[The name is from a combination of Greek words, signifying "a plant which bears its fruit together in clusters."]
This is a delicate, hardy, North American shrub, extensively known and much cultivated on account of its fine white berries, which are quite ornamental, after the leaves have fallen. The flowers are pink, and rather inconspicuous; the shrub grows about four feet high; easily propagated by suckers.
This has no claims to beauty, as to the flowers, which, like the last,-are small and inconspicuous, of a pink color. These are succeeded by dark brownish-purple berries, which are thickly clustered upon the branches, three feet high. It is propagated in the same way. Both these species thrive in the shade and under the drippings of trees.
[A. Persian name.]
"Various in array, now white-, Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now set With purple spikes pyramidal."
All the species are most beautiful flowering shrubs, readily propagated by suckers, which they throw up in abundance. The common Lilac seems to have been introduced before or during the reign of Henry VIII., for in the inventory, taken by the order of Cromwell, of the articles in the gardens of the palace of Nonsuch, are mentioned six Lilacs, - "trees which bear no fruit, but only a pleasant smell." - (Loudon.)
The Common Lilac - This is so well known that it needs no description. The purple variety is found in almost every garden; the white is more scarce. Grown together, they are very beautiful; and, notwithstanding they are old-fashioned, common, and vulgar, with some people, we esteem them as some of our most valuable and. ornamental shrubs of the season.
This species is "far more delicate and pretty than the common Lilacs, both in leaf and blossom. The bunches of flowers are frequently a foot long, and weigh down the tender terminal slender shoots so as to give the plant a very graceful appearance. The white and purple, both beautiful; the Cut-leaved Lilac has interesting and delicate foliage." The Persian Lilac grows about four or five feet high. All the species bloom the last of May and the first of June.
The common Lilacs are suitable for the back of the shrubbery. "This was one of the first plants introduced by our forefathers, and is universally found; often in the front of ancient houses, growing almost to the size of a tree." To make a small tree of it, care must be taken to destroy all the suckers and keep a clean stem. The Persian varieties are suitable for planting in clumps, or in the front of the shrubbery. Some beautiful new varieties have been imported within a few years, producing immense clusters of flowers. There is one variety with double flowers, but it is not an improvement.
[From Tamarisci, a people who inhabited the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, where one species grows abundantly.]
An elegant, deciduous, hardy shrub, which, for some reason, has not received much attention in New England. The foliage is very graceful, and has some resemblance to that of the Heath. The pink flowers are produced in lateral spikes, in July and August; small, but very numerous. It grows about ten feet high. On account of its delicate, graceful habit, and heath-like flowers and foliage, it makes a desirable addition to the shrubbery. The German Tamarisk is a hardy shrub of similar habits. There are also a number of other species and varieties.
[Said to have been altered from the Mexican name.]
The species are trees or shrubs, inhabitants of hot climates; the leaves are opposite, pinnate, ternate, or conjugate; the flowers in panicles, large and handsome, of various colors, red, yellow, blue or white, and eminently beautiful. The hardy species will grow in almost any good soil, and easily propagated by layers or cuttings of the root. The species here mentioned were formerly included in the Genus Bignonia.
This is a magnificent climbing plant, producing large, trumpet-shaped, orange-scarlet flowers, of great beauty, from July to October. They are produced in clusters; handsome in bud, as well as when fully expanded, and when contrasted with the elegant glossy, pinnate foliage, present a most splendid sight when trained to a pillar or trellis.
The plant is a little tender in some locations, and will do best to be laid down and covered over, or secured with straw or mats.
T. grandiflora has flowered with us, but it is rather tender in this climate. It is a native of China and Japan. "In the growth of the wood it is rather more slender, and the leaves more coarsely serrated than those of T. radicans. The vine has the same habit of attaching itself firmly to a wall, or building of stone, brick or wood, or to the trunk of a tree within its reach, by the numerous small aerial-rootlets, which it sends out from the inner sides of its shoots.
"In the blossoms of the T. grandiflora, however, lies its peculiar beauty. These are produced, in great profusion of clusters, in July and August, so as to give the whole plant an exceedingly gay and lively appearance. They are not long and tubular, like those of the common Trumpet Flower, but somewhat cup-shaped. * * * The color is beautifully varied, the outside being a rich pure orange-scarlet, marked with brighter streaks. These gay clusters open their blossoms in succession, so as to keep up a brilliant appearance for a long time; and we are acquainted with no climbing shrub, except the Chinese Wistaria, which at all vies in elegance or brilliancy of effect, in the garden or pleasure-ground, with this during the season of bloom. Last season, we counted over three hundred in bloom, at once, upon a plant in our neighborhood; and the same profuse display continued a fortnight or more.
"T. grandiflora may be grown with perfect ease where the old Trumpet Flower (T. radicans) thrives. North of this (Newburg, N Y.) it will, perhaps, require a little protection in winter, such as a layer of straw tied over the larger shoots, or some branches of evergreens laid against them at the approach of winter. A northern site will also be found the better one at the north, wherever there is a doubt of its hardiness, since the temperature will, in such a site, be more uniform and less injurious than in a southern aspect. Wherever the Isabella grape ripens, this handsome climbing shrub will be easily cultivated in almost any situation. If there are any fears of its hardiness, it may be protected, as we have pointed out, for a couple of years, till the wood gets strong and well hardened. Any dry, light, well-drained soil, suits this climber. It should be made moderately rich, and in such soil, when planted against a wall, it will cover a space twelve or fourteen feet square, in two or three seasons. It is well worthy the attention of those who are looking for climbers of a permanent kind, to cover unsightly walks, or close fences, or to render garden buildings of any kind more ornamental, by a rich canopy of foliage and bloom."- (Downing.