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.
Your correspondent, Prof. C. S. Sargent, in his communication to the Gardener's Monthly, published in the last issue of that journal, takes especial pains to warn the public against "too great expectations," as to the merits of that "much heralded plant" the climbing hydrangea, (Schizophragma hydrangeoides,) and claiming, by inference, the credit of its prior introduction to his friend Col. Clark, President of the Massachusetts Agricultural Society; also of Sciadopitys verticillata, and directly for the "first introduction" of Cercidiphyllum japon-icum.
Permit me to say that I am far from wishing to derogate from the honor due Col. Clark's efforts in adding to the horticultural wealth of our country, but in justice to myself, I may also be permitted to correct several errors into which his friend, Prof. Sargent has fallen.
As to the horticultural value of these several plants I shall leave it to others to decide, when they have seen them in a mature state, and confine myself to the matter of historical facts as to the priority of introduction.
In the indefinite expression of "some years ago," Prof. Sargent intimates that he received seed of the Schizophragma from Col. Clark. Now, why does he not mention the precise date of their receipt, which he could surely do, and thus set at rest any doubts on the subject. Mr. Samuel Parsons, to whom I sent a large portion of my plants, published the fact of its introduction by myself at the time he received it, and if Prof. Sargent can show that he received it from Col. Clark earlier I should be most happy to relinquish my claims.
In the matter of Sciadopitys and the Cercidiphyllum, I emphatically deny Prof. Sargent's claim for their introduction to Col. Clark. At this writing I am not sure whether the first named was among the plants which Dr. Hall sent to Messrs Parsons, in 1862, but I am sure it was sent by me to my brother, Mr. James Hogg, prior to 1860, for in that year, on my return home from Japan, he had growing several well established plants which I had previously sent him. Of this Prof. Sargent must have been aware if he had taken the trouble to recall to his memory what he had seen on his visit to my brother's garden at about that time, and before Col. Clark could possibly have sent him the seed he mentions. Cercidiphyllum japonicum was among my earliest introductions, either in 1864 or 1865, and at the time of Prof-Sargent's visit was also growing in my brother's garden, where it is still to be seen, and it seems incredible that so remarkable a plant could have escaped the notice of so enthusiastic an admirer of trees.
At about the same time Prof. Asa Gray also saw my collection, and will, I have no doubt, be able to confirm my statement.