RUSCUS ACULEATUS.—Butcher’s Broom, Pettigree and Pettigrue. Europe (Britain), and North Africa. This is a native evergreen shrub, with rigid cladodes which take the place of leaves, and not very showy greenish flowers appearing about May. For the bright red berries, which are as large as small marbles, it is alone worth cultivating, while it is one of the few shrubs that grow at all satisfactorily beneath the shade of our larger trees.
R. HYPOPHYLLUM.—Double Tongue. Mediterranean region, 1640. This species has the flowers on the undersides of the leaf-like branches; and its variety R.H. Hypoglossum has them on the upper side. Both are of value for planting in the shade.
SAMBUCUS CALIFORNICA.—Californian Elder. A rare species as yet, but one that from its elegant growth and duration of flowers is sure, when better known, to become widely distributed.
S. GLAUCA has its herbaceous parts covered with a thick pubescence; leaves pubescent on both sides, and with yellow flowers produced in umbels.
S. NIGRA.—Common Elder. Bourtry, or Bour tree. Although one of our commonest native trees, the Elder must rank amongst the most ornamental if only for its large compound cymes of white or yellowish-white flowers, and ample bunches of shining black berries. There are, however, several varieties that should be largely cultivated, such as S. nigra foliis aureis (Golden Elder), S. nigra fructu albo (White Fruited), S. nigra laciniata (Cut-leaved Elder), S. nigra argentea (Silver-leaved Elder), S. nigra rotundifolia (Round-leaved Elder), the names of which will be sufficient for the purposes of recognition.
S. RACEMOSA.—Scarlet-berried Elder. South Europe and Siberia, 1596. This is almost a counterpart of our native species, but instead of black the berries are brilliant scarlet. It is a highly ornamental species, but it is rather exacting, requiring for its perfect growth a cool and moist situation. Of this there is a cut-leaved, form, named S. racemosa serratifolia.
S. ROSAEFLORA is said to be a seedling from S. glauca, but differs in many important points from the parent. It has smooth shoots and branches, ovate-acuminate leaves that are downy beneath, and flowers rose-coloured without and white within. They are produced in short, spike-like clusters, and are almost destitute of smell. The reddish rings at the insertion of the leaves is another distinguishing feature.
For freedom of growth in almost every class of soil, and readiness with which they may be increased, the more showy kinds of Elder are well worthy of attention.
SCHIZANDRA CHINENSIS.—Northern China, 1860. This is a climbing shrub, with oval, bright green leaves, and showy carmine flowers. For clothing arbors and walls it may prove of use, but it is as yet rare in cultivation.