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.
This curious production has excited very little attention among us. It is a native; and, no doubt, partially hardy, if not entirely so, in this latitude. By turning to the second volume of Nattall's Supplement to Michaux's Sylva, the fol-lowng carious account is found, together with a figure of the tree in blossom: -
Entozoa from the trachea of a young chicken.
"This elegant tree, which enlivens the borders of the pine-barren swamps of the South, is met with nowhere north of the Savannah River, on the line of Georgia and South Carolina. Prom hence, it is occasionally seen in all the lower and maritime region of Georgia, as well as the lower part of Alabama and West florida. It attains the height of eight to fifteen or more feet, being much branched, and spreading out at the head like an apple-tree. The verticillate branches are regularly covered with a smooth, gray bark. The wood is compact and whitish. It is exceedingly ornamental in flower, which takes place in early spring (March), when the whole surface of the tree is covered with the most delicate, elegant, and somewhat fragrant flowers. * * When the flowers are past) the tree puts on a still more curious appearance, being loaded witb triangular-winged capsules, resembling buckwheat, and hence its common name. The leaves resemble those Of privet, are evergreen, thick, very smooth, not perceptibly veined, and glaucous beneath".
Mr. Bartram discovered this tree, and very clearly describes it as "a new shrub of great beauty and singularity. .It grows erect seven or eight feet high, A multitude of stems arise from its root these divide themselves into ascending branches, which are garnished with abundance of narrow, lanceolate, obtuse-pointed leaves, of a light green, smooth and shining. These branches, with their many divisions, terminate in simple racemes of pale, incarnate flowers, which make a fine appearance among the leaves. The flowers are succeeded by desiccated, triquetrous pericarpi, each containing a single kernel." (Bartram's Travels, p. 31.) How so fine a plant came to be overlooked for near half a century, and to be still unintroduced among us, is really surprising. " In the Northern States, and in Britain," Nuttall says, " it is a hardy greenhouse plant, and well worth cultivating. But, to see it in perfection, you must behold it in its native swamps, attaining the magnitude of a tree, and blooming profusely on the verge of winter, without anything near it as a contrast, save a withered carpet of leaves and leafless plants, and in the midst of a gloom and solitude that scarcely anything else at the same time relieves".
He adds: "In Bartram's Botanic Garden, Philadelphia, it appeared to be quite hardy, and survived for many years without protection".
If any of our friends have this tree, they will confer a favor by informing us, and if any correspondents at the South can supply us with a few seeds the coming season, they will especially oblige us. - Editor Horticulturist.