PAULOWNIA IMPERIALIS.—Japan, 1840. This is a handsome, fast-growing tree, and one that is particularly valuable for its ample foliage, and distinct and showy flowers. Though perfectly hardy, in other respects it is unfortunate that the season at which the Paulownia flowers is so early that, unless the conditions are unusually favourable, the flower buds get destroyed by the frost. The tree grows to fully 40 feet high in this country, and is a grandly decorative object in its foliage alone, and for which, should the flowers never be produced, it is well worthy of cultivation. They are ovate-cordate, thickly covered with a grayish woolly tomentum, and often measure, but particularly in young and healthy trees, as much as 10 inches in length. The Foxglove-like flowers are purplish-violet and spotted, and borne in terminal panicles. They are sweetly-scented. When favourably situated, and in cool, sandy loam or peaty earth, the growth of the tree is very rapid, and when a tree has been cut over, the shoots sent out often exceed 6 feet in length in one season, and nearly 2 inches in diameter. There are many fine old trees throughout the country, and which testify to the general hardihood of the Paulownia.
PERIPLOCA GRAECA.—Poison Vine. South Eastern Europe, and Orient, 1597. A tall, climbing shrub, with small, ovate-lanceolate leaves, and clusters of curious purplish-brown, green-tipped flowers produced in summer. The long, incurved appendages, in the shape of a crown, and placed so as to protect the style and anthers, render the flowers of peculiar interest. Though often used as a greenhouse plant, it is perfectly hardy, and makes a neat, deciduous wall or arch covering, thriving to perfection in rich soil that is well-drained. It is readily propagated from cuttings.
PERNETTYA MUCRONATA (syn Arbutus mucronata).—Prickly Heath. Magellan, 1828. This is a dwarf-growing, wiry shrub, with narrow, stiff leaves, and bears an abundance of white, bell-shaped flowers. It is a capital wind screen, and may be used to advantage on the exposed side of rockwork or flower beds, or as an ornamental shrub by the pond or lake side. The small dark-green leaves, the tiny white flowers, and great abundance of deep purple berries in winter, are all points that are in favour of the shrub for extended cultivation. The pretty, pinky shoots, too, help to make the plant attractive even in mid-winter. Propagation by layers or seed is readily brought about. To grow this shrub to perfection, peaty soil or decayed vegetable matter will be found most suitable. There is a narrow-leaved form named P. mucronata angustifolia, and another on which the name of P. mucronata speciosa has been bestowed.
There are many beautiful-berried forms of the Pernettya, but as their flowers are small can hardly be included in our list.