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.
Without exception, this seems to us the most gorgeous of the flowering shrubs. We are surprised that it does not become more quickly and favorably known. It is now about six years since its first introduction into this country, and yet only within two years has it been brought forward with much notice, nor do we remember ever seeing it illustrated in the "high art" pictorial agricultural jour-nab.
It is a shrub of remarkable merits. It is perfectly hardy. This is of immense value to garden plants. Then it is a fast grower. This will please amateurs. Plants have reached four feet high during three years' growth. It is, again, a very profuse bloomer, and flowers are of the most monstrous size, fully six to eight inches in diameter and nearly a foot long. Each branch will bear one of these long panicles of bloom, while an entire shrub will give twenty to forty immense bouquets of this size.
The shrub is very compact in growth, and easy to manage. One beauty of the flowers is the durability of their bloom. We have, by dipping the stems in water, kept the bouquets for an entire week, and they make most excellent parlor, table or mantel decoration. A pitcher full of a group of these panicles, placed before a large pier glass, is more than ordinarily showy.