M. CALIFORNICA.—Californian Wax Myrtle. California, 1848. In this we have a valuable evergreen shrub that is hardy beyond a doubt, and that will thrive in the very poorest classes of soils. In appearance it somewhat resembles our native plant, but is preferable to it on account of the deep green, persistent leaves. The leaves are about 3 inches long, narrow, and produced in tufts along the branches. Unlike our native species, the Californian Wax Myrtle has no pleasant aroma to the leaves.
M. CERIFERA.—Common Candle-berry Myrtle. Canada, 1699. This is a neat little shrub, usually about 4 feet high, with oblong-lanceolate leaves, and inconspicuous catkins.
M. GALE.—Sweet Gale or Bog Myrtle. This has inconspicuous flowers, and is included here on account of the deliciously fragrant foliage, and which makes it a favourite with cultivators generally. It is a native shrub, growing from 3 feet to 4 feet high, with deciduous, linear-lanceolate leaves, and clustered catkins appearing before the leaves. A moor or bog plant, and of great value for planting by the pond or lake side, or along with the so-called American plants, for the aroma given off by the foliage.
The Myricas are all worthy of cultivation, although the flowers are inconspicuous—their neat and in most cases fragrant foliage, and adaptability to poor soil or swampy hollows, being extra recommendations.
MYRTUS COMMUNIS.—Common Myrtle. South Europe, 1597. A well-known shrub, which, unless in very favoured spots and by the sea-side, cannot survive our winters. Where it does well, and then only as a wall plant, this and its varieties are charming shrubs with neat foliage and an abundance of showy flowers. The double-flowered varieties are very handsome, but they are more suitable for glass culture than planting in the open.
M. LUMA (syn Eugenia apiculata and E. Luma).—Chili. Though sometimes seen growing out of doors, this is not to be recommended for general planting, it being best suited for greenhouse culture.
M. UGNI (syn Eugenia Ugni).—Valdivia, 1845. A small-growing, Myrtle-like shrub, that is only hardy in favoured parts of the country. It is of branching habit, with small, wiry stems, oval, coriacious leaves, and pretty pinky flowers. The edible fruit is highly ornamental, being of a pleasing ruddy tinge tinted with white. This dwarf-growing shrub wants the protection of a wall, and when so situated in warm seaside parts of the country soon forms a bush of neat and pleasing appearance.
NEILLIA OPULIFOLIA (syn Spiraea opulifolia).—Nine Bark. North America, 1690. A hardy shrub, nearly allied to Spiraea. It produces a profusion of umbel-like corymbs of pretty white flowers, that are succeeded by curious swollen membraneous purplish fruit. N. opulifolia aurea is worthy of culture, it being of free growth and distinct from the parent plant.