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.
This is a vigorous greenhouse shrub or small tree of the Cinchona family, a native of Nepal, and though by no means a recent introduction, it is nevertheless quite rare in our gardens. One of the finest bloomed specimens of it I ever saw, is now (Dec. 10th,) in perfection at Such's nurseries South Amboy, N. J. It is planted out in the bed of a Camellia house, is some eight or nine feet high, has one hundred and five compound closely compacted panicles from six to ten inches in diameter, of large and showy rose-colored flowers, that are so powerfully and deliciously fragrant as to perfume the whole greenhouse. The plant has grown very thriftily, having produced several four feet long shoots this year; but Mr. Taplin tells me he cuts it in pretty closely every year. It is never so satisfactory as a pot plant as it is when planted out where it requires no more care than a Camellia - plenty water and frequent syringing while growing, and in Winter a temperature not under 40° Fah., if possible. Its extreme floral wealth, and that too at a time - Christmas week - when flowers are in demand, certainly commends it to a first position among greenhouse shrubs.
Time and again I have known Luculia gratissima to have been imported from Europe, but it was always dead when it got here; indeed, last year we got a plant of it from Kew, packed in a Wardian case along with dozens of other exotics, so that not a pot was shaken or a leaf disturbed, but the Luculia was dead as usual, and all the other plants but one, were almost as fresh as when they entered the case.
The following note from the Botanical Magazine, 68, Tab. 3940, may be of interest: " It is impossible, says Dr. Wallich, to conceive anything more beautiful than this tree, when covered with its immense rounded panicles of pink-colored, very fragrant, large blossoms. It is a native of Nepal and Silhet, in the former country growing in great abundance on Nag-Urjooro and some of the other smaller hills in the valley; also at Bechiako and Koola-kan. It delights in exposed, rather naked situations, flowering, according to the locality in which it is to be found, nearly the whole year through." F.
This is a very old but very beautiful plant from Australia, with large heads of Hydrangea-like flowers, and which gardeners have always found difficult to keep alive. It is now said in the London Florist and Pomologist, that this difficulty has originted from too much fear of its tenderness. If treated more roughly - just in fact as we would treat the common Hydrangea - it is a grand success. Has any one this plant in American collections ?