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attached to its base. These last have been deemed imperfect stamens. Anthers adnate; of 2 cells in most of the species, of 4 unequal ones in the others: each cell is closed by a vertical valve that opens elastically, and often carries up the pollen in a mass. Fruit a carpel that is pulpy externally and includes one seed. Cotyledons eccentrically peltate, or, in other words, attached to the remainder of the embryo a little above their base line; as, according to Brown, is the case in all Lauràceæ. - Species about 9. Trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate, deciduous, or persistent in 4 species, entire, or lobed. Flowers, of the kinds having deciduous leaves, appearing before the leaves, in small conglomerate umbels; or, in L. Sássafras L. and L. álbida Nutt., in conglomerate bracteate racemes. (Nuttall chiefly.) L. carolinensis Catesby is an evergreen species of the United States. L. nóbilis W. is an evergreen species of Italy. The latter has fragrant leaves. Most of the American kinds have fragrant bark, and their groups of flowers attended by the scales of the buds that had included them. (Sims in Bot. Mag.) The genus Laúrus L. has been divided, and several genera formed out of it; but all the hardy species are here retained under the generic name of Laúrus. There are only three perfectly hardy species, Laurus nóbilis, L. Sássafras, and L. Benzoin, but there are several that will live in the open air in mild climates, or with a little protection. A. Plants evergreen; hardy.
↑ 1. L. NOBILIS L. The noble Laurel, or Sweet Bay. Identification. Lin. Sp., 529.; Hort. Cliff., 155.; Mill. Dict., No. 1.; Martyn's Mill., No. 9.; Willd. Sp. Pl., 2. p. 479.; Lodd. Cat., ed. 1836.
Synonymes. Laúrus Camer., Tourn., Dodon., Ray; L. vulgàris Bauh. Pin., 460.; Laurier commun, Laurier franc, Laurier d'Apollon, Laurier à sauce, Fr.; gemeine Lorbeer, Ger.
Engravings. Blackw. Herb., t. 175.; Flor. Græc., t. 365.; and the plate in our last Volume.
Spec. Char., &c. Evergreen. Flowers 4-cleft. Sexes dioecious. Leaves lanceolate, veiny. A native of Italy and Greece. (Willd. Sp. Pl., ii. p. 480.) Varieties.
L. n. 2 undulata Mill. is a low shrub, seldom growing higher than 4 ft. or 6 ft., with leaves waved on the edges, which is stated in the Nouveau Du Hamel to be hardier than the species.
■ L. n. 3 salicifolia Swt., L. n. angustifolia Lodd. Cat., is a shrub, rather higher than the preceding variety, with long narrow leaves, not so thick as those of the species, and of a lighter green.
■ L. n. 4 variegata Swt., L. n. fòl. var. Lodd. Cat. Leaves variegated. ■ L. n. 5 latifolia Mill. has the leaves much broader and smoother than those of the species. This is the broad-leaved bay of Asia, Spain, and Italy, and it is generally considered as too tender for the open air in England.
L. n. 6 crispa Lodd. Cat. has the leaves somewhat curled.
L. n. 7 flore pleno N. Du Ham. has double flowers.
There are also occasionally variations, such as the stamens varying in number, and the stamens being sometimes expanded flat.
Description, &c. An evergreen tree, or rather enormous shrub, sometimes growing to the height of 60 ft., but always displaying a tendency to throw up suckers; and rarely, if ever, assuming a tree-like character. The leaves are evergreen, and of a firm texture; they have an agreeable smell, and an aromatic, subacrid, slightly bitterish taste. The flowers are diacious, or the male and female on different trees, and are disposed in racemes shorter than the leaves. The male tree is the most showy, from the greater proportion of yellow in the flowers. The berry is ovate, fleshy, and of a very dark purple, approaching to black. The sweet bay tree is a native of the south of Europe, and the north of Africa, where its general height is about 30 ft. St. Pierre observes that the wild bay trees on the banks of the river Peneus in Thessaly are remarkably fine, which might probably give rise to the fable of Daphne (supposing the Greek daphne to be this tree) being a nymph, the daughter of that river.
Pallas mentions having found it in Tauria. The exact date of its introduction into Britain is unknown, but it must have been previous to 1562, as it is mentioned in Turner's Herbal, published in that year; and we find that, in the reign of Elizabeth, the floors of the houses of distinguished persons were strewed with bay leaves. It was formerly considered medicinal, both leaves and berries being highly aromatic and stomachic; they are also astringent and carminative. An infusion of them was not only considered beneficial, when taken internally, but it was used for fomentations, &c. At present, the principal use of the tree is as an ornamental plant, though the leaves are still employed for flavouring custards, blancmange, &c. In mythology this tree is celebrated as having once been Daphne, the daughter of Peneus, who, flying from the embraces of Apollo, and reaching the banks of her parent stream, called on the river god for aid, and was changed into a laurel. In the age of Roman greatness, this tree was considered as the emblem of victory, and also of clemency. The victorious generals were crowned with it in their triumphal processions; every common soldier carried a sprig of it in his hand; and even the dispatches announcing a victory were wrapped up in, and ornamented with, leaves of bay. The aromatic odour of these trees was supposed by the ancient Romans to have the power of dispelling contagion, and during a pestilence the Emperor Claudius removed his court to Laurentine, so celebrated for its bay trees. Theophrastus tells us that superstitious Greeks would keep a bay leaf in their mouths all day, to preserve themselves from misfortunes. The Greeks had also diviners who were called Daphnephagi, because they chewed bay leaves, which they pretended inspired them with the spirit of prophecy. The bay was dedicated to Apollo, and the first temple raised to that god at Delphi was formed of the branches of the tree. It was the favourite tree of the poets: and we are told that Maia, the mother of Virgil, dreamt that she was delivered of a bay tree; and that one of these trees sprang from Virgil's ashes, and is still growing over his tomb. In later times it was supposed to be a safeguard against lightning; and Madame De Genlis mentions the device of the Count De Dunois, which was a bay tree, with the motto " I defend the earth that bears me." It was a custom in the middle ages, to place wreaths of laurel, with the berries on, on the heads of those poets who had particularly distinguished themselves; hence our expression, poet laureate. "Students who have taken their degrees at the universities are called bachelors, from the French bachelier, which is derived from the Latin baccalaureus, a laurel berry. These students were not allowed to marry, lest the duties of husband and father should take them from their literary pursuits; and, in time, all single men were called bachelors." (Sylva Flor., i. p. 115.) This tree is mentioned by Chaucer as the crown of the Knights of the Round Table.
Soil, Propagation, &c. The Laúrus nóbilis requires a good free soil, and it will not thrive in the open air, in a climate much colder than that of the environs of London. It is generally propagated by layers; but as the berries are ripened in the south of England, and can be had in abundance from France, the species is very generally increased from seeds, and the varieties only raised from layers or cuttings. As an evergreen shrub, not only beautiful in itself, but connected with many classical and interesting associations, it ought to have a place in every collection. As it forms a dense conical bush, when not trained to a single stem, it is well adapted for garden hedges. This tree is very tenacious of life, and the root or stump of an apparently dead tree will often send up suckers two years after it has appeared to be dead.
Statistics. Laúrus nóbilis in the Environs of London. There are plants upward of 20 ft. high, at various places, the largest of which, that we have seen, is a plant at Syon 28 ft. high, forming an immense conical bush, 18 ft. in diameter at the base. The rate of growth in the neighbourhood of London, as deduced from the dimensions of several young plants sent us, is about 15 ft. in height, in 10 years.
Laurus nobilis South of London. The largest tree of this species in England is at Margram in Glamorganshire, the seat of C.P.Talbot, Esq., M.P., about 12 miles from Swansea. It is 61 ft. 6 in. high, and forms a magnificent bell-shaped bush, about 60 ft. in diameter at the base. In Devonshire,
at Killerton, 90 years planted, it is 26 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 1 ft. In Somersetshire, at Nettlecombe, 70 years planted, it is 22 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 20 in., and of the head 39 ft. In Surrey, at Claremont, 25 ft. high, as a bush, the branches covering a space 15 ft. in diameter. In Sussex, at Arundel Castle, it is 25 ft. high.
Laurus nobilis North of London. In Bedfordshire, at Southhill, 22 years planted, it is 10 ft. high. In Berkshire, at White Knights, 30 years planted, it is 134 ft. high. In Cheshire, at Kinmel Park, 20 years planted, it is 18 ft high; at Eaton Hall, 14 years planted, it is 9 ft. high, and the diameter of the space covered by the branches 10 ft. In Shropshire, at Willey Park, 10 years planted, it is 12 ft. high. In Suffolk, at Finborough Hall, 60 years planted, it is 20 ft. high; at Great Livermere, 12 years planted, it is 18 ft. high. In Warwickshire, at Combe Abbey, 40; years planted, it is 14 ft. high, against a wall In Yorkshire, at Hackress, 16 years planted, it is 8 ft. high; at Grimston, 13 years planted, it is 14 ft. high.
Laurus nobilis in Scotland. At Gosford House, 36 years planted, it is 15 ft. high, the diameter of the space covered by the branches 12 ft.; at Dalhousie Castle, 14 years planted, it is 15 ft. high, against a wall In Berwickshire, at the Hirsel, 35 years planted, it is 14 ft. high, against a wall. In Haddingtonshire, at Tynningham, it is 10 ft. high. In Aberdeenshire, at Thainston, it grows 8 in. in a year, and stands the winter well in sheltered situations. In the Isle of Bute, at Mount Stewart, it is 27 ft. high, and the diameter of the space covered by the branches 26 ft. In Ross-shire, at Brahan Castle, it is 11 ft. high. In Stirlingshire, at Airthrey Castle, 45 years planted, it is 14 ft. high.
Laurus nobilis in Ireland. At Cypress Grove, Dublin,it is 50 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 2 ft. 2 in., and of the head 25 ft. In the Cullen's Wood Nursery, 35 years planted, it is 25 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 24 ft., and of the head 24 ft. In Wicklow, at Shelton Abbey, 16 years planted, it is 34 ft. high. In Fermanagh, at Florence Court, 30 years planted, it is 10 ft. high.
Laurus nobilis in Foreign Countries. In France, in the Botanic Garden, Toulon, 14 years planted, it is 19 ft. high, the diameter of the trunk 6 in.; at Vaucluse, among the scattered houses not far from the fountain, it was 15 ft. high, in 1919. Throughout Germany it is a green-house plant. In Russia, in the Crimea, it requires protection during winter. In Italy and Spain it attains a larger size than any where else in Europe, forming immense bushes, from 50 ft. to 70 ft. in height.
Commercial Statistics. Plants of the species in the London nurseries are Is. each, and the varieties from 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d.; at Bollwyller it is a greenhouse plant; at New York, plants are 1 dollar each.
B. Plants evergreen; half-hardy.
2. L. CAROLINE'NSIS Catesb. The Carolina Laurel, or Red Bay. Identification Catesb. Car., 1. p. 63.; Michx. Fl. Amer., 1. p. 245.; Pursh Fl. Amer. Sept., 1. p. 276.; Spreng. Syst., 2. p. 665.
Synonymes. L. Borbonia Lin. Sp., 529., Syst., 383., Martyn's Mill., No. 13., N. Du Ham., 2. p. 163., Lodd. Cat., ed. 1836; L. axillaris Lam.; Borbònia sp. Plum. Gen., 4. ic. 60., Persea Borbonia Spreng; the broad-leaved Carolina Bay; Laurier rouge, Laurier Bourbon, Laurier de Caroline, Fr.; Carolinischer Lorbeer, Rother Lorbeer, Ger.
Engravings. Catesb. Car., t. 63.; Michx. N. Amer. Syl., 2. t. 82., N. Du Ham., 2. t. 33.; and our fig. 1168. after Michaux, and fig. 1169. after Du Hamel.
Spec. Char., &c. Evergreen. Leaves oval, lanceolate, slightly glaucous beneath. Flowers in peduncled axillary groups. (Spreng. Syst., ii. p. 265.) An evergreen tree, a native of North America, from Virginia to Louisiana; introduced in 1739, and flowering in May; but seldom found in collections. Varieties.
↑ L. c. 2 glabra Pursh has the leaves slightly glabrous.
L. c. 3 pubescens Pursh has the leaves slightly pubescent.
L. c. 4 obtusa Pursh has the leaves ovate-obtuse.
All these varieties were introduced in 1806; and they all flower from May to July. In our Hortus Britannicus, and other modern catalogues, L. Borbònia and L. carolinénsis are made distinct species; the former being said to be tender, and introduced in 1739, and the latter to be hardy, and introduced in 1806. Both, however, are said to be the American red bay; and in Pursh's Fl. Amer. Sept., and in the N. Du Ham., they are considered identical. It appears probable that this is the case; and, as it appears from Michaux (N. Amer. Sylva, ii. p. 150.), that the tree differs exceedingly according to the latitude in which it grows, L. Borbònia (fig. 1168.) may be the form it assumes in the southern states, and L. carolinénsis (fig. 1169.) its appearance in the more northern ones.
Description, &c. The red bay, though it sometimes, in the south of Georgia and the Floridas, attains the height of 60 ft. or 70 ft., with a trunk from 15 in.
to 20 in. in diameter, yet rarely exhibits a regular form: its trunk is generally crooked, and divided into several thick limbs at 8 ft., 10 ft., or 12 ft. from the ground. In America, Michaux tells us," upon old trunks the bark is thick, and deeply furrowed; that of the young branches, on the contrary, is smooth, and of a beautiful green colour. The leaves are about 6 in. long, alternate, oval-acuminate, glaucous on the lower surface, and evergreen. When bruised they diffuse a strong odour, resembling that of the sweet bay (Laúrus nóbilis),
and may, like those of that species, be employed in cookery." (Michx. North Amer. Syl., ii. p. 151.) The male flowers come out in long bunches from the axils of the leaves; and the female flowers in loose bunches on pretty long red peduncles. The berries are of a dark rich blue, in red cups, and they grow two, and sometimes three, together. The red bay is found in the lower part of Virginia, and it continues in abundance throughout the maritime districts of the Carolinas, Georgia, the two Floridas, and Lower Louisiana. Mixed with the sweet bay (Laúrus nóbilis), tupelo (Nýssa biflòra), red maple (Acer rubrum), and water oak (Quercus aquática), it fills the broad swamps which intersect the pine barrens. A cool and humid soil appears essential to its growth; and it is remarked, that the farther south it grows, the more vigorous and beautiful is its vegetation. It was discovered by Catesby, and described and figured by him in his work on Carolina; Miller cultivated it in 1739. In France, Plumier constituted it a genus, to which he gave the name of Borbònia in honour of Gaston de Bourbon, son of Henry IV., and uncle of Louis XIV. In America, the wood of the red bay is used for cabinet-making, as it is very strong, and of a beautiful rosecolour, has a fine compact grain, and is susceptible of a brilliant polish, having the appearance, as Catesby tells us, of watered satin. Before mahogany became the reigning fashion in cabinet-making, Michaux observes, the wood of the red bay was commonly employed in the southern states of North America by the cabinet-makers, who produced from it articles of furniture of the highest degree of beauty; but trees of the red bay are now no longer to be found in North America of sufficient diameter for this purpose, and recourse is had to mahogany, which is imported from St. Domingo at a moderate price. It might also be employed in ship-building, and for other purposes of construction, as it unites the properties of strength and durability; but its trunks are rarely found of sufficient dimensions to render it available for these purposes. In England it is solely considered as an ornamental tree; and as it is more tender than the common sweet bay, it is only suitable for warm or sheltered situations, or for being placed against a wall.
3. L. CATESBIA`NA Michx. Catesby's Laurel, or Red Bay. Identification. Michx. Fl. Bor. Amer., 1. p. 244.: Spreng. Syst., 2. p. 265.; Pursh Fl. Amer., Sept. 1., p. 275. Engraving. Catesb. Car., t. 28.
Spec. Char., &c. Evergreen. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, glossy. Flowers in a terminal panicle. Fruit ovate. (Spreng. Syst., 2. p. 265.) An evergreen shrub, a native of the sea-coast of Georgia and Carolina, introduced in 1820, and flowering in May. The flowers are white, and the berries black, based by red calyxes, on thick red peduncles. We have not seen the plant.
4. L. AGGREGATA Sims. The grouped-flowered Laurel, or Bay.
Identification. Sims Bot. Mag., t. 2497.
Spec. Char., &c. Evergreen. Leaves ovate-acuminate, 3-nerved, glaucous beneath. upon distinct pedicels, disposed in axillary groups, that are attended at the base with scaly, ovate, concave bracteas. (Sims in Bot. Mag., t. 2497.) An evergreen shrub, a native of China,
introduced in 1821. The leaves are alternate, petiolated, of a yel lowish or apple green on the upper side, and very glaucous on the under, with the three nerves uniting a little above the insertion of the petiole, and terminating short of the point of the leaf. The young shoots are axillary, and come out from among the flowers, and are furnished with several membranaceous slightly coloured scales, or a sort of stipules, which are very deciduous. It is rather tender; but, from the locality, where it is indigenous, it would probably succeed with very little protection against a conservative wall.
L fatens Ait, L. madeirénsis Lam., Persea foe tens Spreng., is a native of Madeira, and the Canary Islands, introduced in 1760, and producing its greenish yellow flowers from March to October. In its native country it forms a small tree 20 ft. high; but in British gardens it is commonly kept in a green-house, or in a cold-pit. The plant, however, in the Horticultural Society's Garden, has stood out as a bush since 1831, and is now upwards of 4 ft. high. There can be little doubt that this, and the other species enumerated as half-hardy, would stand against a wall with very little protection. L. Mýrrha Lour. is a native of China, which has stood against a wall in the Horticultural Society's Garden since 1832. It is generally injured more or less when the winters are severe; but it always springs up again, and grows vigorously during summer.
L. indica L. is an evergreen tree, with noble foliage, which lives and attains a considerable size in our conservatories and green-houses; and there can be little doubt that in the south of England it would live against a conservative wall, at least as well as the orange and the lemon.
C. Leaves deciduous.
5. L. SASSAFRAS L. The Sassafras Laurel, or Sassafras Tree.
Identification. Lin. Hort. Cliff., 154., Gron. Virg., 46.; Kalm It., 2. p. 270. 434.; Mill. Dict., No. 7.; Trew Ehret, t. 59, 60.; Willd. Sp. Pl., 2. p. 485.; Lodd. Cat., ed. 1836.
Synonymes. Cornus más odorata, folio trifido, margine plano, Sassafras dicta, Pluk. Alm., 120, t. 222 f.6, Catesb. Car., 1. p. 55. t. 55.. Seligm. Av. Ic., 2. t. 10.; Sassafras arbor, ex Florida, ficulneo folio, Bauh. Pin., 431.; Sassafras sp. C. G. Nees Von Esenbeck; Persea Sassafras Spreng.; Laurier Sassafras, Fr.; Sassafras Lorbeer, Ger.
Engravings. Trew Ehret, t. 59, 60.; Blackw. Herb., t. 267.; Giesecke Ic., fasc. 1. No. 9.; Pluk. Alm., t. 222. f. 6.; Catesb. Car., 1. t. 55. ; Seligm. Av. Ic., 2. t. 10. ; and plates in our last Volume. Spec. Char., &c. Sexes dioecious. Habit arborescent. Both leaves and flowers are produced from the same buds. Buds, younger branches, and the under surface of the leaves, pubescent. Leaves entire, or with 2-3 lobes. Veins prominent on the under side. Flowers in corymbose conglomerate racemes. Anthers with 4 unequal cells. In the female flower, additionally to the pistil, are 6 gland-like bodies, like those in the male flowers. (Nutt. Gen., i. p. 259.) A deciduous tree, from 40 ft. to 50 ft. high. A native of North America. Introduced in 1633, and flowering in April and May.
Varieties. Nuttall states (Gen. & Cat. N. A. P.) that the inhabitants of North and South Carolina distinguished two kinds of sassafras, the red and the white, calling the latter, also, the smooth. The red he identifies with the L., subgenus Euósmus Nutt., Sassafras L.; and the white or smooth he considers a species belonging to the same subgenus, which he calls L. E. álbida Nutt., and of which he has adduced the following characteristics. Its buds and younger branches are smooth and glaucous; its leaves are every where glabrous and thin, and the veins are obsolete on the under surface; the petiole is longer. He had not seen it in flower. The root is much more strongly camphorated than the root of the red sort (L. Sassafras), and is nearly white. This kind is better calculated to answer as a substitute for ochra (Hibiscus esculentus) than the L. Sassafras, from its buds and young branches being much more mucilaginous. It is abundant in North and South Carolina, from the Catawba Mountains to the east bank of the Santee, growing with L. Sassafras, which, in North Carolina, is less abundant. (Nut. Gen., i. p. 259, 260.)
Description, &c. The sassafras tree often grows, even in England, to the height of 40 ft. or 50 ft. (See plate of the tree at Syon, in our last Volume.) The leaves, which vary very much in size and shape, are covered, when they first appear, with a soft woolly down; they are generally deeply lobed, on long footstalks, and of a pale green; they fall off early in autumn. The flowers are of a greenish yellow, and but slightly odoriferous; the berries are oval, of a bright but deep blue, and contained in small dark red cups,