LESPEDEZA BICOLOR (syn Desmodium penduliflorum).—North China and Japan. A little-known but beautiful small-growing shrub, of slender, elegant growth, and reaching, under favourable culture, a height of about 6 feet. The leaves are trifoliolate, small, and neat, and the abundant racemes of individually small, Pea-shaped flowers are of the richest and showiest reddish-purple. Being only semi-hardy will account for the scarcity of this beautiful Japanese shrub, but having stood uninjured in all but the coldest parts of these islands should induce lovers of flowering shrubs to give it a fair chance.
LEUCOTHOE AXILLARIS (syn Andromeda axillaris).—North America, 1765. This is of small growth, from 2 feet to 3 feet high, with oval-pointed leaves and white flowers in short racemes produced in May and June. It is not a very satisfactory species for cultivation in this country.
L. CATESBAEI (syns Andromeda Catesbaei and A. axillaris).—North America. This has white flowers with an unpleasant odour like that of Chestnut blossoms, but is worthy of cultivation, and succeeds best in cool sandy peat or friable yellow loam.
L. DAVISIAE, from California (1853), is a very handsome evergreen shrub, of small and neat growth, and will be found an acquisition where compact shrubs are in demand. The leaves are small, of a deep green colour, and remain throughout the year. Flowers produced in great abundance at the branch tips, usually in dense clusters, and individually small and pure white.
L. RECURVA (syn Andromeda recurva).—North America. A very distinct plant on account of the branch tips being almost of a scarlet tint, and thus affording a striking contrast to the grayish-green of the older bark. The flowers are pinky-white and produced in curving racemes and abundantly over the shrub. Like other members of the family it delights to grow in cool sandy peat.
LEYCESTERIA FORMOSA, from Nepaul (1824), is an erect-growing, deciduous shrub, with green, hollow stems, and large ovate, pointed leaves of a very deep green colour. The flowers are small, and white or purplish, and produced in long, pendulous, bracteate racemes from the axils of the upper leaves. It is one of the most distinct and interesting of hardy shrubs, the deep olive-green of both stem and leaves, and abundantly-produced and curiously-shaped racemes, rendering it a conspicuous object wherever planted. Perfectly hardy, and of free, almost rampant growth in any but the stiffest soils. Cuttings root freely and grow rapidly.
LIGUSTRUM IBOTA (syn L. amurense).—Japan, 1861. A compact growing species, about 3 feet in height, with small spikes of pure white flowers produced freely during the summer months.