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

D. MEZEREUM.—­The Mezereon.  Europe (England).  One of the commonest and most popular of hardy garden shrubs.  It is of stout, strict growth, and produces clusters of pinky, rose, or purplish flowers before winter is past, and while the branches are yet leafless.  Few perfectly hardy flowering shrubs are so popular as the Mezereon, and rightly so, for a more beautiful plant could not be mentioned, wreathed as every branch is, and almost back to the main stem, with the showiest of flowers.  It likes good, rich, dampish soil, and delights to grow in a quiet, shady nook, or even beneath the spread of our larger forest trees.  There are several very distinct varieties, of which the white-flowered D. Mezereum flore albo is one of the most valuable.  The fruit of this variety is bright golden-yellow.  D. Mezereum autumnale and D. Mezereum atro-rubrum are likewise interesting and beautiful forms.

D. PETRAEA (syn D. rupestris).—­Rock Daphne.  Tyrol.  This is quite hardy in the more sheltered corners of the rock garden, with neat, shining foliage and pretty rosy flowers, produced so thickly all over the plant as almost to hide the foliage from view.  At Kew it thrives well in peaty loam and limestone, and although it does not increase very quickly is yet happy and contented.  It is a charming rock shrub.

D. PONTICA.—­Pontic Daphne.  Asia Minor, 1759.  This is much like D. lauriola, but has shorter and more oval leaves, and the flowers, instead of being borne in fives like that species, are produced in pairs.  They are also of a richer yellow, and more sweetly scented.

D. SERICEA (syn D. collina).—­Italy and Asia Minor, 1820.  This forms a bush fully 2 feet high, with evergreen, oblong, shining leaves, and clusters of rose-coloured flowers that are pleasantly scented.  It is quite hardy, and an interesting species that is well worthy of more extended culture.  There is a variety of this with broader foliage than the species, and named D. sericea latifolia (syn D. collina latifolia).

DAPHNIPHYLLUM.

DAPHNIPHYLLUM GLAUCESCENS.—­East Indies, Java and Corea.  A handsome Japanese shrub that will be valued for its neat Rhododendron-like foliage, compact habit of growth, and for the conspicuous bark which is of a warm reddish hue.  The leaves are large and elliptic, six inches long, and are rendered strangely conspicuous from the foot-stalks and midrib being dull crimson, this affording a striking contrast to the delicate green of the leaves.  It grows freely in light sandy peat.  There are two well-marked forms, one named D. glaucescens viridis, in which the red markings of the leaves are absent; and D. glaucescens jezoensis, a pretty and uncommon variety.

DESFONTAINEA.

DESFONTAINEA SPINOSA.—­Andes from Chili to New Grenada, 1853.  This is a desirable shrub, and one that is perfectly hardy in most parts of the country.  It is a charming shrub of bold, bushy habit, with prickly holly-like foliage, and scarlet and yellow, trumpet-shaped pendent flowers, borne in quantity.  The shelter of a wall favours the growth and flowering of this handsome shrub, but it also succeeds well in the open if planted in rich, light soil, and in positions that are not exposed to cold and cutting winds.

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