[Named in honor of Dierville, a French surgeon.]
This shrub was first introduced from Japan as a new genus, to which the name of Wiegela was given. Botanists have since placed it in the old genus Diervilla, hut the name Wiegela has become so well established that it will serve for the common name of the shrub, it being the only-one that it has. "When I first discovered this beautiful plant," says Mr. Fortune, the gentleman to whom we are indebted for its introduction, "it was growing in a Mandarin's garden, on the island of Chusan, and literally loaded with its fine rose-colored flowers, which hung in graceful bunches from the axils of the leaves and the ends of the branches. Everyone saw and admired the beautiful Wiegela. I immediately marked it as one of the finest plants in Northern China, and determined to send plants of it home in every ship, until I should hear of its safe arrival. It forms a neat bush, not unlike a Syringa in habit, deciduous in winter, and flowering in the months of April and May. One great recommendation to it is, that it is a plant of the easiest cultivation. Cuttings strike readily, any time during the winter and spring months, with ordinary attention, and the plant itself grows well in any ordinary soil. It should be grown in this country as it is in China, not tied up in that formal unnatural way in which we see plants brought to our exhibitions; but a main stem or two chosen for leaders, which, in their turn, throw out branches from their sides, and then, when the plant comes into bloom, the branches, which are loaded with beautiful flowers, hang down in graceful and natural festoons." Several fine varieties are now in cultivation. The variety amabilis, formerly considered a species, and called Wiegela amabalis, has a more drooping habit, rather larger leaves and somewhat smaller and deeper colored flowers. The variety Isoline has white flowers. Desboisii, has very dark flowers, and there are two varieties with variegated foliage. All that we have tried have proved as hardy as a Lilac, flower most profusely, and are very handsome and sweet-scented
[Dirca is the name of a fountain near Thebes, and probably applied to this plant because it grows near mountain rivulets.]
Dirca palustris. - Leather-wood, Wicopy. - This is a much branched shrub, from three to six feet high, found in wet, marshy and shady places. It is conspicuous, when in flower in April, for the number of yellow blossoms, which fade and fall rapidly as the leaves expand. The wood is very pliable, and the bark of singular toughness and tenacity. It has such strength, that a man cannot pull apart so much as covers a branch of half or third of an inch in diameter. It is used by millers and others for thongs. The aborigines used it as a cordage.
[Euonymus was a heathen divinity; according to' Epimenides she was the mother of (he Furies by Saturn.] "
An elegant shrub, growing eight to fifteen feet high, producing rather inconspicuous purple flowers in clusters, which are succeeded by brilliant scarlet fruit, that remains after the foliage has fallen; highly ornamental. The foliage is handsome; the branches erect, of a fresh green color. There is a variety with purplish-red berries, and another with white berries. Upon the opening of the valves which enclose the seeds, the white variety shows to great advantage, the valves being white, and the berry-like seeds a light scarlet. The fruit is produced in great profusion.
Plants may be raised from seed, which should be planted in autumn; or by layers or cuttings.
This is a handsome evergreen shrub, with deep shining-green leaves, with a variety having silver-edged leaves. The European species and varieties are somewhat tender in this latitude. They should be planted in a sheltered, shady place.
[Named after Doct. Hales, author of Vegetable Statics.]
A native of Virginia and southward, where it is found on the banks of rivers. An ornamental shrub five or six feet high, which, in May, produces flowers in small bunches, all along its branches; each bud produces from four to nine flowers, of a snowy whiteness; these appear before the leaves, and last for two or three weeks.
This is also a native of the Southern States, but is hardy at the North. It is much less common than the last. It has leaves twice as broad and flowers of "a larger size, and the pods have only two wings. It blossoms three or four weeks later than the four-winged species. Both are raised from seeds and by layers.