Chapter 6 - The Garden of the Department of Botany
There are so many plants in the Botanic garden that it is possible to select only the more unusual for mention.
Behind the Hatherleigh Laboratories there is a row of birches, varieties of the Canadian canoe or paper-birch, Betula papyrifera. This is said to be the largest of all birches and has especially white bark. It is native to North America and the bark is used by the American Indians in making their canoes.
Just inside the entrance to the garden in Plot 2 there is a plant of Cornus stolonifera, one of the North American dogwoods of the Cornaceae. Near it is a specimen of Hibiscus syriacus of the Malvaceae. There are in the garden several others of the same species which, though a native of Syria, appears to be perfectly hardy in this part of England.
There is only one true palm hardy in Britain, the Chusan palm, Trachycarpus fortunei, the specimen here is perfectly well grown, having regard to the fact that the garden was laid out only some 15 years ago. It is a native of China and was introduced into this country in the 1840s.
The next plant of interest in this plot is the American witch-hazel Hamamelis vernalis, of which the clusters of fragrant flowers produced in the early part of the year are rather smaller than those of the Chinese species Hamamelis mollis which is noted elsewhere. Beside the witch-hazel is a plant of the wintersweet, Chimonanthus praecox, a Chinese member of the Calycanthaceae which produces its fragrant parchment like flowers on the bare branches in January (Fig. 42).
All along the border to the left of the path and extending to the corner of Queen's Building is a collection of species of roses from many parts of the world including China and America as well as Europe. Associated with the roses is Rubus cockburnianus, a native of China, one of the so-called 'whitewashed brambles' which have a deposit of wax on the surface of their stems giving them a whitewashed appearance.
Near the wintersweet is a plants of Ligustrum japonicum 'Rotundifolium', a Chinese relative of the privet which is so commonly planted as a hedge in this country. A few yards from it is a specimen of Callistemon speciosus, one of the hardier members of the Myrtaceae, a family especially characteristic of Australia. Is often called the 'bottle brush', from the striking clusters of scarlet flowers which cover the ends of the branches in the summer.
Sarcococca ruscifolia of the Buxaceae is a native of China. It has white fragrant flowers in the early spring and is decorative at a time of year when few plants are in flower. Near to it are three plants of Maclura pomifera, of the Moraceae. This grows into a tree and is native to North America. The common name osage orange indicates the shape of the fruit. The plant is unisexual and it is hoped that a plant of each sex may be found among the three grown here.
Gunnera chilensis of the Haloragidaceae is a Chilean plant which grows best in damp places and may have leaves up to six feet across. It is commonly, and incorrectly, called 'giant rhubarb'. There are fine groups of this plant in the grounds of Thomas Hall.
There are many species and varieties of Buddleia now in cultivation. The plant in this border is the cultivar 'Loch Inch' of Buddleia fellowiana, a Chinese member of the Loganiaceae. Next to it is a small plant of the Aleppo pine, Pinus halepensis. Beside this plant is Yucca gloriosa, a member of the Liliaceae native to the eastern states of North America. It is commonly called the century plant and is erroneously believed to flower only after long intervals of time. Nearby is a specimen of Amelanchier canadensis, a small roseaceous tree from eastern North America especially attractive in spring when the sprays of whitish flowers contrast with the copper-coloured young leaves.
Close to a second yucca is a plant of the white flowered Cistus laurifolius from south-west Europe, one of the hardiest species of this genus, and a dark flowered form of the common Rosemary, Rosemarinus officinalis. The cricket-bat willow, Salix alba var. caerulea, is much esteemed for the making of cricket bats. Beside the two specimens near the corner of Queen's Building is a plant of Clerodendron fargesii, a native of China of which the striking fruits have been noted above (p.13, Plate 7c).
There are in the garden many species of Olearia, the shrubby 'daisy bushes' of New Zealand. The plant here is Olearia albida. Next to it is the Spanish broom, Spartium junceum, a common switch plant of the Mediterranean region. The next plant, Skimmia japonica, is a member of the Rutaceae from Japan. The ovulate plant bears large red berries but only in the near presence of a staminate plant, since this species is dioecious.
The genus Eucalyptus of the Myrtaceae includes a large number of species, all native to Australia. Many are reasonably hardy and there are some 20 species in this garden, including Eucalyptus gunnii and Eucalyptus orcades planted here. Unfortunately the hardy species are all white flowered (Plate 6a) and the more spectacular red flowering species such as Eucalyptus citriodora must be given the protection of at least a cold glasshouse.
Ceanothus is a genus of the Rhamnaceae native to the west coast of North America, where many in the species are useful as sand binders. Again there is a range of species and varieties in this garden of which Ceanothus dentatus is one. Next to this plant is Lonicera fragrantissima, one of the Caprifoliaceae from China. It bears sweet smelling white flowers on the almost leafless branches in the winter and early spring.
Phillyrea latifolia of the Oleaceae is one of a number of species of this genus which are native to the Mediterranean. There are all evergreen. Behind this plant there is a specimen of the weeping beech Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula' of the Fagaceae. There is also a antarctic beech, Nothofagus antarctica, (see p. 23) and a hornbeam, Carpinus betulus.
In the same border there is a widely used Poplar, Populus candicans 'Aurora', of the Salicaceae. In the summer, some leaves are almost completely pink and white and the tree looks as if it were in full flower. It grows quickly and in the spring and early summer has the 'Balsam' smell from the resinous secretion on the scales of the buds. Between it and the western balsam poplar of western Canada, Populus trichocarpa, there is a plant of the angelica tree Aralia elata of the Araliaceae, a native of Japan.
The next substantial tree is an Norway maple, Acer platanoides. Beside it, there is a dwarf chestnut, Aesculus parviflora, a member of the Hippocastanaceae native to south eastern United States of America. It is one of the shrubby members of the family as is also the Californian buckeye Aesculus californica.
The witch-hazel in this border is Hamamelis mollis, native to China and probably the best species as a garden plant. It produces its bright yellow flowers about midwinter. Next to it is Drimys aromatica, a shrub from Tasmania with leaves which when crushed are aromatic. This species is dioecious, and the specimen here is ovulate. There is a staminate specimen near the Populus candicans noted above (Fig. 43). The genus, included in the Magnoliaceae in the order floras, is now generally placed in a family of its own. Finally in this border there is Acer hersii which has been noted above.
On the other side of the concrete path is Plot 11, the northernmost border. The first plants of special interest in this plot is Escallonia montevidensis of the Saxifragaceae, a shrub from south Brazil with striking dark green leaves and pure white flowers. Several other species of this genus are commonly cultivated, mostly pink flowered. Nearby is Lonicera maackii, a shrubby member of the Caprifoliaceae from Manchuria, and Coronilla glauca of the Leguminosae from southern Europe which flowers almost all the year round.
Caryopteris X clandonensis of the Verbenaceae is from China and Japan and, with its grey foliage and blue flowers, is a striking plant. Beside it is another snake bark maple, Acer rufinerve, from Japan, and the pineapple broom, Cytisus battandieri, a large shrubby member of the Leguminosae native of north-west Africa, which is surprisingly hardy in this country. The white beam, Sorbus aria, a native British member of the Rosaceae, makes a striking small tree as its leaves have a thick growth of white hairs on the underside. Nearby is a plant of Colletia armata, a spiny member of the Rhamnaceae from Chile.
Syringa, of the Oleaceae, is the genus which includes the lilacs and it is unfortunate that the same name is popularly used in this country for plants of the unrelated genus Philadelphus. Syringa sweginzowii from north-western China makes a useful shrub with fragrant lilac coloured flowers in the early summer. Next it is Buddleia davidii 'White profusion'. Other shrubs of interest in this border include the south European bladder-nut, Staphylea pinnata of the Staphyleaceae, and the Brazilian shrub Feijoa sellowiana, a member of the Myrtaceae producing flowers with pink petals and conspicuous purple stamens which unfortunately tend to be hidden among the evergreen leaves.
Across the path, in Plot 12, the first plant of interest is Hymenanthera obovata, a rigid evergreen shrub from New Zealand. It is a member of the Violaceae, though very unlike the familiar herbaceous European members of the family, and bears rather insignificant yellowish flowers in April and May (Fig. 44). Nearby is Sophora tetraptera, the kowhai of New Zealand, a member of the Leguminosae which produces masses of yellow flowers in the spring (Plate 6c). Next to the Sophora is Cassania fulvida, a shrubby member of the Compositae, also from New Zealand. Behind these plants is one the Japanese Maples, Acer palmatum, which are particularly striking because of their brilliant coloured foliage in the autumn. Photinia villosa of the Rosaceae has leaves which similarly become brightly coloured in autumn. The photinias are also characterised by the bright colours of the young leaves in spring. Unfortunately they are liable to damage by late frosts. The neighbouring plant, Viburnum odoratissimum, is an evergreen shrub of the Caprifoliaceae from China and India. It has large leathery leaves and produces flowers in late summer. It requires some protection as it is sensitive to frost.
Azara dentata, the Chilean member of the Flacourtiaceae, grows into a large evergreen shrub as do other species of this south American genus. In the early summer it bears an abundance of very fragrant yellow flowers in small branched corymbs (Plate 6b). This beautiful shrub should be much more generally grown. Behind it is a specimen of Eucryphia cordifolia, and one of Azara petiolaris (Fig. 45 and see p. 34). Bupleurum fruticosum, of the Umbelliferae (a family the members of which a characteristic herbs, is a native of southern Europe and appears to be quite hardy in this country. It produces masses of yellow green flowers in summer. Next it is an aromatic undershrub, Helichrysum angustifolium of the Compositae. This too is native to southern Europe and the smell of the crushed leaves has given rise to the common name 'curry plant'.
The plots in the middle of the garden are numbered from 3 to 10. A striking shrub in plot 10 is Photinia serrulata, another Chinese member of the genus noted above. Near it is Baillonia juncea, the Chilean member of the Verbenaceae with pale lilac flowers. Abutilon vitifolium, a member of the Malvaceae also from Chile, makes a large shrub and when in full flower in the early summer is very impressive. The flower in different specimens varying in colour from white to pale lilac. Also nearby is the Cornelian Cherry, Cornus mas, which produces a wealth of small yellow flowers on the bare stems in early spring. Behind this plant is one of the largest Eucalyptus in the garden, a specimen of the hybrid Eucalyptus pauciflora X coccifera now nearly 30 feet high. The tree has attractive scaling bark and abundant cream coloured flowers in the early summer (Plate 6a).
One of the most pleasant scents in the garden is that of the leaves of the lemon verbena, Lippia citriodora, a deciduous shrub of the Verbenaceae. It is a native of Chile and survives the winter here though it is not particularly hardy. The abelias, members of the Caprifoliaceae, are mainly from eastern Asia though the species here, Abelia floribunda, one of the most colourful with its large trumpet shaped flowers, is from Mexico. This plant, again, is not entirely hardy.
On the support behind these plants is the climber Campsis radicans, from the south eastern United States. A member of the Bignoniaceae, it produces scarlet trumpet shaped flowers about 3 inches long which are very impressive. Unfortunately the flower buds are produced late in the summer and are liable to be hit by early frosts. Beside it is a variegated plant of the common elm, Ulmus procera, and another shrubby honeysuckle, Lonicera syringantha, a Chinese plant with small lilac coloured flowers. Next to these plants is a small specimen of Podocarpus totara, an important timber tree in its native New Zealand. In this part of the country it is liable to be damaged by long continued east winds in the early part of the year which tends to restrict its growth.
The madrona, Arbutus menziesii, from western North America, is a handsome species of the genus which includes the strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo. The smooth reddish bark tends to peel off in large flakes. Clethra delavayi of the Clethraceae is a somewhat tender deciduous shrub from China bearing racemes of white flowers in late summer. Glycyrrhiza glabra, a Mediterranean species of the Leguminosae, is of some commercial value, being the source of liquorice which is obtained from the roots. Next to it is an interesting shrub from south eastern Australia, Grevillea rosmarinifolia of the Proteaceae, which produces masses of carmine flowers from November to May (Fig. 46). From western China there is Sorbus hupehensis, a tree of the Rosaceae with white berries which tend to become pink as they ripen, and Itea ilicifolia, an evergreen shrub of the Saxifragaceae with long drooping racemes of greenish white flowers.
On the other side of the grass path, in Plot 9, the first plant of interest is the Korean fir, Abies koreana (Fig. 47). There is also another species of Abelia, namely Abelia triflora from the Himalayas, which bears small white flowers in terminal clusters. Beside it, the Chilean potato bush, Solanum crispum, bears masses of blueish purple flowers resembling those of the potato. On either side of the Solanum are two plants of Eucryphia lucida, a slender erect growing species from Tasmania with small, simple, entire leaves. Next is Stranvaesia davidiana var. undulata, an evergreen shrub of the Rosaceae from China which bears white flowers followed by very red berries. Callicarpa giraldiana of the Verbenaceae is another Chinese shrub. It bears unusual lilac-blue berries in clusters and is much hardier than Callicarpa dichotoma which has larger and more striking berries but which requires the protection of at least a cold glasshouse. Finally, in this plot there is a specimen of Exochorda racemosa, a handsome member of the Rosaceae from China bearing erect racemes of white flowers in May, and a plant of the Chilean fire bush, Embothrium coccineum (see p. 17, Plate 4a).
In Plot 7 there is Buddleia alternifolia of the Loganiaceae, a deciduous Chinese shrub with small purple flowers closely clustered in long panicles which make it a most striking plant when in flower. Its neighbour, Stewartia sinensis, is a Chinese member of the Theaceae. It is a deciduous tree, and may reach 30 feet in height, bearing white fragrant flowers two inches across. Near to it, on a support, is the Banksian rose, Rosa banksiae from China, which was long a popular climbing rose in the cottage gardens of this country though it has now gone out of fashion. This is the single flowered yellow form though the double-flowered was perhaps more usually grown. Beside it is the New Zealand lace-bark tree, Hoheria lyallii, a member of the Malvaceae which bears large numbers of white flowers in the early summer, and Buddleia salvifolia, a South African plant with rather unusual pale lilac and orange flowers. The latter is generally considered to be only fairly hardy, but in this garden it has survived some cold winters. A few yards away is a specimen of the New Zealand shrub Pittosporum ralphii and an unusual conifer, Keteleeria fortunei, a member of the Pinaceae from China. Beside them is a small plant of Acacia melanoxylon, one of the Australian wattles. This species has pinnate juvenile foliage which in the course of the first year or so of growth gives way to the simple adult 'leaves' formed from the flattened petioles (phyllodes), and all gradations between the two types of leaves can be found on a single plant. Near the middle of the plot is a plant of Eucryphia X nymansensis, which has been noted (page 8), is a vigorous hybrid between the two Chilean species Eucryphia cordifolia and Eucryphia glutinosa. There is also a specimen of Azara microphylla, the most commonly planted member of the genus. The small yellowish flowers which appear in spring are inconspicuous but fragrant. Behind the Azara is a plant of Robinia hispida. This species is closely related to the false acacia, Robinia pseudacacia, but has bristly young shoots and pale purple flowers in place of the white flowers of the latter. Both have pinnate leaves and are members of the Leguminosae.
Near the Robinia is another madrona, Arbutus menziesii, and a plant of Clematis orientalis. This is the the 'orange peel' clematis of the Himalaya and produces striking and curious flowers with thick yellow sepals in late summer (Plate 4b). This particular plant is the offspring of a plant from seed of Ludlow and Sherriff's collection (no. 13342), and is the seed parent of the new yellow clematis raised in this garden which has been called Clematis x hatherliensis. The pollen parent was Clematis tangutica var. obtusiuscula from north-west China. The hybrid has larger flowers than either parent and is a very vigorous grower.
Corokia virgata is a member of a genus of New Zealand shrubs of the family Cornaceae. It has small leaves but bears a large number of bright yellow flowers in early summer. Quite near is another species, Corokia cotoneaster, which has slightly smaller leaves but similar yellow flowers. Between them is Osmanthus forrestii, a Chinese member of Oleaceae which grows into an evergreen shrub with fragrant white flowers like those of other species of the genus. Another evergreen plant is Eucryphia X intermedia, a hybrid between Eucryphia glutinosa (page 8) and Eucryphia lucida (page 41). Also in this plot is another specimen of the kowhai, Sophora tetraptera, and a plant of Caesalpinia gillesii, also of the Leguminosae. The latter, probably native to the Argentine, is only just hardy in the open in this country where it flowers occasionally but does better if kept in a cool glasshouse.
The first plant of note in Plot 8 is the Indian bean tree, Catalpa bignonioides, already noted (page 17). It is a handsome tree with large leaves and large panicles of pleasantly scented flowers. Next to it is Weinmannia trichosperma, a Chilean member of the Cunoniaceae with pinnate leaves and whiteish flowers borne in loose racemes in early summer (Plate 7b). There is also a Japanese loquat, Eriobotrya japonica, a member of the Rosaceae. Despite its name this plant is of Chinese origin. It only occasionally produces fruit in this country. The common Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, is an American species of the Ebenaceae, a mainly tropical family. So far the specimens in this garden have not flowered. Next to it is another of the abelias, Abelia grandiflora. Finally, there is a plant of the Chilean tree-myrtle, Myrtus luma of the Myrtaceae. This plant, which is only fairly hardy in Britain, grows into a small tree, unlike the common myrtle which is shrubby.
Plot 6 is one of the largest plots in the garden. The first plant to note is Fatsia japonica of the Araliaceae, the so-called 'castor oil plant' - a complete misnomer, as it is not related to the true castor oil plant, Ricinus communis. Fatsia japonica is one of the parents of the bigeneric hybrid X Fatshedera lizei, of which there is a small plant in one of the bays between the glasshouses. Dichotomanthes tristanicarpa of the Rosaceae is a Chinese shrub related to the cotoneasters with small white flowers. Behind it is Fothergilla monticola, a member of the Hamamelidaceae from south-eastern North America, which produces most striking white flowers in the late spring (Fig. 48).
Nearby are plants of Syringa reflexa, a Chinese lilac which has long pendulous panicles of pink flowers. The Chinese holly Ilex pernyi is a compact shrub with small and particularly spiny leaves. Not far from it is another plant with holly-like leaves, Osmanthus ilicifolius, a member of the Oleaceae from Japan. Also from eastern Asia is Thea or Camellia sinensis, the tea plant of the family Theaceae. Beside the tea plant is a specimen of the Chilean cedar, Austrocedrus chilensis, which is native to a narrow belt near the border of Chile and Argentina where it may be nearly 80 ft in height.
Almost opposite the plant of the Acacia melanoxylon, noted above (page 42) two more Australian wattles can be seen growing together. Acacia dealbata has juvenile type leaves throughout its life (Fig. 49), while in Acacia decurrens these are replaced by phyllodes after the first 18 months or so, though the leaves may occasionally revert to the juvenile form at the tips of some of the branches.
Cornus capitata, an attractive member of the Cornaceae from the Himalaya, is not very hardy, but when it can be established it produces a wealth of flowers subtended by cream coloured bracts and followed by masses of purple strawberry like fruits. Elaeagnus umbellata is a more-or-less evergreen shrub from eastern Asia which bears creamy white flowers in the early summer. Behind it is Zelkova carpinifolia, a Caucasian member of the Ulmaceae, the deciduous Japanese Magnolia kobus and a small tree of the American walnut Juglans nigra (p. 26). Nearby is a specimen of Veronica elliptica. These shrubby flowers of the genus from New Zealand, of which a number or commonly cultivated, are often assigned to a separate genus Hebe.
Towards the middle of the plot is a specimen of the maidenhead tree, Ginkgo biloba. This gymnosperm is thought to be extinct in nature and to have survived only because it has been commonly cultivated in the monastery gardens of China. It is the only living member of the family Ginkgoaceae, which were abundant and widespread during Mesozoic times, and is a species which has persisted substantially unchanged since the Cretaceous (Fig. 50). Next to it is another Chinese gymnosperm, the dawn redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, which, though it was thought to be extinct, was found to be still surviving in central China by a Chinese foresters in the the early 1940s. It is a member of the Taxodiaceae and one of the few conifers which are deciduous. As in the case of the swamp cypress, Taxodium distichum, of the south-eastern United States (p. 27), the whole of the short shoot, which bears the leaves, drops off in the autumn. The plant has pleasant light green foliage in spring and the leaves turn red before being shed. Also in this plot is Magnolia wilsonii, a beautiful deciduous species from China (Fig. 3). The cup-shaped pendulous flowers are up to four inches across and pleasantly scented, and are followed by purple fruits.
Near the bottom corner of Plot 6 is a plant of Phillyrea decora (Fig. 51), a member of the Oleaceae from western Asia which is one of the parents of the bigeneric hybrid X Osmarea burkwoodii, of which there are several specimens in different parts of the garden. Near the Phillyrea is a small plant of another bigeneric hybrid, X Gaulthetta wisleyensis, noted above (p.17). There is also a plant Nyssa sylvatica, a deciduous shrub of Nyssaceae the leaves of which are very brightly coloured in the autumn. It is a native of the south-eastern United States.
Eucryphia X intermedia has already been noted (p. 42). Beside it are two other hybrids, Ceanothus X veitchianus, one of the many introductions of the firm of Veitch, and Viburnum X burkwoodii, an excellent garden plant with its clusters of fragrant pinkish flowers in spring. The handkerchief or ghost tree, Davidia involucrata, is a Chinese member of the Nyssaceae which bears conspicuous white bracts, hence the name. These are produced only after the tree has attained some maturity.
A Chilean member of the Solanaceae is Cestrum parqui, the hardiest species of a genus which, in this country, is not particularly hardy. It produces large numbers of fragrant yellow flowers in the summer. Beside it is a tulip tree (see p. 27) and another bottle brush, Callistemon speciosus. Near the tulip tree is a group of herbs and shrubs. The birthwort, Aristolochia clematitis, is a European member of the Aristolochiaceae which was cultivated in earlier times as an abortifacient and is occasionally found apparently wild in Britain. Lomatia tinctoria of the Proteaceae is a native of Tasmania, producing racemes of sulphur yellow flowers. Melianthus major of the Melianthaceae is a native of South Africa and India and is a only just hardy in this country. It produces very attractive glaucous foliage and, in a warm summer, racemes of brownish flowers. In this part of the plot there is also a small plant of Ribes laurifolium, an evergreen relative of the currants from China.
The first plant of note in Plot 5 is a young specimen of the Nikko fir, Abies homolepis, a Japanese member of the Pinaceae. Next to it is Idesia polycarpa, a member of the Flacourtiaceae from China which grows into a small tree bearing pendulous panicles of greenish flowers. The Indian chestnut, Aesculus indica, is a member of the Hippocastanaceae from the Himalaya and is useful in an ornamental tree since it bears its spikes of pinkish flowers when quite young. Salix matsudana 'Tortuousa' is an interesting Chinese willow with twisted leaves, twigs and branches. Acacia rubida is one of the wattles in which the bipinnate juvenile leaves are replaced by the adult phyllodes at an early age. The so-called London plane, Platanus X acerifolia, is hybrid of unknown origin between Platanus orientalis (p. 30) and the American Platanus occidentalis.
The manna or flowering ash, Fraxinus ornus, is a south European member of the Oleaceae. Unlike the common ash, F. excelsior, it bears fragrant flowers with small white petals. In front of it, Fuchsia gottinghamii is an attractive member of the Onagraceae with very small flowers and leaves. The fuchsias are found in South America and in New Zealand, and form a part of the so-called Fuegean flora.
Rhus cotinus is sometimes separated into another genus as Cotinus coggygria. It is a member of the Anacardiaceae which is found in southern Europe and right across Asia. The plumose fruiting panicles have given rise to the common name of the 'Smoke bush'. Near it is Saxegothaea conspicua, a Chilean member of the Podocarpaceae called Prince Albert's yew in honour of the Prince Consort. Olearia argyrophylla is another species of the genus of shrubby Compositae from New Zealand commonly called daisy bushes. Desmodium tiliifolium of the Leguminosae is from the Himalaya. Acacia baileyana is another of the Australian wattles which retains the juvenile pinnate leaves throughout its life.
Paulownia tomentosa from China is remarkable in that it is a member of the Scrophulariaceae which grows into a substantial tree about 50 feet high. it produces spikes of violet-coloured flowers, like those of the foxglove, at the ends of the branches. Unfortunately, the buds are formed in the autumn and may be damaged or even killed by cold winds during the winter. Near the Paulownia is a specimen of Pittosporum tenuifolium, an elegant evergreen shrub from New Zealand with pale undulate leaves and almost black twigs, and a plant of the charm bush Kolkwitzia amabilis, a member of the Caprifoliaceae from China which bears a profusion of pinkish flowers in the early summer.
Several plants in Plot 3 merit attention. Koelreuteria paniculata of the Sapindaceae grows into a small tree bearing large panicles of yellow flowers in late summer. It is a native of Korea and Japan and is commonly called the golden rain tree. Winter's bark, Drimys winteri, is a south American plant of the same genus as D. aromatica, noted above (P. 38). Introduced into cultivation in this country in 1827, it has been known since 1578, when the aromatic bark was brought back by Capt. Winter in one of Drake's ships from the Straits of Magellan. Nearby is another south American plant, the conifer Fitzroya cupressoides. Another conifer in this plot is the Dahurian larch, Larix gmelinii, which comes from Siberia and is, like all larches, deciduous.
The Exeter elm, Ulmus glabra 'Fastigiata', of which there is a specimen near the middle of the plot, is of special focal interest since it was introduced commercially in 1828 by one Ford who had a nursery near what is now Longbrook Street at Hill Court. It is said to be resistant to Dutch elm disease and is much esteemed by the Dutch forestry service. At the bottom edge of the plot, Olearia solandri is a New Zealand daisy bush with very narrow leaves. A plant of similar habit is Leptospermum flavescens var. obovata, an Australian shrub of the Myrtaceae. Finally, Caragana arborescens from eastern Asia is a yellow-flowered member of the Leguminosae.
At the entrance to the garden in Plot 17 the first plant to he noted is Rosa chinensis 'Viridiflora'. The China rose, R. chinensis, is the species from which many of the roses in cultivation have been developed. In the form growing here the petals are replaced by leaves. The Carolina allspice, Calycanthus floridus of the Calycanthaceae, is a native of the south-eastern United States but seems quite hardy in this garden (Plate 6d). The next group includes a specimen of Cotoneaster salicifolia a Chinese member of the Rosaceae and another specimen of Olearia albida. Rhodotypos kerrioides, a member of the Rosaceae also from China, has attractive white flowers followed by aggregations of black drupels. Pinus ayacahuite has already been noted as a five-leaved pine from Mexico. The next plant, Salix daphnoides of the Salicaceae, is found wild in Europe and in central Asia. There is near it a plant of Atriplex halimus, a member of the Chenopodiaccae from southern Europe with striking grey foliage. in front of it, close to the path is a specimen of Pernettya mucronata, a Chilean member of the Ericaceae. Clethra alnifolia of the Clethraceae is a low growing shrub from the eastern seaboard of North America. It yields a nectar which makes a distinctively flavoured honey. Euonymus alatus of the Celastraceae is a small shrub from China closely related to the European spindle tree. Syringa pinnatifolia is one of the Iilacs from western China. Next to it is a Rhus continus 'Atropurpurea' the purple form of the smoke tree referred to above. Near this plant is a specimen of the Japanese maple Acer palmatum of which the leaves become brightly coloured in autumn. Beside the path is a very attractive shrubby member of the Compositae, the daisy bush Olearia gunniana, again from New Zealand (Fig. 53). Corylopsis spicata of the Hamamelidaceae is a shrub which produces pendent groups of yellow flowers in the spring making it a most attractive plant (Fig. 54). The genus Sophota of the Leguminosae has already been noted. The present plant is Sophora japonica, a native of Korea and a near relative of the kowhai of New Zealand. It grows into a fair-sized tree. Next to the meteorological enclosure are plants of Buddleia davidii 'Royal Reel' of both the variegated and the green form. The former is probably the more striking as the dark-coloured flowers show up against the yellowish leaves much better than they do against the green leaves of the ordinary form.
Many of the cultivated plants of gardens have double flowers and sometimes the single form has been displaced or is less commonly grown. This can be unfortunate and the single flowers of the Chinese shrub Kerria japonica of the Rosaceae (Fig. 55) are more pleasing than those of the double-flowered form.
Next to the path on the north side of the meteorological station is a bush of the alpine currant, Ribes alpinum. Beside it is a plant of Cotoneaster pannosa, a member of the Rosaceae native of China which grows into a large semi-evergreen shrub. Next to these is Rhamnus alaternus 'Variegata', a variegated form of a plant native to the Mediterranean region. Prunus serrulata of the Rosaceae grows into a tree up to 70 feet high and is native to Japan and China. Near the Prunus is a specimen of the lantern tree, Crinodendron hookerianum, already noted (p. 13). In front of it is a specimen of Ceanothus rigidus, a species with neat stiff greyish leaves. At the top of Plot 13 is a plant of Olearia macrodonta, another New Zealand member of the Compositae. Then there are two Chinese shrubs, Akebia quinata, a member of the Lardizabalaceae, a more or less evergreen climber with purple-coloured flowers, and a white double flowered form of Deutzia scabra of the Saxifragaceae. Further down the border is Osmaronia cerasiformis from western North America, a member of the Rosaceae which, though deciduous, produces its leaves and racemes of fragrant white flowers very early in the year.
A New Zealand shrubby Veronica of interest is V. cupressoides which has foliage resembling, superficially, that of the cypresses.
In Plot 14 beside the glasshouses there is a group of Sarcococca humilis, an evergreen shrub of the Buxaceae from China. Its small fragrant white flowers open in the early months of the year. Behind the Sarcococca is Leycesteria formosa, a Himalayan member of the Caprifoliaceae which produces in summer pendulous spikes of white flowers with purple bracts, followed by purple berries in the autumn. Near the entrance of the glasshouses Indigofera gerardiana, a Himalayan member of the Leguminosae, produces in late summer an abundance of small pink flowers in axillary racemes. In the shadier areas there are a number of cultivars of Camellia japonica, a member of the Theaceae native to China and Japan. Introduced into this country over two centuries ago, it is very widely grown in the milder areas and many cultivated varieties have been developed. There are also plants of the small-flowered C. cuspidate. Finally, there are several plants of the scented rhododendrons, probably cultivars of the Himalayan species R. edgworthii.
There are four parallel ranges of houses running east and west, connected on the east side by an unheated corridor in which are grown plants requiring only a small amount of protection, since, in the main, they come from temperate climates. The corridor also serves as a protected area along which tropical plants can he brought in cold weather from one tropical section to another and from the potting shed to the heated houses. The glasshouses are arranged at right angles to the corridor like the teeth of a comb and there are therefore three bays which are protected from the east and north and are flanked by the heated houses on two sides. In them it has been possible to grow a series of plants which are normally too tender to be grown outside. Examples are Cassia corymbosa from tropical America, a member of the Leguminosae with yellow flowers, and various species of Hedychium, tropical members of the family Zingiberaceae. A somewhat tender hybrid of local interest is the Exeter hybrid acacia, raised by Veitch (Fig.56). Its parents are believed to have been A. verticillata and A. riceana.
There are about a thousand different species of plants in the nine sections of the three main ranges of the houses. The first section in each range is used for tropical plants from many parts of the world and the temperature is maintained by thermostatically controlled oil heating at a minimum of 65F (18C). Three sections are devoted to plants from warm temperate zones and, of the other three, one is used for a collection of ferns, mosses and allied plants, one for cacti and other succulent plants and one for slightly tender flowering plants. The fourth range is given over to propagating frames and houses used to grow disease-free plants for the research work in the Department of Botany.
To the west and south sides of the range of glasshouses there is about half an acre of garden planted with a variety of herbaceous plants which are used for both teaching and research.
One other tree in the neighbourhood of the Hatherly Laboratories deserves special note. This is the specimen of the Cedar of Lebanon between the building and the Streatham Hall farm house (Figs. 57, 58). This Cedar, Cedrus libani, is rather less commonly grown in this part of Britain than is the Atlas cedar, Cedrus atlantica. Between the cedar and the farm house there is a plant of Cephalotaxus fortuni, a native of China introduced by Fortune in 1848.
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