This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
S. Lincoln, Nebraska, sends us the following extract from some Western publication, and asks if it is a " humbug :" " The Russian mulberry, Russian olive, Russian thornless acacia, were brought to this country from the steppes of Russia, latitude 49°, by the Mennonites. The mulberry and olive were the favorite timber and fuel-producing trees of that country, and after eight years' trial prove equally as valuable upon the prairies of the West. The mulberry, as near as we can learn, is a cross between the Morus nigra, or black mulberry of Persia, and the Morus Tartar-aca, a native Russian variety. The tree is a very rapid grower and grows to be very large, often reaching the height of fifty feet, and from three to five feet in diameter, and is perfectly hardy. The Russian olive is a thorny tree which attains the height of forty feet. The leaves are a bright silver color and are formed like the willow.
Flowers, small yellow, in dense racemes, very fragrant. The fruit is a violet color, and is produced in large quantities. It is about the size of cherries. The Russian thornless acacia is a beautiful dwarf tree or shrub. The leaves, when they first put forth, are a rich silver color. Bark, green. Flowers in droops, a bright golden color. It stands shearing and makes a beautiful ornamental hedge".
It is hard to say whether this statement is to be classed among humbugs or not. It depends on whether we are to justify the wholesale coining of English names by any one and on any occasion. We will simply say that the "Russian mulberry" is one of the numerous and well-known varieties of the common white mulberry, Morus alba; the "Russian olive" is the common oleaster of Eastern gardens, Elseagnus angusti-folia; and the "Russian thornless acacia," the still more common Siberian pea, Caragana ar-borescens. If you already have these things under the old names, and buy them again under the new ones, possibly you may feel " humbugged :" but if you have not, and should get them, you will find them very good things to have. The statement that they will endure the severest weather in the North-west, we believe to be strictly correct.