SMILAX ASPERA.—The Prickly Ivy. South Europe, 1648. A trailing-habited shrub, with prickly stems, ovate, spiny-toothed, evergreen leaves, and rather unattractive flowers. There are other hardy species from North America, including S. Bona-nox (better known as S. tamnoides), S. rotundifolia, and S. herbacea, the first being the most desirable. S. aspera mauritanica is a hardy variety, but one that is rare in cultivation, with long, wiry shoots, and well adapted for wall or trellis covering. They all require favoured situations, else the growth is short, and the plants stunted and meagre in appearance.
SOLANUM CRISPUM.—Potato-tree. A native of Chili, 1824, and not very hardy, except in the coast regions of England and Ireland. It grows stout and bushy, often in favoured places rising to the height of 12 feet, and has large clusters of purple-blue flowers that are succeeded by small, white berries. This is a decidedly ornamental shrub, that should be cultivated wherever a suitable place can be spared. It bears hard pruning back with impunity, and succeeds in any light, rich, loamy soil.
S. DULCAMARA.—Bitter Sweet, and Woody Nightshade. This is a native plant, and one of great beauty when seen clambering over a fence, or bank. It has long, flexuous stems, and large clusters of purple flowers, which are made all the more conspicuous by the showy yellow anthers. The scarlet fruit is very effective.
SOPHORA JAPONICA (syn Styphnolobium japonicum).—Chinese or Japanese Pagoda-tree. China and Japan, 1763. A large deciduous tree, with elegant pinnate foliage, and clusters of greenish-white flowers produced in September. Leaves dark-green, and composed of about eleven leaflets. S. japonica pendula is one of the most constant of weeping trees, and valuable for planting in certain well-chosen spots on the lawn or in the park.
S. TETRAPTERA.—New Zealand, 1772. This requires protection in this country. It is a valuable species, having numerous leaflets, and bearing racemes of very showy yellow flowers. S. tetraptera microphylla is a smaller-leaved variety, with ten to forty pairs of leaflets, and is known in gardens under the names of Edwardsia Macnabiana, and E. tatraptera microphylla.
SPARTIUM JUNCEUM (syn S. acutifolium).—Spanish, or Rush Broom. Mediterranean region and Canary Isles, 1548. This resembles our common Broom, but the slender Rush-like branches are not angular, and usually destitute of leaves. The fragrant yellow flowers are produced abundantly in racemes, and when at their best impart to the shrub a very striking and beautiful appearance. For planting in poor, sandy or gravelly soils, or amongst stones and shingle, and where only a very limited number of shrubs could be got to grow, the Spanish Broom will be found an excellent and valuable plant. It is a native of Southern Europe, and is quite hardy all over the country. Propagated from seed.