This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
In the Horticulturist for August I notice that a Louisiana correspondent takes me to task for certain alledged errors of statement (in the April number) concerning the trees of Florida As a resident of the South, he is to be presumed more competent to speak in this matter than I, a sojourner of two winters only. He will notice, also, that I said in the preface to my article, "I do not aim at special accuracy, or fulness of detail," &c; and yet, I think he has magnified my errors.
My statement that the Magnolia grandiflora puts forth new leaves, and that it blossoms in the month of March, is substantially correct In the vicinity of Jacksonville, during the last half of the month, 1 observed, daily, the falling of old leaves from the Magnolia, and the growth of new ones; and I watched with great interest the coming out of the beautiful, white, downy flower-buds, until the last few days of the month, when, being obliged to leave the country, I plucked several fine specimens to press and carry to the North. I have now before me several of these clusters, showing the young leaves, and the flower-buds, as large as a full-grown butternut* Besides, as I was speaking of Florida as a State, and not of its northern part, where Jacksonville is situated, and as I had been often told by Floridians that vegetation in the middle and southern parts of the State is a fortnight earlier than in Jacksonville, I thought myself justified in saying that the Magnolia flowers in March.
Let me beg a little mercy, also, for the statement that at this early period, " trees of all kinds put forth fresh leaves." The Black Walnut and the May Hickory, of which Mr. Lawrence speaks, I never saw; but having noticed that such deciduous trees as the Mulberry, the Peach, the Pride of China, the Soft Maple, the Red-bud, the Cypress, the Gum tree, the White Locust, the Wild Cherry and Plum, several varieties of the Oak, and other trees whose names I was ignorant of, were in full leaf, some of them in February, and all of them in March, I thought it correct to say as above; I did not see a leafless tree in the latter part of March.
As to the Pomegranate, if my friend means to say that it does not blossom in March, I can only reply that I saw an abundance of its flowers during that month, and that I have now in my portfolio a perfect blossom which I gathered in that month, and pressed for preservation.
As to "the little brown flowers of the long trailing moss" appearing in March, I reply by sending you a specimen of the flower and the moss, which I gathered during March. The flower is, doubtless, a darker brown at present, than when it was first plucked.
I can not but think that the climate of "Laurel Hill, La," is colder than that of Florida, I trust, also, that the large-heartedness and courtesy of the Southerner will pardon the seeming errors of my first paper, and the freedom of this reply to his strictures upon it A. D. G. - Clinton, N. Y.