This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Within the great tract of United States, there is rot to be met with a single species of Erica; but in place of the"Blooming Heather," nature has liberally supplied this country with various species of Andromeda vaccinium (Whortleberries and Cranberries); not to mention other genera which are nearly allied to Erica. [The Heather of Europe, Calluna vulgaris, is also indigenous, though rare in the United States. - Ed.] The greater part of Andromeda are natives of North America, a few are found within the tropics, and only one in North Germany, the Andromeda polifolia, with reddish-white flowers; this plant is strictly poisonous. In the north the Andromeda appears shrubby-like; in the trupical parts,more arboreal. The An-dromedas are in general, far less diffused in our parks and gardens than they should be, and yet the culture is very light; and as rightly remarked by the Gardener's Monthly, a well worthy one for their graceful habit of flowering and the pretty foliage. The fruit is a dry capsule.
Whether the Andromeda arborea (Oxydendron arb., Lyonia arb.) is a native of Pennsylvania it is not easy to determine; but it is safe to say, on an average, it belongs to the Northern States. This tree is from thirty to sixty feet in height; the flowers are pure white, resembling much the Lily of the Valley (Con-vallaria majalis), the foliage turning red in fall; tastes sour like the common sorrel; flowering time, July. As natives of Pennsylvania, I would refer to Andromeda spicata (Zenobia racemosa, Andr. paniculata, Lyonia ligustrina) a shrub growing in the wet low lands; willow-leaved; flower white; July - August. Quite common in the south of Pennsylvania and Maryland, is the Andromeda Mariana (Cassiope marginata),a shrub; the flowers yellowish white with red spots; are very narcotic; poisonous; honey gathered from them by the bees is also poisonous, like that from Kalmia angustifolia. To the natives of the Northern States belong also the Andromeda rosmarinifolia, an evergreen shrub; flowers in June; reddish.
Andromeda Tetragona (Cassiope tetr.) evergreen, creeping; blosson white, in April, May.
Often known under the name of Gaulteria Shallon, a pretty little shrub from the Northwest shores; flowers in May, June; reddish white; fruit black; ripe in August, September; tastes like our common black Whortleberry.
Andromeda Catrulea (Menziesia coerul., Erica arctica,Phyllodoce taxifolia); a very pretty alpic shrub, growing solitary on the northern mountains; blossoms in June, July; the flowers four and five inches in length; bluish; ground color light red; culture very difficult.
Andromeda Hypnoides (Cassiope hypnoides); evergreen creeping shrub from Canada; strongly resembling and also growing among mosses; flower, in April, June; either white or of a flesh color.
Andromeda Calyculata (Cassandra calyculata Chamaedaphne calyc, Lyonia calyc); evergreen Canadian shrub; flower white in March, May. And of Andromedas, growing in Southern States are worth being mentioned, Andromeda floribunda (Leucothoe florb., Portuna florb.); shrubs on mountains in Carolina and Georgia; flower white, in June.
Andromeda Axillaris, (Pieris lanceolata, Leu-cothoe spinulosa) shrub from Carolina and Georgia; blossoms beautiful; greenish white; from May to July.
Andromeda Speciosa; (Zenobia dealbata), a shrub from Virginia, Carolina, and Florida; flower white, large and bell-shaped; from June to September; the finest species of all.
Androm Acuminata (Andr. laurina) a shrub; from Georgia and Florida; flower white; in July, September.
Andromeda Cassinaoefolia; much resembling the Andromeda speciosa.
Andromeda Racemosa; (Eulotris frondosa); from Virginia; flower white; in June, July.
Andromeda Ferruginea (Lyonia rigida); from Carolina; more like a tree; flower white; in June.
Andromeda Tomentosa (Xerolotris toment. Arbutus inula); an evergreen shrub from New California; flower large white and wooly; in August. Besides these American varieties of Andromeda there are also a few strangers:
Andromeda Lycopodioides; a creeping shrub from Kamtschatka (Siberian Asia); flower, reddish white; corolla red.
Andromeda Chinensis; flower light-red; in Aug.
Andromeda Jamaicensis; high on the mountains of Jamaica; blossom faint red.
Andromeda Buxifolia; native of Isle de'Bourbon; also on mountains; flowers deep red; from April to June.
Closely allied and related to the Andro-medas is the genus Arctostaphylos; also an Ericaceae, valuable for the fruit (berry).
Arctostaphylos Tomentosa; northwest on the Columbia river; the fruit is eatable and chiefly serves as nutriture to the grizzly bear.
Arctostaphylos Glauca; evergreen shrub on mountains and hills of California; flower white, tinged with flesh color; the berries black and fiat pressed.
Arctostaphylos Alpina (Arbutus alp. Mairania alpinai; evergreen shrub; high on the Alps, in Switzerland (Europe), and at the Arctic regions; flower reddish in May; berries pretty red; fit for eating.
Arctos Uva-Ursi (Arctostaphylos officinalis, Arbutus buxifolia, Arbutus procumbens); a small shrub from the north of Europe and America; flower reddish white; from May to June; the entire plant resembles much the common red bill-berry, only the berries are larger. Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi is greatly extolled as a remedy for Lithiasis.
[We give the above excellent abstract of the general European literature of these plants without alteration - because it will be very useful as it stands- -only remarking in one instance on the Heath, as that is an important fact. American botanical literature, however, would very much extend the information. It would not by a long way limit Cassandra calyculata to Canada, nor the Bearberry to the " North" as strictly understood, as it is a common plant in New Jersey, and some parts of Pennsylvania. -Ed].