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place such a tree as the present in the neighbourhood of other full-sprayed species, where the curiosity which it excites will add greatly to its value as an interesting object at that period of the year.*

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The seeds vegetate freely, and the tree is usually propagated in that manner. It prefers a rich, strong soil, like most trees of the western states.

There are some very fine specimens upon the lawn at Dr Hosack's seat, Hyde Park, N. Y. which have fruited for a number of years. See Fig. 35.


Nat. Ord. Salicaces.

Lin. Syst. Diœcia, Diandria.

A very large genus, comprising plants of almost every stature, from minute shrubs of three or four inches in height, to lofty and wide-spreading trees of fifty or sixty feet.† They are generally remarkable for their narrow leaves, and slender, round, and flexible branches.

There are few of these willows which are adapted to add to the beauty of artificial scenery; but among them are three or four trees, which, from their peculiar character, deserve especial notice. These are the Weeping, or Babylonian willow, (Salix Babylonica;) the White, or Huntington willow, (S. alba ;) the Golden willow, (S. vitellina ;) the Russell willow, (S. Russelliana;) and the profuse Flowering willow, (S. caprea.)

The above are all foreign sorts, which, however, (except the last,) have long ago been introduced, and are now quite common in the United States. All of them, except the first, have an upright or wavy, spreading growth, and form lofty trees, considerably valued abroad for their timber. The White willow, and the Russell willow are very rapid in their growth, and have a pleasing light green foliage. The Golden willow is remarkable for its bright yellow bark, which renders it quite ornamental, even in winter. It is a middle sized tree, and is often seen growing along the road-sides in the eastern and middle states. Salix caprea is deserving a place in collections, for the beauty of its abundant blossoms, at an

+ Dr. Barratt of Middletown, Conn., who has paid great attention to the willow, enumerates 100 species, as growing in North America, either indigenous or introduced.

early and cheerless period in the spring. There are a number of other species found growing in different parts of the Union, which may perhaps possess sufficient interest to recommend themselves to the planter.

The chief, and indeed almost the only value of these willows in Landscape Gardening, is to embellish low grounds, streams of water, or margins of lakes. When mingled with other trees, they often harmonize so badly from their extremely different habits, foliage, and colour, that unless very sparingly introduced, they cannot fail to have a bad effect. On the banks of streams, however, they are extremely appropriate, hanging their slender branches over the liquid element, and drawing genial nourishment from the moistened soil.

"Le saule incliné sur la rive penchante,
Balançant mollement sa tête blanchissante."

In the middle distance of a scene, also, where a stream winds partially hidden, or which might otherwise wholly escape the eye, these trees, if planted along its course, connected as they are, in our minds, with watery soils, will not fail to direct the attention, and convey forcibly the impression of a brook or river, winding its way beneath their shade.

The Weeping willow, however, is at once one of the most elegant, graceful, and interesting trees; elegant in its light and delicate waving foliage; and graceful in the soft flowing lines formed by its drooping branches; and interesting by the melancholy, poetical, and scriptural associations connected with it. Every one will call to mind the captivity of the children of Israel, as connected with this tree: "By the waters of Babylon we sat down and

wept, O Zion! As for our harps, we hanged them upon the willow trees:" Psalm cxxxvii. And the gentle sigh of the faintest breeze, through its light foliage, still recalls to the mind the plaintive murmur of those abandoned harps, which one may fancy to have bequeathed their last tones of music to its pensile branches.

Since that period, the willow appears to have been, more or less, consecrated to a tender sentiment of grief,

"Trailing low its boughs, to hide
The gleaming marble."

To these offices of pensive melancholy, it appears to be dedicated in almost all countries. The Chinese and other Asiatic nations, and the Turks, as well as the enlightened Europeans, universally plant it in their cemeteries and last places of repose. A French writer thus speaks of it, in contrasting its merits for those purposes, with the cypress. "The cypress was long considered as the appropriate ornament of the cemetry; but its gloomy shade among the tombs, and its thick, heavy foliage, of the darkest green, inspire only depressing thoughts, and present the image of death under its most appalling form. The Weeping willow, on the contrary, rather conveys a picture of grief for the loss of the departed, than of the darkness of the grave. Its light and elegant foliage, flows like the dishevelled hair and graceful drapery of a sculptured mourner over a sepulchral urn; and conveys those soothing, though softly melancholy reflections, which have made one of our poets to exclaim, 'There is a pleasure even in grief.""* On this passage, Loudon remarks: "Notwithstanding the prefe

Poiteau, Noveau du Hamel.

rence thus given the willow, the shape of the cypress, conveying to a fanciful mind the idea of a flame pointing upwards, has been supposed to afford an emblem of the hope of immortality; it is still planted in many churchyards on the continent, and alluded to in the epitaphs, under this light."*

Abroad, the willow was in ancient days worn by young girls, as a symbol of grief for one of their own sex who died young:

"Lay a garland on my hearse,
Of the dismal yew;

Maidens, willow branches wear,
Say I died true."

The poets often allude to the willow:

"A willow garland thou did st send
Perfumed last day to me;
Which did but only this portend,
I was forsook by thee.

Since so it is, I'll tell thee what,
To-morrow thou shalt see

Me wear the willow, after that
To die upon the tree."


In landscapes, the Weeping willow is peculiarly expressive of grace and softness. Although a highly beautiful tree, great care must be used in its introduction, to preserve the harmony and propriety of the whole; as nothing could be more strikingly inappropriate, than to intermix it frequently with trees expressive of dignity or majesty, as the oak, etc; where the violent contrast exhibited in the near proximity of the two opposite forms, could only produce discord.

* Arb. Brit.

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