This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It takes a plant a long time to become well known, no matter how valuable may be its ornamental character, and this is specially the case with the present plant. It has long been a popular inmate of Japanese gardens, and is supposed to be a native of that country, though so far as we know, only the barren garden from here illustrated is known. In a Japanese work on orna-mental garden plants in the library of the writer, brought from Japan by the expedition of Commodore Perry. there is a very good drawing of this plant, from which we learn that its vernacular name is "Adsai," and it was brought to the attention of Europeans by Kaempfer who wrote of this and others as early as 1710. Thunberg who wrote of Japan plants towards the end of the same century, thought it was probably the same as our American Viburnum dentatum, to which indeed the latter has a close relationship, acting in this way in common with many other plants of the Eastern United States, which, as Dr. Gray has pointed out, have intimate relations with Japanese plants. But it is only within the past twenty years that it has been introduced into cultivation, and we in America owe it to British gardens, from whence many of our nurserymen have imported it.
The earliest plants came to this country soon after their introduction into England through the late Alfred Cope of Philadelphia, in whose grounds plants have been blooming for the past fifteen years. Nothing can exceed the beauty of these large plants when in full flower. The old snow-ball is rather a straggling coarse bush; - the new Japan snowball, the kind we now illustrate - is in itself a beautiful plant. The very dark green plaited foliage is pretty as well as the plant, and the snow-white clusters of flowers against the dark green ground, make a large full grown plant very effective. The repeated notices which we have given of the plants during past years have no doubt been the means of insuring for it a large propagation among nurserymen, and it will therefore no doubt be a plant easily secured at a moderate price by all those who love really beautiful things. It is one of the hardiest and most easily grown, and probably there is not a spot on the American continent where it will not thrive.
We annex a reduced cut of the Viburnum plicatum, or, as it is popularly called, the new Japan Snowball. It is now well known, and esteemed for its value in ornamental gardening, and can be had of almost all our leading nurseries. It is far superior to the old Snowball in its habit, in which indeed there is little comparison. Its large heads of pure white flowers are very attractive in June and July.