DISCARIA LONGISPINA.—This is at once a curious and beautiful shrub, of low, creeping growth, and poorly furnished with leaves, which, however, are amply made up for by the deep green of the shoots and stems, and which give to the plant almost the appearance of an evergreen. The flowers, which are bell-shaped and white, are almost lavishly produced, and as they last for a very long time, with only the pure white assuming a pinky tinge when subjected to excessive sunshine, the value of the shrub is still further enhanced. For planting against a mound of rock this scrambling shrub is of value, but the position should not be exposed to cold winds, for the plant is somewhat tender. From South America, and allied to the better known Colletias.
D. SERRATIFOLIA (syn Colletia serratifolia), is even a handsomer plant than the former, with minute serrated foliage, and sheets of small white flowers in June.
DIOSPYROS KAKI COSTATA.—The Date Plum. China, 1789. Fruit as big as a small apple; leaves leathery, entire, and broadly ovate; flowers and fruits in this country when afforded the protection of a wall. The fruit is superior to that of D. virginiana (Persimmon).
D. LOTUS, the common Date Plum, is a European species, with purplish flowers, and oblong leaves that are reddish on the under sides. Both species want a light, warm soil, and sheltered situation.
D. VIRGINIANA.—The Persimmon, or Virginian Date Plum. North America, 1629. A small-growing tree, with coriaceous leaves, and greenish-yellow flowers. In southern situations and by the seaside it is perfectly hardy, and succeeds well, but in other districts it is rather tender. The fruit is edible, yellow in colour, and about an inch in diameter.
DIRCA PALUSTRIS.—Leather Wood. North America, 1750. A much-branched bush, of quite a tree-like character, but rarely more than 3 feet high. To the Daphnes it is nearly allied, and is close in resemblance; but there is a curious yellowish hue pervading the whole plant. The flowers are produced on the naked shoots in April, and are rendered conspicuous by reason of the pendent yellow stamens. They are borne in terminal clusters of three or four together. It delights to grow in a cool, moist soil, indeed it is only when so situated that the Leather Wood can be seen in a really thriving condition.
DRIMYS AROMATICA (syn Tasmannia aromatica).—Tasmanian Pepper Plant. Tasmania, 1843. This is, if we might say so, a more refined plant than D. Winteri, with smaller and narrower leaves, and smaller flowers. The plant, too, has altogether a faint reddish tinge, and is of upright growth. A native of Tasmania, and called by the natives the Pepper Plant, the fruit being used as a substitute for that condiment. Like the other species the present plant is only hardy in warm, maritime places, and when afforded the protection of a wall.