cupid Sweet Peas See Page 9 15 cts. per packet Large Packet 25 cts
[logo] Seeds Bulbs Only One Quality THE BEST Plants Tools
M. KURTZWEIL, President. M. L. PAGE, Vice-Preident.
ESTABLISHED 1871. INCORPORATED 1889.
L. W. TERRY, Secretary. CHAS. N. PAGE, Treas. and Mgr.
. . . . OFFICE OF . . . .
Iowa Seed Company, 613- 615 LOCUS STREET.
Des Moines, Iowa, January 1, 1896.
[image] Our New Store - 44 x 122 feet.
HEARTY greetings and good wishes are hereby extended to our many friends and customers, and we thank you for your orders during the past year which was the most prosperous season that we have ever had. The number of orders and total cash receipts were more than 40 per cent larger than the previous year. The demand for our CHOICE IOWA SEEDS is becoming more extended, and orders are now being received not only from all parts of the United States, but also from many foreign countries. We are not, however, catering to the trade of foreign countries, as it is our aim to offer nothing which is not fully adapted to culture here. In examining foreign catalogues it is interesting to note how much value and importance they attach to being "Seedsmen to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria," or to "His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales," or to "His Most August Majesty, Emperor William of Germany." With us, our highest ambition is to be known throughout the country as the "Seedsmen to the American People." By this we mean not only the native born Americans, but all residents of this country. Many of our most valued customers came from other lands, and, in fact, one of the proprietors of this company is of foreign birth, but he is now just as loyal as anyone to our beloved country. We claim that the soil and climate of Iowa are especially adapted to the perfect growth and maturing of seed crops, and for a quarter of a century we have been located here and devoted much time and labor to testing, experimenting, selecting and improving our various choice strains of seed. If you think that our years of practical study of varieties suited to culture in this locality would be of benefit to you, we solicit your orders and will do our best to please you. With few exceptions all of our crops are good this year. Our new store is as conveniently arranged a building as there is America for the seed business and orders can be filled with great rapidity, our mail during the busy season averaging 1,000 to 1,800 letters and postals per day. About five blocks away, located beside the railroad tracks is our warehouses, where large quantities of seed are stored and hauled to our city store as needed, no orders being filled from the warehouse except carload lots. FARMERS.- It will pay every farmer to thoroughly examine our field seed department. This is a specialty with us and we believe that there is no seed firm in the country which gives more close attention to growing and handling farm seeds. We have many desirable new sorts, and it will pay you well to renew your seed corn, oats, etc., with better and more profitable varieties. Iowa grown seeds are the best. Again thanking you for past favors, and respectfully soliciting a continuance of your patronage, we remain, Your friends, IOWA SEED COMPANY.
[image. Medal with the inscription: IOWA STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY 1895. Awarded to Iowa Seed Co. Des Moines Best and Largest Exhibit of Field Garden and Flower Seeds.] Medal awarded to us at the Iowa State Fair, 1895.
SUGGESTIONS TO CUSTOMERS.
ORDER EARLY.- The best time to order is just as soon as you receive this catalogue, as we can always give your orders more of our personal attention if they come in before the rush of the spring trade. Please use the order sheet, as it makes it more convenient for us in filling orders. Terms are invariably cash with order, as we keep no book accounts in our mail order department, and the expense of sending goods C. O. D. is quite large. Postage stamps received as cash.
SHIPPING.- There are five express companies and fifteen railroads centering at Des Moines, so that quick shipments can be made to any town in the United States.
CHARGES PREPAID.- All Vegetable and Flower Seeds, Bulbs and Plants, except those noted, are sent prepaid by mail or express by the quickest and most direct route, unless ordered otherwise, and we guarantee their safe arrival. Seeds sold by the peck or bushel, field seeds, potatoes, implements, and other heavy goods are sent by freight or express, purchaser paying charges.
TESTING.- All seeds are carefully tested, and nothing sent out which we do not believe to be good in every respect.
OUR PRICES.- Our constant aim is to make the highest quality the first consideration, and next to put our prices as low as good reliable seeds can be sold.
DISCOUNTS.- ON ALL ORDERS FOR SEEDS IN PACKETS the purchaser may select twenty-five cents' worth extra for each one dollar sent us. This refers only to seeds in packets, not in bulk. For other discounts see heading of the respective classes of goods. Each year we put up thousands of packets of seeds for free distribution among our customers, by adding liberally of them to orders. We will allow you a discount of ten cents per pound on vegetable seeds, such as are listed as prepaid, if you are willing to have them sent by express or freight at your expense.
SMALL ORDERS.- If you only want a single packet, do not hesitate to send for it. We take as much pains to fill small orders promptly and correctly as we do large ones. Orders for Flower Plants and Nursery Stock, however, must amount to at least fifty cents.
NEWSPAPERS.- Your choice of a year's subscription to either the Western Garden, Rural Northwest, Farm Journal (Phila.) or American Corn Journal to anyone ordering seeds to the amount of $1.00 or more and asking for it in place of other premium.
WHAT WE GUARENTEE.- That all money sent us for seed shall reach us if sent by registered letter, P. O. or express money order or bank draft, made payable to our order. That your order will be filled promptly and well. That goods ordered will reach you safely. KEEP A COPY of your order. Sometimes persons think that they have ordered articles which they have omitted, and blame us for not sending them.
NOTICE.- The importance of GOOD SEEDS cannot be overestimated, and we are certain that after a trial all our customers will agree that our seeds are the purest and best to be had. Still, when it is considered how many are the contingencies on which the success of any crop depends, our customers will readily see that it would be sheer folly for any one to warrant them to produce a perfect crop and we want it distinctly understood that while we exercise the greatest care to have all seeds pure and reliable, and also true to name, we do not give any warranty, express or implied. If the purchaser does not accept the seeds on these terms and conditions, they are to be returned at once, and money that has been paid for same will be refunded. No officer, agent or employee of this company is authorized to make any warranty whatsoever. However, we have so much confidence in our seeds that we hereby agree to refill any retail order for vegetable or flower seeds free of charge should they prove otherwise than as we represent them. We know of no responsible seed firm in the world who guarantees seeds any further than this. Compare with other seed catalogues and you will find that we are right.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY.- As this book will probably go into the hands of many who are unacquainted with us, this question will naturally arise, and in answer to the same we refer you by permission to the Valley National Bank of this city, to the postmaster, or to any of the various express companies.
MARKET GARDENERS and others who buy VEGETABLE SEEDS IN BULK to the amount of $5.00 or more, are requested to send for our Market Gardeners' Price List. This list for market gardeners is intended only for large buyers, and is exclusively for those who order vegetable seeds alone by weight or measure amounting to $5.00 or over. Club orders which call for this amount of bulk seeds altogether are entitled to these prices.
WE ARE ALWAYS PLEASED TO RECEIVE SAMPLES OF ANY NEW, RARE OR SUPERIOR SEEDS YOU MAY SEND US FOR TRIAL.
3 IOWA SEED COMPANY, DES MOINES, IOWA.
Novelties and Specialties for 1896.
"WHAT have you that is especially new and desirable this year?" is the first question asked us by many of our patrons. In the following pages on pink paper we give special prominence to some of our most important novelties and specialties for this year. Each is faithfully described from careful observation. All are worthy and recommended by us. Aside from these many desirable novelties will be found listed in various parts of the catalogue as well as the standard sorts which everyone wants for stand-bys.
NOVELTIES ON COVER OF CATALOGUE.
The following seven excellent varieties will be found illustrated in colors on the back cover of this catalogue. We want everyone to try them this year and therefore offer one packet of each for only TWENTY-FIVE CENTS.
NEW ROSE TURNIP RADISH. There is a greater variety of color in radishes than in any other root crop grown, but a rose-colored variety is, indeed, an acquisition. This is one of the best radishes we have ever seen, and is novel, eminently useful and beautiful. It is similar to the round, forcing varieties in shape and size, and has every feature of good selection, such as a small, compact top and a miniature root. It is very early, requiring only twenty-three days to mature it, and remains in good condition for ten days, even in a trying season. But, undoubtedly, its chief charm is in its color, which is a soft, rosy pink. A most attractive radish in the bunch, and its appearance is incomparable when prepared for the table. Per pkt. 10c, oz. 20c.
WASHINGTON WAKEFIELD CABBAGE. Last year we furnished seed of this grand new variety to fully ten thousand (10,000) gardeners in almost every state in the Union, and everywhere it has given the best of satisfaction, and is admitted to be the best early cabbage now on the market. See description on page 25. Per pkt. 10c, oz. 30c, 1/4 lb. $1.00, lb. $3.25.
[image] NEW ROSE TURNIP RADISH.
WONDERFUL SUGAR WATERMELON. When making a tour among our seed growers during the past summer, we were greatly pleased with this variety, which we found growing in Nebraska. The gentleman on whose place they were growing is an enthusiast on melons, and after testing quite a number of varieties, all persons present united in pronouncing the Wonderful Sugar by far the best. It is a large melon, averaging about 35 pounds each. They are long, rather light-colored, mottled, and irregularly striped with dark green; rind rather thin but tough. Flesh a delicate red, and the most tender, juicy and luscious that can be imagined. Everyone who has a place to grow melons should try this splendid new variety. Per pkt. 10c, oz. 20c, 1/4 lb. 60c, lb. $1.75.
MARKET GARDENERS' BEET. Without question the best beet for family gardens, both for early and main crop. Description and illustration will be found on page 22. Per pkt. 5c, oz. 10c, 1/4 lb. 35c, lb. $1.00.
EARLY SUNRISE SWEET CORN. This splendid new variety which we introduced originated with a market gardener in the western part of the state, and for eight years he has been carefully selecting it to an ideal size and shape, and also the earliest maturing. In this way he has finally obtained this variety, which is distinct from all others. The ears are about six inches long and well filled out at the end, the husk covering so completely and being so tight as to prevent the work of worms, which are so bad on the Cory. The grains are fairly deep and are set in straight rows on small white cobs; very uniform and handsome. It is quite productive and of as good flavor as any corn we ever tasted. Don't fail to try it. Market gardeners will find the Early Sunrise a most profitable and satisfactory variety. For price on large lots see page 47. Per pkt. 5c, [illegible] pt. 15c, qt. 50c, postpaid.
NEW MIGNONETTE LETTUCE. A most unique and attractive new sort. The entire plant measures only seven inches in diameter, and is more solid and compact than any other existing variety. The outer leaves are few, and these cling so closely to the head that it is almost true to say it is all head. The small surface of the leaves which are separated from the head is deeply crumpled as in a Savoy cabbage, and richly colored with russet red and bronze green of varying shades. The cut shown in plate exhibits very truly the character of the plant, which is distinct, not only in its solidity, but also in color. The heart is a charming combination of creamy yellow waved with pale greenish white. It is very hardy, resisting drouth and excessive moisture with equal success -a most valuable feature in our climate. It is fit for use early, which, combined with its long standing character, constitutes it an all-seasons variety in the superlative degree. Per pkt. 5c.
[image] EARLY SUNRISE SWEET CORN.
4 SEED CATALOGUE AND GARDEN GUIDE.
NEW IDEAL MAMMOTH RHUBARB (Novelty 1896). The rhubarb (or pieplant) is a vegetable which it is difficult to improve and it takes many years to fully establish a new variety. About twenty- five years ago Dr. Kennicott, of Illinois, in growing roots from seed found only which was superior to and different from all others that he saved it carefully, and root has been divided and propagated from year to year until finally we purchased the stock. Like all other highly improved sorts it seeds very sparingly, and comes more nearly true to name when grown from seed than most other sorts. The stalks are fully as large, if not larger, than the Victoria, and are produced in greater abundance. We have no hesitancy in calling it the most vigorous and productive variety known. Quality is unsurpassed. Per pkt. 10c, 3 pkts. for 25c.
AMERICAN MAMMOTH BRUSSELLS SPROUTS. This rich but long neglected vegetable is becoming more and more popular. We are able to offer to our customers this season seed of a new and greatly superior variety, of American-grown seed which has the great merit of forming heads ready for picking about three weeks earlier than other varieties which are raised from imported stocks. It has the additional merit of making stronger plants and making more heads. A friend picked this year from a single plant more than two quarts of heads. A profitable crop for market gardeners. One gardener near New York City last year made $500.00 on a crop of two acres of this improved variety. We want everyone to try them this year. Per pkt. 10c, oz. 40c, 1/4 lb. $1.25.
[image] NEW IDEAL MAMMOTH RHUBARB.
IOWA MASTODON MELON. The most extraordinary new variety which has been offered for many years, will create a sensation wherever seen- and we control the entire stock, so that you cannot purchase it elsewhere this year. It is from Japan, and just a few seeds were sent to a friend over in this country. This friend knew of our interest in novelties and brought in specimens of the melon. One weighed 23 1/2 pounds and the other 25 pounds. We at once secured the entire crop, although but a few vines. The melons are of monstrous size, and greatly resemble the common Yankee Field pumpkin; so nearly in fact, as to even deceive us at first sight. The flesh is a clear, creamy white, fully 3 1/2 inches thick and of excellent flavor; it is tender and sweet up to the rind, which is thin and tough. In packets only of 25 seeds in each. Per pkt. 10c, 3 pkts. 25c, 7 for 50c, 16 for $1.00,
LEMON BLUSH TOMATO. It was with little confidence that we gave this variety a place in our trial grounds, but we admit that we were greatly and agreeably surprised, and our farm superintendent pronounces it the nearest approach to a perfect tomato that has been produced up to this time. The skin and flesh are a bright lemon yellow, with a faint rose blush or light crimson tint diffused over part of the surface opposite the stem. The plant is a vigorous grower, ripening its fruit abundantly in mid-season. It may never become a popular market sort, but anyone desiring a choice table variety for home consumption should not fail to have it. Per pkt. 10c, oz. 50c
[image. Iowa Mastodon]
IMPROVED DANISH BALLHEAD CABBAGE. This variety has been selected and perfected for more than fifty years by the Danish gardeners. They prize it so highly that they grow it almost exclusively for winter cabbage, and annually export large quantities to London, Paris and other sorts. It will stand long journeys and keep far into the spring, and is of most rich and mild taste. Heads round as a ball, of good size, solid and very fine grained. Has but few outer leaves, thus admitting of close planting. Medium size and hardest of all; tender and crisp with but little waste heart. Flavor unexcelled. Per pkt. 5c, oz. 25c, 1/4 lb, 85c, lb. $2.75.
[image. Zigzag Evergreen Sweet Corn.]
NEW ZIGZAG EVERGREEN SWEET CORN. The illustration (taken from a photograph of a dried ear) gives a good idea of the character of this corn, which all unite in pronouncing the grandest and most distinct late corn ever sent out. Stowell's Evergreen has heretofore been the standard and favorite variety, but it must now take second place, as the Zigzag excels it in all important points. It is sweeter. It is much more productive (yielding two to four ears to the stalk), and it remains fit for use longer than the Stowell's or any other variety. The Michigan Agricultural Experiment station writes: "Ears of good size and well filled out. It reaches maturity with the Stowell's Evergreen and continues to furnish edible corn longer than any corn we have ever tested. Its season this year extended over a period of three weeks, when it was cut by frost. At that time it looked as green and vigorous as ever." Private planters and market gardeners who try this corn wlll use no other late variety. For canning it is unequaled. Per pkt. 5c, 1/2 pt. 15c, qt. 50c.
NEW ICEBERG LETTUCE. There is no handsomer or more solid cabbage lettuce in cultivation- in fact, it is strikingly beautiful. The large, curly leaves which cover the outside of the solid heads are of a bright, light green with a very slight reddish tinge at the edges; they have small indents with are constantly filled with dewdrops. They are thus kept fresh, and show a remarkable crystalline appearance, which well warrants the name of Iceberg. The unusual solidity of the heads is insured by the large, white main ribs of leaves, each of which, curving strongly towards the center, acts like a truss, making it impossible for the leaves to open outward and expose the center which is consequently thoroughly blanched. Whether in early spring or the hottest days in summer, the quality is simply perfect. Surpassingly fine for the home garden and equally valuable for market. Per pkt. 5c, oz. 20c, 1/4 lb. 65c.
[image] New Iceberg Lettuce.
5 IOWA SEED COMPANY, DES MOINES, IOWA.
JUNO PEAS. We have no hesitation in saying that it is by far the best wrinkled pea of its class to-day. It has very robust vines, stout, straight pods, and usually borne in pairs. The pods are very thick, broadbacked all the way up and filled from the stem to the tip with seven to nine sweet, delicious, dark green peas of immense size. Its height is two feet, and its season from medium early to main crop. Destined to become a standard variety. Per pkt. 5c, 1/2 pt. 15c, qt. 50c.
DELICATA SQUASH. When we first saw this new variety we were not at all pleased with its appearance, as it is anything but handsome, and would not sell well in the market. We were, however, Obliged to admit that it was very prolific, averaging 14 fruits to the vine, and it was the earliest of any vining squash on our place. When we tried it on the table we were really surprised at its extremely rich flavor, fine quality, dry and excellent. We highly recommend it for private use. It keeps well. Per pkt. 5c, oz. 15c, 1/4 lb. 50c, lb. $1.50.
[image] JUNO PEAS.
ORANGE WATERMELON. Everyone knows what a bother watermelon rinds are on the table, and were it not for this trouble, the watermelon would be still more popular as a dessert fruit. This difficulty is now overcome, and the Orange will make the handsomest ornament ever set on the festive board, and will attract universal attention. The great peculiarity of this melon is that the rind naturally separates from the flesh when ripe, and with a slight use of a knife between the segments, can be removed like the rind of an orange, leaving a most beautiful fruit for the center of the table. The illustration shown herewith was made from an average size, twelve-pound melon and well shows the shape and peculiar manner of separating. Quality is excellent, tender, juicy and sweet. We want everyone to try it, and have therefore made prices low. Per pkt. 5c, oz. 15c, 1/4 lb. 50c, lb. $1.50.
SWEET HEART WATERMELON. An entirely distinct and new watermelon which is early, large, handsome, heavy, good shipper, long keeper, bright color, and of the best quality. Carloads of Sweet Hearts were sold at fancy prices in the market when no other sorts were salable. Its vines are vigorous and productive, ripening its fruit early. The fruit is large, oval, very heavy, uniformly mottled light and dark green. Rind thin but firm. The flesh is bright red, firm, solid but very tender, melting and sweet. Fruit remains in condition for use longer than any other sort. This variety originated as a sport in the field of a prominent melon grower and he has grown it several years and received fancy prices for his melons. It is sure to become one ot the most popular sorts in cultivation. No melon grower should be without it. Per pkt. 5c, oz. 15c. 1/4 lb. 40c, lb. $1.25.
[image] ORANGE WATERMELON.
GRAND RAPIDS MUSK MELON. One week earlier than any other variety. The main characteristic of this melon is its extreme earlines. Grand Rapids is well known on account of its progressive market gardeners, and in that wide awake city the Grand Rapids melon has been on the market two weeks earlier than any other sort, and sold readily at $2.50 per dozen to hotels and fancy grocers, while melons grown in the south were practically unsalable. There is no question that it is bound to supersede the Extra Early Hackensack, as it is at least two weeks earlier. The flesh is pure yellow, clear to the rind; skin finely netted. The handsome appearance of this melon is sure to attract attention. To attain the best results, and to show its remarkable earliness and prolificness, we would advise our customers to pinch off the runners; while it has no tendency to run more than other varieties, at the same time by throwing the growth into fruit, it makes the fruit of larger size and earlier. Per pkt. 5c, oz. 15c, 1/4 lb. 50c, lb. $1.50.
BERGEN FLEETWING PEAS. We are glad to introduce this grand new variety to our customers. It is one of the earliest in existence. Matures about the same time as Alaska, is of the same height and stands up better. It is very prolific, even in ripening, about ninety per cent can be taken at the first picking. Pods of good size, containing seven to nine peas each. A good sort for market gardeners. Per pkt, 5c, 1/2 pt. 15c, qt. 50c.
[image] SWEET HEART WATERMELON.