Hardy Ornamental Flowering Trees and Shrubs – D


DABOËCIA POLIFOLIA (syn Menziesia polifolia).—St.
Dabeoc’s Heath. South Western Europe, Ireland and the Azores. A
dwarf, and rather straggling, viscid shrub, with linear-ovate
leaves that are silvery beneath. The flowers are pink, and
abundantly produced. D. polifolia alba has white flowers; and D.
polifolia atro-purpurea, purplish flowers.


DANAË LAURUS (syn D. racemosa and Ruscus
).—Alexandrian Laurel. A native of Portugal
(1739), with glossy-green leaf substitutes, and racemes of small,
not very showy, greenish-yellow flowers.


DAPHNE ALPINA.—Italy, 1759. A deciduous species, which has
white or rosy-white, sweet-scented flowers. It is a pretty, but
rare shrub, that grows well in light sandy leaf soil.

D. ALTAICA.—Siberia, 1796. Though rare in gardens, this is
a pretty and neat-foliaged species, and bears white flowers in
abundance. It wants a warm corner and dry soil.

D. BLAGAYANA.—Styria, 1872. This is still rare in
cultivation, but it is a very desirable species, bearing
ivory-white highly-fragrant flowers. For the alpine garden it is
particularly suitable, and though growing rather slowly thrives
well in good light soil.

D. CHAMPIONI (syn D. Fortunei), from China, is a rare and
pretty species, bearing lilac flowers in winter, and whilst the
shrub is leafless. It does best in a warm situation, such as
planted against a wall facing south.

D. CNEORUM.—Garland Flower. South Europe, 1752. This is a
charming rock shrub, of dwarf, trailing habit, with small
glossy-green leaves, and dense clusters of deep pink,
deliciously-fragrant flowers.

D. FIONIANA is of neat growth, with small, glossy, dark leaves,
and pale rose-coloured flowers. Its sturdy, dwarf habit, constant
verdure, and pretty sweet-scented flowers, should make this species
a favourite with cultivators. Known also as D. hyemalis.

D. GENKWA.—Japanese Lilac. Japan, 1866. This is a rare and
beautiful species, of recent introduction, with large lilac-tinted,
sweetly-scently flowers.

D. LAUREOLA.—Spurge Laurel. This is not, in so far at
least as flowers are concerned, a showy species, but the ample
foliage and sturdy habit of the plant will always render this
native species of value for the shrubbery. It is of value, too, as
growing and flowering freely in the shade. The flowers are
sweetly-scented and of a greenish-yellow colour, and appear about

D. MEZEREUM.—The Mezereon. Europe (England). One of the
commonest and most popular of hardy garden shrubs. It is of stout,
strict growth, and produces clusters of pinky, rose, or purplish
flowers before winter is past, and while the branches are yet
leafless. Few perfectly hardy flowering shrubs are so popular as
the Mezereon, and rightly so, for a more beautiful plant could not
be mentioned, wreathed as every branch is, and almost back to the
main stem, with the showiest of flowers. It likes good, rich,
dampish soil, and delights to grow in a quiet, shady nook, or even
beneath the spread of our larger forest trees. There are several
very distinct varieties, of which the white-flowered D. Mezereum
flore albo is one of the most valuable. The fruit of this variety
is bright golden-yellow. D. Mezereum autumnale and D. Mezereum
atro-rubrum are likewise interesting and beautiful forms.

D. PETRAEA (syn D. rupestris).—Rock Daphne. Tyrol.
This is quite hardy in the more sheltered corners of the rock
garden, with neat, shining foliage and pretty rosy flowers,
produced so thickly all over the plant as almost to hide the
foliage from view. At Kew it thrives well in peaty loam and
limestone, and although it does not increase very quickly is yet
happy and contented. It is a charming rock shrub.

D. PONTICA.—Pontic Daphne. Asia Minor, 1759. This is much
like D. lauriola, but has shorter and more oval leaves, and the
flowers, instead of being borne in fives like that species, are
produced in pairs. They are also of a richer yellow, and more
sweetly scented.

D. SERICEA (syn D. collina).—Italy and Asia Minor,
1820. This forms a bush fully 2 feet high, with evergreen, oblong,
shining leaves, and clusters of rose-coloured flowers that are
pleasantly scented. It is quite hardy, and an interesting species
that is well worthy of more extended culture. There is a variety of
this with broader foliage than the species, and named D. sericea
latifolia (syn D. collina latifolia).


handsome Japanese shrub that will be valued for its neat
Rhododendron-like foliage, compact habit of growth, and for the
conspicuous bark which is of a warm reddish hue. The leaves are
large and elliptic, six inches long, and are rendered strangely
conspicuous from the foot-stalks and midrib being dull crimson,
this affording a striking contrast to the delicate green of the
leaves. It grows freely in light sandy peat. There are two
well-marked forms, one named D. glaucescens viridis, in which the
red markings of the leaves are absent; and D. glaucescens
jezoensis, a pretty and uncommon variety.


DESFONTAINEA SPINOSA.—Andes from Chili to New Grenada,
1853. This is a desirable shrub, and one that is perfectly hardy in
most parts of the country. It is a charming shrub of bold, bushy
habit, with prickly holly-like foliage, and scarlet and yellow,
trumpet-shaped pendent flowers, borne in quantity. The shelter of a
wall favours the growth and flowering of this handsome shrub, but
it also succeeds well in the open if planted in rich, light soil,
and in positions that are not exposed to cold and cutting


DEUTZIA CRENATA (syn D. scabra and D.
).—Japan 1863. This is of stout, bushy growth,
often reaching a height of 8 feet, and lateral spread of nearly as
much. The ovate-lanceolate leaves are rough to the touch, and its
slender, but wiry stems, are wreathed for a considerable distance
along with racemes of pure white flowers. It is a very distinct
shrub, of noble port, and when in full flower is certainly one of
the most ornamental of hardy shrubs. The double-flowered form, D.
crenata flore-pleno, is one of the prettiest flowering shrubs in
cultivation, the wealth of double flowers, not white as in the
species, but tinged with reddish-purple being highly attractive. D.
crenata, Pride of Rochester, is another form with double-white
flowers, and a most distinct and beautiful shrub. Two other very
beautiful varieties are those known as D. crenata Watererii and D.
crenata Wellsii.

D. GRACILIS is a somewhat tender shrub of fully 18 inches high,
with smooth leaves and pure-white flowers produced in the greatest
freedom. It does well in warm, sheltered sites, but is most
frequently seen as a greenhouse plant. A native of Japan.


DIERVILLA FLORIBUNDA (syn D. multiflora and Weigelia
), from Japan, 1864, has narrow, tubular,
purplish-coloured corollas, that are only slightly opened out at
the mouth. The Diervillas are valuable decorative shrubs, of free
growth in good rich loam, and bearing a great abundance of the
showiest of flowers. For shrubbery planting they must ever rank
high, the beautiful flowers and rich green ample leafage rendering
them distinct and attractive.

D. GRANDIFLORA (syn D. amabilis and Weigelia
).—Japan. This is of larger growth than D. rosea,
with strongly reticulated leaves, that are prominently veined on
the under sides, and much larger, almost white flowers. It is a
distinct and worthy species. There are some beautiful varieties of
this species, named Isolinae, Van Houttei, and Striata.

D. ROSEA (syn Weigelia rosea).—China, 1844. This is
a handsome hardy shrub of small stature, with ovate-lanceolate
leaves, and clusters of showy pink, or sometimes white flowers,
that are produced in April and May. There are many good varieties
of this shrub, of which the following are the most
popular:—D. rosea arborescens grandiflora; D. rosea Lavallii,
with an abundance of crimson-red flowers; D. rosea Stelzneri, with
an abundance of deep red flowers; D. rosea hortensis nivea, large
foliage, and large, pure-white flowers; D. rosea candida, much like
the latter, but bearing pure-white flowers; and D. rosea Looymansii
aurea has beautiful golden leaves.


DISCARIA LONGISPINA.—This is at once a curious and
beautiful shrub, of low, creeping growth, and poorly furnished with
leaves, which, however, are amply made up for by the deep green of
the shoots and stems, and which give to the plant almost the
appearance of an evergreen. The flowers, which are bell-shaped and
white, are almost lavishly produced, and as they last for a very
long time, with only the pure white assuming a pinky tinge when
subjected to excessive sunshine, the value of the shrub is still
further enhanced. For planting against a mound of rock this
scrambling shrub is of value, but the position should not be
exposed to cold winds, for the plant is somewhat tender. From South
America, and allied to the better known Colletias.

D. SERRATIFOLIA (syn Colletia serratifolia), is even a
handsomer plant than the former, with minute serrated foliage, and
sheets of small white flowers in June.


DIOSPYROS KAKI COSTATA.—The Date Plum. China, 1789. Fruit
as big as a small apple; leaves leathery, entire, and broadly
ovate; flowers and fruits in this country when afforded the
protection of a wall. The fruit is superior to that of D.
virginiana (Persimmon).

D. LOTUS, the common Date Plum, is a European species, with
purplish flowers, and oblong leaves that are reddish on the under
sides. Both species want a light, warm soil, and sheltered

D. VIRGINIANA.—The Persimmon, or Virginian Date Plum.
North America, 1629. A small-growing tree, with coriaceous leaves,
and greenish-yellow flowers. In southern situations and by the
seaside it is perfectly hardy, and succeeds well, but in other
districts it is rather tender. The fruit is edible, yellow in
colour, and about an inch in diameter.


DIRCA PALUSTRIS.—Leather Wood. North America, 1750. A
much-branched bush, of quite a tree-like character, but rarely more
than 3 feet high. To the Daphnes it is nearly allied, and is close
in resemblance; but there is a curious yellowish hue pervading the
whole plant. The flowers are produced on the naked shoots in April,
and are rendered conspicuous by reason of the pendent yellow
stamens. They are borne in terminal clusters of three or four
together. It delights to grow in a cool, moist soil, indeed it is
only when so situated that the Leather Wood can be seen in a really
thriving condition.


).—Tasmanian Pepper Plant. Tasmania, 1843. This
is, if we might say so, a more refined plant than D. Winteri, with
smaller and narrower leaves, and smaller flowers. The plant, too,
has altogether a faint reddish tinge, and is of upright growth. A
native of Tasmania, and called by the natives the Pepper Plant, the
fruit being used as a substitute for that condiment. Like the other
species the present plant is only hardy in warm, maritime places,
and when afforded the protection of a wall.

D. WINTERI (syn Winter a aromatica).—Winter’s Bark.
South America, 1827. The fine evergreen character is the chief
attraction of this American shrub, so far at least as garden
ornamentation is concerned. With some persons even the
greenish-white flowers are held in esteem, and it cannot be denied
that a well flowered plant has its own attractions. The long,
narrow leaves are pale green above and glaucous beneath, and make
the shrub of interest, both on account of their evergreen nature
and brightness of tint. Unfortunately it is not very hardy,
requiring even in southern England a sunny wall to do it