27TH ANNUAL Catalogue






DAHLIA PLANTS 10¢ each 4 for 30¢ STRONG ROOTS 25¢ 4 for 75¢

Last edit 11 months ago by lelfrank


M. KURTZWELL, President. M. L. PAGE, Secretary.


CHAS. N. PAGE, Treasurer and Gen'l Manager

OFFICE OF Iowa Seed Company, 613-615 LOCUST STREET. Des Moines, Iowa, January 1, 1897.

TO OUR CUSTOMERS: For more than a quarter of a century our place of business has been known as THE IOWA SEED STORE, being the largest as well as the oldest seed concern in the state. In every neighborhood in the state our seeds are well known and popular, and our trade has extended to every state in the Union and our highest ambition is to deserve the title which has been applied to us, namely, "SEEDSMEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE."

While we are receiving a great many orders from South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, as well as many of the sea islands, still it is the home trade that we are the most anxious for, and we solicit the orders of everyone who uses seeds from Maine to California and from the lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

The soil and climate of Iowa are especially adapted to the perfect growth and maturing of seed crops, and for more than a quarter of a century we have devoted much time and labor to testing, experimenting, selecting and improving our various choice strains of seed.

Our new store is as conveniently arranged a building as there is in 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 warehouse, 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.

[image: three-story brick building with "IOWA SEED STORE" signage and people.] Our New Store- 44x133 feet.

THE ILLUSTRATION On the opposite page will give our out of town customers some idea of the internal arrangements of our store:

FIGURE 1 This is a photograph of our present retail store force. Many of these have been connected with the company from five to eight years. Only a portion of the large retail store room, which is 44x68 feet, is shown in this picture, while the wholesale room, of equal dimensions, lies just back of this. Near the center of this picture the president of this company stands with his hand on the shoulder of Chas. N Page, who for eleven years past has been the manager.

FIG. 2 The Bulk Garden Section.- Where all the varieties of vegetable seeds are arranged in bins and drawers.

FIG. 3 Packet Cases.- A long aisle, systematically arranged with numerous pigeon-holes on both sides, rising tier above tier. Here seeds in packets only are kept for filling mail orders.

FIG. 4.- Mailing Clerk's Department.- When an order has traveled through all the various departments and is completely filled, the shallow basket with the written order and parcels of seeds are brought to the mailing clerk and carefully checked to guard against possible mistakes. Shipments to go by freight are filled and checked in the wholesale department down stairs.

FIG. 5.- Represents a Packet Table.- It shows girls working at a large table where seeds of all varieties of flowers and vegetables are, by deft fingers, placed into packets by small graded measures with a precision and rapidity that is truly marvelous to the uninitiated.

FIG. 6.- The Printing Office.- Where from two to six printers are constantly employed upon our own work. Aside from what we do in our own printing office, we pay from $4,000.00 to $6,000.00 per year to other printing establishments.

Last spring we had a QUARTER CENTURY CELEBRATION at our store and invited our city customers to visit us. The large store was handsomely decorated and the noted Iowa State Band discoursed beautiful harmonies for the 5,000 to 6,000 city customers who visited us that day.

WE GROW OUR OWN SEEDS. Not all on our own place of course, as that would be impossible owing to the great number of varieties and their liability to cross if grown adjacent to each other. Our home farm of seventy acres is devoted to growing small items and stock seeds, which we place with practical seed growers and contract for the crop. The growing crop is then subject to our personal inspection at all times during the season, and is as carefully watched as the crop grown on our own place. We handle altogether about 2,000 varieties of seeds and it requires the crop of seeds from 4,500 acres to supply our trade.

Again thanking you for past favors, and respectfully soliciting a continuance of your patronage, we remain,


Bur Beadtung: Alle kriefe und Anfeagan in deutsher sprache werden von uns beantwortet; anh werden keftellungeu in deutsher sprache ebento prompt besorgt ale andere.


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 invariable 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 notes, 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. Each year we put up thousands of packets for 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 GUARANTEE.- 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.

[image: pointing hand] 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 other 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.


Last edit 11 months ago by lelfrank




Last edit 11 months ago by lelfrank




DAHLIAS. Exquisite New Varieties for 1897. These showiest of autumn flowers are again becoming popular favorites. Specialists have been quietly at work improving them for many years past and the result has been some most grand varieties. Last year we purchased about 100 varieties from the most noted Dahlia Specialist in the world, some of them costing us $1.00 each or more, so as to improve our large assortment, so that now we have the finest lot ever offered in any seed catalogue. When well grown the Dahlia is one of the most handsome flowers in the whole list, and especially those of the newer varieties, such as we offer. They are of sturdy growth and covered with hundreds of flowers. The secret of success in growing them lies in having a good, deep, mellow soil, deeply spaded and thoroughly enriched with well-rotted manure. During hot, dry weather we always give them an abundance of water, on plant as well as at the roots. Sprinkling the foliage daily tends to a vigorous healthy growth. Always put a strong stake by each plant and tie the plant. They well repay a little care and each plant will be a specimen to be proud of. Don't fail to try a few. There is such an endless variety that we think it best to describe only a few sorts. The first four are illustrated on cover of this catalogue. NYMPHAEA.--(The Pink Water Lily Dahlia.) This variety is the ideal cut flower Dahlia, commanding when cut a higher price than roses. The flowers are of perfect form, always full to the center; of exquisite finish, being soft, delicate, waxy and graceful. The color is a clear, bright shrimp pink, shading slightly darker toward the outer petals. The plant is very strong and vigorous and produces the flowers, which are borne on long stems well supplied with buds and foliage, in the greatest profusion until cut down by frost. See illustration first page of cover. Strong roots each 25c. GOLDEN BALL.--A most beautiful large, pure, deep yellow flower shaded with old gold. Perfectly double. A strong grower and most profuse bloomer; will be greatly admired wherever seen. Strong roots each 25 cents. CRIMSON KING.--A large ball-shaped flower of most handsome, rich, dark crimson glowing color, very double. Strong roots each 25c. SNOW FAIRY.--A little beauty which should be in every collection. The flowers are small, of a most pure, glistening snow white of beautiful quilled form, and borne profusely on long stems. A nice flower to mix with the larger sorts in bouquets. Strong roots 25c each. COLLECTION.--One strong root each of the four varieties named above for 75c. Plants 10c each, four for 30c. FERN LEAF BEAUTY.--This grand novelty is a great acquisition and probably the finest of all bedding Dahlias, being a new and distinct type with fern-like foliage and a dwarf, branching habit; color creamy white with a distinct margin of crimson around each petal. This attracted more attention than any other dahlia on our place because of its odd foliage and beauty. Strong roots 75c each. Plants 25c each. MRS. HAWKINS.--One of the most beautiful of the Cactus varieties and a general favorite; the flowers are large, perfectly formed, and of a rich soft sulphur, beautifully shaded toward the tips and margin of the petals. Strong roots each 40c. Plants 15c. PENELOPE.--Pure white, delicately flaked lavender; of beautiful form and always perfect; invaluable for cutting and decorations. Strong roots 25c each. Plants 15c. UNIQUE.--A splendid novelty. Center pure yellow, shaded old gold, tipped and margined rose and shades of blue, giving it a bluish bronze appearance; very beautiful, but not always full to the center. Strong roots 50c each. Plants 15c. EMPRESS OF INDIA.--A large, handsome show dahlia of perfect form. White striped with lilac. Strong roots 25c. Plants 10c. ARABELLA.--A magnificent flower and one of the lovliest [loveliest] foliage sorts, sulphur color shaded with bronzy purple and tipped pink and lavender. Strong roots each 25c. Plants 10c. OTHER VARIETIES.--We have about 200 other named varieties and if you will name the color desired we are sure we can select those which will please you. Strong roots 25c each, $2.50 per dozen. Plants 10c each, $1.00 per dozen. MIXED CACTUS.--This comparatively new class of Dahlias is becoming more popular every year. The flowers are very beautiful, though peculiar in form, somewhat resembling the blooms of the Cactus family. Hence the name "Cactus Dahlia." They grow tall, and branch and bloom freely, and are splendid for cutting. Each 20c, $2.00 doz. DOUBLE MIXED VARIETIES.--Contains a good proportion of the best scarlet, yellow and white varieties, besides many other shades which are most popular. Each 15c, doz. $1.50. FANCY DOUBLE MIXED.--The handsome tipped, striped, spotted and variegated sorts in a splendid mixture. Each 25c, doz. $2.25.


SINGLE MIXED.--This new series of the Dahlia family has become exceedingly fashionable owing to the value attached to the cut blooms, their airy butterfly-like forms giving flowers a grace never attained by the finest double sorts. The flowers range from 3 to 5 inches in diameter. Vastly different from the old single sorts and of much value for table or corsage bouquets. Each 15c, doz. $1.50. PLANTS.--Late in the season we frequently run out of dry bulbs of some of the sorts, and in such case we will furnish strong plants of the same variety which will be mailed at proper season for bedding out. We can furnish plants of any of the varieties not priced higher in above list for 10c each, $1.00 per dozen. THE DAHLIA BOOK.--The only American book on this subject, and it is a clear, concise, yet comprehensive treatise. Beautifully illustrated and printed on heavy enamel paper. Has chapters on the classification of varieties, propagation, soil and manure, cultivation, exhibitions, etc., etc. Should be in the hands of every one who has a dozen plants or more. Price 50c, postpaid, or we will send a copy free to anyone ordering Dahlias to the amount of $3.00 or more.

FLOWER SEED NOVELTIES. NEW PINK MARGUERITE CENTAUREA (Novelty 1897.) When the new Marguerite Centaurea was introduced a few years ago we thought it one of the handsomest flowers that we had ever seen, but it has sported in the garden of one of our customers and produced a most exquisite flower of same shape and size as the parent plant, but of a most beautiful shell pink color. Plant is about 15 inches in height and of the easiest culture, blooming freely from seed in a few weeks. The large flowers are deliciously scented, delicately lacinated and produced profusely on long stems which render them valuable for cutting. It is of most unique beauty and all our customers should have it in their gardens. Per pkt. 10c. CALIFORNIA YELLOW BELLS.--Forms a broad bush from 18 inches to 2 feet high; fairly loaded with bell-shaped, pedulous flowers, a 1/2 inch long, and of a delicate cream color. Pkt. 5c. SPOON GOURD.--Color creamy yellow, capped and striped green. A unique spoon or ladle. A useful article in many ways. Pkt. 5c.

BEGONIA ERFORDIA.--A little beauty and most profuse bloomer from early summer until late autumn; even a light frost will not hurt it. Color a lovely soft pink throughout. The leaves and leaf stalk are of a rich coppery bronze. Per pkt. 15c, 2 pkts. for 25c. PERENNIAL CHRYSANTHEMUMS.--From a supurb collection of the best varieties so cross fertilized that it wlll produce a wonderful variety of flowers, perhaps no two alike, and possibly some great novelties. They are easily grown from seed. Per pkt. 10c. GOLDEN GLORY CALLIOPSIS.--A continuous and persistent bloomer. The plants are a perfect glory of large golden blossoms; double the size of the older sort. They are prettily toothed at the edges. It is a fine winter bloomer. Per pkt 10c. DIAMOND FLOWER.--A dainty little annual with tufts of tiny foliage, and beautiful little white and blue flowers that bloom within a month from the time seed is sown. It will grow in the open ground, over rock-work or in pots, never exceeding three inches in height. Pkt. 8c.

NEW MAMMOTH HELIOTROPE.--Grown from seed, and from a single packet a large number of strong, healthy plants are produced which would cost 10 to 25c each at the florists. This supurb new variety is a strong grower, producing a constant succession of immense heads of flowers. In color it varies from almost a pure white to the most deep dark blue. Start seeds early in the house. Per pkt. 10c. NEW FANCY FLOWERING GIANT PETUNIAS.--Unquestionably the finest selection of petunias in existence. Of enormous size (four to five inches across), and exquisitely ruffled and fringed; of colors, markings, veinings, blotchings and stripings in the most grotesque and beautiful combinations. Pkt. 20c. RAINBOW COLEUS.--This is a greatly improved variety with wonderfully large leaves, which are curled, serrated, fringed and laciniated in a most beautiful manner. There is an almost endless variety of colors and shades which are varigated [variegated] and marbled in a regally brilliant manner. Per pkt. 15c.

Last edit 11 months ago by lelfrank



Grand Imperial Japanese Morning Glories. GIGANTIC FLOWERS. MAGNIFICENT FOLIAGE. EXQUISITE NEW COLORS. The vines of this new race of Ipomoeas are of strong and robust growth, attaining a height of from thirty to fifty feet. The foliage is most luxuriant, distinct and varied; some vines have rich, vivid green leaves, others have silvery leaves, some with yellow leaves, and many produce leaves mottled and checkered like rich mosaics of light and dark green, white and gray. But the surpassing charm of these Imperial Japanese Morning Glories lies in the entrancing beauty and gigantic size of the flowers; they measure from four to six inches across, and their greater substance causes them to remain open much longer than ordinary Morning Glories. The colors of the flowers, shadings and markings are limitless, and are really wonders of nature, of such incomparable beauty that descriptions are inadequate. Some flowers are of deep, rich velvety tones, others more daintily tinted and shaded than an artist's brush could portray. The solid colors range through reds from soft rose to crimson, bronze and garnet maroon; from daintiest light blue to ultramarine, indigo and blackish purple; from snow white to cream and silvery gray; some are striped, starred and spotted; others have magnificent edges and throats. Over 200 distinct varieties have been counted. They grow readily from the seed, delighting in plenty of manure, water and sunshine. Pinch back the vines so as to let them grow only 4 to 6 feet high and they will produce more flowers. The double flowering sorts are superb and must be seen to be appreciated to their full value. CHOICEST SINGLE MIXED.--Per pkt. 10c. CHOICEST DOUBLE MIXED.--Per pkt. 15c.

GIANT FLOWERED MORNING GLORIES. A mixture of choice, new, large flowering varieties. This includes the renowned "Heavenly Blue," the striped, blotched and marbled varieties, new yellow flowering, Japanese, etc. The plants are of vigorous, rapid growth, attaining a height of twenty to thirty feet. Per pkt. 5c, oz. 40c.

NEW DOUBLE-FLOWERED MORNING GLORIES. A splendid novelty of rapid growth, and produces its double flowers very freely. They are white with a slight spot of red or blue at the base of the larger petals. About 80 per cent of the seedlings will reproduce themselves true from seed; the remainder will flower semi-double or single. Seeds should be sown as early as the ground can be worked in the spring, or can be sown in the house and transplanted outside as soon as the weather permits, so that a long season of beautiful flowers may repay you. Truly a lovely addition to the floral kingdom. Per pkt. 10c.



CELOSIA "OSTRICH FEATHER." This new Feathered Celosia produces very large crimson plumes, which are exquisitely curved and curled, in exact resemblance of an ostrich feather. The plant grows about three feet high, is of handsome pyramidal form, and the numerous massive plumes, waving gracefully above the foliage, make it one of the most effective ornamental plants for either pot or out-door culture. It is of easy cultivation, requiring the same treatment as ordinary coxcomb. Pkt. 10c.

GOLDEN GLOW COXCOMB. Thousands of persons last summer visited the place where we have our flower seeds and bulbs grown and many were attracted to this charming novelty which was all aglow with its golden beauty. Plants are about eighteen inches high and produce handsome flowers six to ten inches in diameter and of a most bright, rich golden yellow color, different and more velvety than the yellow in any other flower that we know of. Sometimes the plant has only one large flower, and sometimes quite a number of smaller ones. Every flower lover should try it. Per pkt. 10c.

HIGHLAND PANSIES. The most equisite [exquisite] new varieties, grown by a celebrated pansy specialist in Scotland. Their merit consists of uniformly clear, distinct markings, high colors, perfect form and largest size. They are sure to please. Per pkt. 20c.


EARLY DAWN COSMOS. This new variety is bound to become popular on account of its extreme earliness. It blooms fully two months ahead of any other cosmos, making it of special value. Seeds sown in open ground in May produce blooming plants before the middle of July, or in about two months from the time of sowing, and continuing until destroyed by frost. The flowers are a little smaller than the late kinds, but its earliness and profusion of bloom through a much longer season will more than compensate for any lack of size. The plants have fine, feathery, light green foliage and delicate rose, purple, white and lilac flowers, which are produced on long stems and are very desirable for bouquets, as they will last a week after cutting. Well worthy of a trial by all who wish a free blooming plant of the easiest culture. Mixed colors, per pkt. 10c.

MAMMOTH PERFECTION COSMOS. The glory of the autumn garden. The flowers are double the size of the old large flowering cosmos, measuring 12 to 15 inches in circumference; the petals are broader and overlapping, forming a perfectly round flower deeply ribbed and of splendid substance. Flowers are white, pink or crimson, enlivening the garden long after more tender flowers have succumbed to early frost. If grown in pots and housed by the end of September they will flower all winter. Seed should be sown early in the house as they are quite late. Per pkt. 10c.

LEGION OF HONOR MARIGOLD. Now don't say, "It's only a marigold," and pass it by, for this is the prettiest of all, and in fact few would take it to belong to that family. It is dwarf, compact and of pyramidal growth, with dark green, fern-like leaves. The blooms are of medium size, rich golden yellow with the center of each petal broadly marked with velvety crimson brown. Per pkt. 5c.

SALMON QUEEN DIANTHUS. Its flowers are of a very distinct and perfectly new tint in this class, being of the most brilliant salmon color imaginable, changing into a salmony rose when fading. Per pkt. 10c.

Last edit 11 months ago by lelfrank
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