This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
There are, however, several fine hardy species, two of which we feel cannot be too highly recommended for admission to a collection of American plants; these are alnifolia and tomentosa, both handsome deciduous shrubs from Carolina and Virginia, growing from 3 to 4 feet high, and much valued for their large showy foliage, that of alnifolia being glabrous on both surfaces and boldly serrated above, while that of tomentosa is, along with the young branches, densely clothed with fine light-coloured hairs, giving the plant a distinct velvety appearance.
The flowers come out in August and September, and form beautiful spicate racemes of snowy-white bell-shaped florets, delightfully fragrant.
All the species require a rich peaty soil, and to be planted in a dampish shady situation; and though both of those we have recommended are perfectly hardy in this country, they are found to thrive best when they are protected from violent winds.