This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Viburnum Tinus. Common Laurustinus.
Calyx 5-partitus, superus. Cor. 5-fida. Bacca 1-sperma.
VIBURNUM Tinus foliis integerrimis ovatis: ramificationibus venarum subtus villoso-glandulosis. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. p. 294.
LAURUS sylvestris, corni faeminae foliis subhirsutis. Bauh. Pin. 461.
The wild Bay-tree. Park. Parad. p. 400.
We scarcely recollect a plant whose blossoms are so hardy as those of the Laurustinus, they brave the inclemency of our winters, and are not destroyed but in very severe seasons.
The beauties of this most charming shrub can be enjoyed by those only who cultivate it at some little distance from town, the smoke of London being highly detrimental to its growth.
It is a native of Portugal, Spain, and Italy.
Botanists enumerate many varieties of the Laurustinus, and so considerably do some of these differ, that Miller has been induced to make two species of them, which he distinguishes by the names of Virburnum Tinus and V. lucidum; the last of these is the most ornamental, and at the same time the most tender; there are some other trifling varieties, besides those, with variegated leaves, or the gold and silver-striped.
It is only in very favourable situations that these shrubs ripen their seeds in England, hence they are most commonly propagated by layers, which readily strike root: Miller says, that the plants raised from seeds are hardier than those produced from layers.
It thrives best in sheltered situations and a dry soil.