[From hedra, the Celtic name for cord.]
Hedera helix. - Common Ivy. - The ancients held Ivy in great esteem, and Bacchus is represented as crowned with it to prevent intoxication. It is a highly esteemed ornamental evergreen climber, and much used in England for covering naked buildings or trees, or for training into fanciful shapes, or a stake so as to form a standard.
In this country it is not very common, but it appears to-succeed well in shady situations. There are some speci-. mens in the city of Boston, which flourish finely upon the rough granite or brick walls of buildings. It is easily propagated by cuttings or layers. There are a number of varieties of this, all of which are desirable. It grows to a great height, and attaches itself firmly to whatever it grows upon, without any assistance.
Some of the species of this genus have been noticed under Herbaceous Plants.
Hypericum prolificum. - Shrubby St. John's-wort, is a native woody species worth cultivating. It is found in New Jersey and westward, grows from one to four feet high, and from July to September is covered with a profusion of yellow flowers.
Hibiscus Syriacus. - Tree Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon; also called Althaea frutex, Shrubby Althaea. - The herbaceous species of Hibiscus have been mentioned in another place; this is an old and well-known shrubby species of easy cultivation. A great number of varieties have been produced, both single and double, and ranging in color from white to dark-purple. The single varieties are generally more hardy than the double ones. Easily raised from seeds and from cuttings. It requires very severe pruning to keep it from growing loose and straggling.
[An ancient Latin name.]
An evergreen shrub or low tree, of which innumerable varieties have been raised. The silver and gold edged varieties are very beautiful. This species does not succeed well in this country, on account of our hot suns.
This species is found plentifully in some parts of Massachusetts and southward. Mr. Emerson says of it:- "The American Holly is a handsome low tree, with nearly horizontal branches, and thorny evergreen leaves. The berries are scarlet, and remain on the tree into winter.
The plants, formerly called Prinos, are now considered by botanists as deciduous species of Ilex.
This indigenous shrub, so ornamental in low grounds and swamps in autumn, is worthy of a place in every collection of shrubs. "It is a handsome shrub, five or six - rarely ten or twelve - feet high, with crowded branches and leaves, conspicuous for its bunches of axillary blossoms and scarlet berries, remaining late in the autumn, or even into the winter. The recent shoots are clothed with an apple-green bark, which, on the large branches, turns to a pearly gray, and, on the older stems, is of a polished and clouded dark color, whence the plant derives its common name." The flowers are white, and not very ornamental. The berries are of a bright scarlet, covering the twigs, the size of peas, in bunches of two or three, and remain long on the bush. The flowers expand in June; the berries are ripe in September. The Black Alder will require a peaty, moist soil.
"An elegant, delicate-looking, evergreen shrub, with slender branches, growing in sheltered places, to the height of from two to eight or nine feet. The elegance of the evergreen foliage causes it to be much sought after to be mingled with bouquets in winter; and for this purpose it is brought from considerable distances, and carefully kept in cellars, sometimes for months." The leaves are lance-shaped, an inch or more long, and one-third or half an inch wide.
[The name means a plant bearing Indigo.]
[From the Arabic jasmin, (ysmyn).]
Jasminum Officinale. - White Jasmine, is a native of the East Indies; it is an exceedingly elegant plant for training over a wall or arbor, and will bear the winter in the Middle States, with some protection. It is a delicate and fragrant shrub, not surpassed by any of the species. It is of this that Cowper speaks, in the following passage:
"The Jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets, The deep dark-green of whose unvarnished leaf Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more The bright profusion of her scattered stars."
In New Haven I have seen it in a garden, and was assured that it did not require protection there. The proper place for the Jasmines in Massachusetts, is the green-house.