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A Few Survivals From the Winter (S438a: 1891)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor printed on page 563 of the 20 June 1891 issue of The Garden. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S438A.htm

    Now that the winter has, it is to be hoped, finally left us it is interesting to note how well some plants have survived that are usually considered to be not quite hardy. The following shrubby plants stood altogether unprotected and are quite uninjured: Akebia quinata, Berberidopsis corallina, Desfontainea spinosa, and Leycesteria formosa. Others were protected from wet either by glass or overhanging eaves, such as Gelsemium sempervirens, cut down to the root, but now growing strongly; Eccremocarpus scaber, covered with a mat; Mitraria coccinea, kept dry by a sloping glass, cut to the ground, but now showing plenty of foliage; Veronica chathamica, covered with a glass and only partially cut; and Daphne indica under a projecting window and quite uninjured. The last three species afford a striking example of the importance of keeping tender plants dry at the root during severe winters. Among herbaceous plants that have survived without any other protection than a few ashes or dead leaves are Bletia japonica and Roscoea sikkimensis, both kept rather dry by being close to a house wall, and Myosotis azorica in the open. A curious case of difference of constitution in plants of the same species is afforded by Eucalyptus Gunni. My plant, about five years old and 8 feet high, stood in a rather exposed situation without losing a leaf even on the shoots of the last year, while a much older plant 10 feet or 12 feet high in a more sheltered position in a friends's garden a few hundred yards off is completely destroyed. It is probable that these trees were raised from seeds gathered at different altitudes, as in other cases such are known to differ in hardiness. A number of other plants grown from the same batch of seed as mine have stood equally well in a somewhat colder district. High mountain species, such as Meconopsis Wallichi, Cathcartia villosa, and many of the hardier alpines, seem to have been benefited by the long-continued winter, and are now growing luxuriantly.

--A. R. WALLACE, Parkstone, Dorset.

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