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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 154 pages of information about Hardy Ornamental Flowering Trees and Shrubs.

B. CONGESTIFLORA, from Chili, is not yet well-known, but promises to become a general favourite with lovers of hardy shrubs.  It is of unusual appearance for a Barberry, with long, decumbent branches, which are thickly covered with masses of orange-yellow flowers.  The branch-tips, being almost leafless and smothered with flowers, impart to the plant a striking, but distinctly ornamental appearance.

B. DARWINII.—­Chili, 1849.  This is, perhaps, the best known and most ornamental of the family.  It forms a dense bush, sometimes 10 feet high, with dark glossy leaves, and dense racemes of orange-yellow flowers, produced in April and May, and often again in the autumn.

B. EMPETRIFOLIA.—­Straits of Magellan, 1827.  This is a neat-habited and dwarf evergreen species, that even under the best cultivation rarely exceeds 2 feet in height.  It is one of the hardiest species, and bears, though rather sparsely, terminal golden-yellow flowers, which are frequently produced both in spring and autumn.  For its compact growth and neat foliage it is alone worthy of culture.

B. FORTUNEI (syn Mahonia Fortunei).—­China, 1846.  This is rather a rare species in cultivation, with finely toothed leaves, composed of about seven leaflets, and bearing in abundance clustered racemes of individually small yellow flowers.  A native of China, and requiring a warm, sunny spot to do it justice.

B. GRACILIS (syn Mahonia gracilis).—­Mexico.  A pretty, half-hardy species, growing about 6 feet high, with slender branches, and shining-green leaves with bright red stalks.  Flowers small, in 3-inch long racemes, deep yellow with bright red pedicels.  Fruit globular, deep purple.

B. ILICIFOLIA (syn B. Neumanii).—­South America, 1791.  This is another handsome evergreen species from South America, and requires protection in this country.  The thick, glossy-green leaves, beset with spines, and large orange-red flowers, combine to make this species one of great interest and beauty.

B. JAPONICA (syn Mahonia japonica).—­Japan.  This is not a very satisfactory shrub in these isles, although in warm seaside districts, and when planted in rich loam, on a gravelly subsoil, it forms a handsome plant with noble foliage, and deliciously fragrant yellow flowers.

B. NEPALENSIS (syn Mahonia nepalensis).—­Nepaul Barberry.  This is a noble Himalayan species that one rarely sees in good condition in this country, unless when protected by glass.  The long, chalky-white stems, often rising to 8 feet in height, are surmounted by dense clusters of lemon-yellow flowers.  Planted outdoors, this handsome and partly evergreen Barberry must have the protection of a wall.

B. NERVOSA (syn Mahonia glumacea).—­North America, 1804.  This, with its terminal clusters of reddish-yellow flowers produced in spring, is a highly attractive North-west American species.  It is of neat and compact growth, perfectly hardy, but as yet it is rare in cultivation.  The autumnal leafage-tint is very attractive.

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