This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Latin, decumus, tenth, referring to the number of the parts of the flower). Saxifragaceae. Climbing shrubs, cultivated for their handsome glossy foliage and clusters of attractive white flowers.
Climbing by aerial rootlets: leaves deciduous, opposite, petioled: flowers in terminal peduncled corymbs, small, white, perfect; sepals and petals 7-10; stamens 20-30: fruit a 5-10-celled ribbed caps, opening between the ribs, with numerous minute seeds. - One species in E. N. Amer. and one in China.
These are ornamental climbing shrubs with handsome glossy foliage and fragrant white flowers, forming a corymb of feathery appearance, well adapted for covering walls, rocks, trellis work and trunks of trees; tender, but the American species survives in sheltered positions as far north as Massachusetts, while the Chinese is more tender. They thrive in almost any humid soil. Propagation is by greenwood cuttings in summer under glass, rarely by seeds.
Linn. (D. sarmentosa, Bosc). Climbing to 30 ft., but usually less high: leaves ovate, obtuse or acute, remotely denticulate or entire, glabrous and shining above, 2-4 in. long and 1-2 in. broad: corymbs 2-3 in. broad, semiglobose. May, June. Va. to Fla., west to La. B.B. (ed. 2) 2:233. Mn. 1:41. G.C. III. 46:242, suppl.
D. sinensis, Oliv. Very similar to the preceding; less high: leaves generally oblong, obtuse or obtusish, 1 1/2-3 in. long and 1/2-1 in. broad: pedicels appressed-pubescent. Cent. China. H.I. 18:1741.