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.
This magnificent tree has been in bloom abundantly everywhere this season. The large blue, gloxinia like flowers fill the air with a delicate fragrance, as well as attract by their beauty. The flower buds are formed in the autumn, and are more or less injured by the winter. The past season being mild, the flowers are unusually abundant. The foliage is rather coarse, and the whole habit of the tree ungainly; but its wonderfully rapid growth, as well as its sweet flowers, give it elements of popularity. One of the first trees, perhaps among the very first trees introduced into the country, is now in Independence Square, Philadelphia. It must be about thirty-five years old. It was one of the first lot imported by the late Robert Buist, and presented by him to the city. It is probably eight feet in circumference, and may be sixty feet high. The Japanese, in whose country the tree is native, value it for timber ; but we know of no experiments with it in our land. Should it be of any service in this respect, it would not take long to supply the forest waste if they were planted.