(32) EVERGREEN ORNAMENTAL TREES AND SHRUBS
The climate of Britain enables us to cultivate many evergreens; new species are imported, and varieties are produced by accident or experiment, so that the number is always increasing. All the pine tribe may be described as highly ornamental, and many of them endure the open air in the coldest parts of Britain.
The Deodar (Cendrus Deodara) naturally grows in compact forests, clearing itself of side branches like the larch; in this country single specimens have been extensively planted of late years for ornament. Large quantities of seeds are annually imported form the Himalaya, and it is also raised from cuttings.
The Lebanon and Atlas cedars (cedurs Libani and atlantica) are closely allied to the Deodar; and it is proved by Hooker that they cannot be separated by constant specific characters. The Atlas cedar is distinguished by a stiff erect leader, and the foliage is generally dark, that of the Deodar being light or bluishfoliage is generally dark, that of the Deodar being light or bluish green.
Cryptomeria japonica, the Japan cedar, is a beautiful evergreen tree, attaining 100 feet in height, with a pyramidal head; it yields cones abundantly.
Sequoia gigantean, the Wellingtonia or mammoth tree, remarkable as the loftiest tree known, attains 300 to 330 feet in height, and 80 to 100 feet in girth, and is a handsome and symmetrical tree.
S. sempervirens, the redwood of California, is another giant tree, though of smaller size. Both species are hardy in England, and are easily raise from cuttings.
The Weymouth pine (Pinus Strobus) is a hardy ornamental tree, introduced in 1705, suited for cold situations; and still more so is the Pinus Cembra, which is of slow and erect growth and long retains the beauty of youth.
Pinus excelsa is a hardy and ornamental species, from the Himalaya; but when exposed to wind it does not thrive. It is inclined to seed rather too early and freely in this country.
Some of the Californian and British Columbian pines are hardy and ornamental, particularly P. ponderosa, the heavy wooded pine; but it is easily blown over by the wind. Other species are P. Sabiniana, inops, and Murrayana.
The Douglas fir (Abies Douglasii, Lindl.) is a handsome tree, as hardy as the common spruce, differing in the dark green colour, and apparently intermediate between the common spruce and the silver fir. It was introduced in 1827, and is of very rapid growth in England and Scotland at Dropmore there is a tree which, at the age of 44 years, was 100 feet high, with 9 ft. 7 in. girth at 3 feet above the ground. Many specimens in Perthshire raised from layers and cuttings since 1846, are 50 to 70 feet high.
The black and white spruces (Abies nigra and alba) of North America are well-known ornaments in our pleasure grounds; and there are some California species, such as Abies Menziesii, nobilis, and others, which are hardy, and promise to be valuable additions to our ornamental trees.
The Hemlock spruce of Canada (Abies Canadensis) is hardy throughout North Europe. The Cephalonian fir (Abies cephalonica, Loudon), closely allied to and probably only a variety of the silver fir, is a handsome tree, readily propagated by cuttings and from comes imported from the Mediterranean.
A. Nordmanniana, Link, a stately tree with dark, compact foliage, and ovoid cones, of late years much cultivated in England, forming forests in the Crimea and the Caucasus, is regarded as a variety of the silver fir by Parlatore and Grisebach.
A. Pinsapo, Boissier, is a beautiful tree with rigid whorled branches, introduced from Malaga and Algeria; it is much cultivated in England, and thrives well.
Abies Smithiana, the Himalyan spruce, closely resembles the common spruce, and is hardy in England and Scotland, where it grows with great vigour; it is readily propagated by cuttings, and by grafting, and British trees already produce cones.
Abies Webbiana, Lindl., the Himalayan silver fir, suffers in spring in North Europe, because it starts into growth too early: it is grown in Ireland and the south-west of England.
The Chili [Chile] pine (Araucaria imbricata), a noble tree in its native country, and a conspicuous object in a park from the peculiarity of its whorls of rigid branches, is hardy in many situations in Scotland as far north as Dunrobin.
Cupressus Lawsoniana, introduced in 1854 from California, is hardy, and rapidly becomes a handsome tree, ripening its cones.
The common cypress (Cupressus sempervirens, L.) grows vigorously in the central districts of England, but scarcely thrives in the northern countries.
Cupressus glauca or lusitanica, L., is a beautiful evergreen, with glaucous foliage, but tender; nevertheless, in Ireland it attains a great size.
The Ginkgo or maidenhair tree (Salisburia adianitfolia, S.) is remarkable for the singularity of its foliage; it is a native of China, but is hardy in many parts of England.
Biota orientalis, Endl. (syn. Thuja orientalis, Linn., the Arbor vitae), is a small evergreen tree, indigenous in Japan and China, much cultivated in Europe, with foliage similar to that of the Cypress.
The red cedar (Juniperus virginiana, L), the Phoenician, and other species of juniper, are hardy and ornamental.
The holly, boxwood, evergreen oak, and Portugal laurel are universally known and admired, and their glossy foliage makes them specially beautiful in winter.
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