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a native both of Spain and Portugal. “It converts the most barren spot into a fine odoriferous garden,” says Mr.
” Martyn, speaking of this species.
All the species here named will endure the cold without shelter: they do not like much wet. Our common Broom surpasses many of the foreign kinds in beauty: indeed, few shrubs are more magnificent than this evergreen, with its profusion of bright golden blossoms. They are the delight of the bees: and the young buds, while yet green, are pickled like capers. It is said that the branches are of service in tanning leather, and that a kind of coarse cloth is manufactured from them. The young shoots are mixed with hops in brewing: and the old wood is valuable to the cabinet-maker. Brooms are made from this shrub; and, from their name, it is supposed to have furnished the first that were made. In the north of Great Britain it is used for thatching cottages, corn, and hay-ricks, and making fences. In some parts of Scotland, where coals and wood are scarce, whole fields are sown with it for fuel.
But the Scotch have long been aware of the poetry as well as the utility of this beautiful shrub. The burden of one of their most popular songs is well known:
Burns lauds it, too, in one of his songs, written to an Irish air, which was a great favourite with him, called the Humours of Glen:
“ Their groves of sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon,
Where bright beaming summers exalt the perfume;
Wi' the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom.
* Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers,
Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk lowly unseen;
A listening the linnet, oft wanders my Jean.”
“ 'Twas that delightful season, when the broom
Full-flowered, and visible on every steep,
WORDSWORTH's POEMS, 8vo. vol. ii. p. 265.
Thomson speaks of it as a favourite food of kine. It flowers in May and June.
“ Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloyed,
Broom makes a pleasant shade for a lounger in the summer: it seems to embody the sunshine, while it intercepts its heat:
“ To noontide shades incontinent he ran,
Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound;
CASTLE OF INDOLENCE, Canto 1.
Mr. Horace Smith speaks of it as poisonous, yet most of the species are eaten by cattle: some are particularly recommended as a food for kine. The Base Broom, or Green-weed, is said to embitter the milk of the cows that eat of it; but, from the bitterness of the plant itself, they commonly refuse it.
Browne alludes to the use of Broom in thatching :
the flags below, there stands his coate,
A Russian poet speaks of the Broom as a tree:
“ See there upon the broom-tree's bough
BOWRING's RUSSIAN ANTHOLOGY.
The blossom of the Common Broom closely resembles that of the Furze, both in form and colour—that Furze which sheds such a lustre over our heaths and commons, and at sight of which, it is said, Dillenius fell into a perfect ecstacy. In many parts of Germany the Furze-bush is unknown. Gerarde says, that about Dantzic, Brunswick, and in Poland, there was not a sprig of either Furze or Broom; and it is really a striking sight to come suddenly upon a common, glowing, as it were, in one great sea of gold. Gerarde adds, that, in compliance with earnest and repeated entreaties, he sent seeds to these places, and that the plants raised from them were curiously kept in the finest gardens. Furze bears various names in different parts of England: Furze in the south, Whin in the east, and Gorse in the north.
“ The prickly gorse, that, shapeless and deformed,
And dangerous to the touch, has yet its bloom,
Cow PER'S TASK.
“ Or from yon swelling downs, where sweet air stirs
St. Pierre evidently alludes to the Furze-bush in the following passage: “I saw in Brittany a vast deal of uncultivated land; nothing grows upon it but Broom, and a shrub with yellow flowers, which appeared to me a composition of thorns. The country-people called it Lande, or San: they bruise it, to feed their cattle. The Broom serves only to heat their ovens. It might be turned to better account. The Romans made cord of it, which they preferred to hemp, for their shipping."-St. Pierre's VOYAGE TO THE ISLE OF FRANCE.
It is also called in different parts of France, Jonc Marin [Sea-rush]; Porc Marin (the Sea-hog]; Lande Epineuse [Thorny Heath]. Its botanical name is Ulex.
So named by Linnæus, from Job Browallius, Bishop of Aboa.
This is but an annual plant, and must be raised in a hot-bed; but it is worth procuring for its short-lived beauty, on account of the extreme brilliancy of the colours. “We cannot,” says Mr. Curtis, " do justice to it
“ by any colours we have." There are but two kinds: the Upright, and the Branching. The former is the hand
It is a native of Peru, and flowers from July to September. It should be kept within doors till June; and, in dry and hot weather, should be frequently, but sparingly, watered.
So named in honour of Joseph Kamel, a jesuit, whose name is usually spelled Camellus. This tree is sometimes called Japan Rose.
This beautiful evergreen must be sheltered from the middle of September till the beginning of June. In the summer, when the weather is dry, it should be watered every evening, or second evening, according to the heat of the sun: in the winter once a week will suffice, and that should be at noon. There are double and single varieties; white, purple, and red of each. This tree has the appearance of a bay bearing roses, much more than the rhododendron, which, from some fancied resemblance of that sort, is also named rose-bay.
There are several other Camellias, requiring the same treatment as this, which is the handsomest species. Had the Camellia been a Greek, or Italian, or English plant, there would have been a great deal said of it by poets and lovers; and doubtless it makes a figure in the poetry of Japan. But, unfortunately for our quotations, though perhaps fortunately for their own comfort, the Japanese have hitherto had most of their good things to themselves. Their country would lay open a fine field for the botanist. See an interesting account of this apparently intelligent and amiable people in Golownin's Narrative of his Captivity among them.
There are two superb collections of the Camellia Japonica open to the public: one at Vauxhall, the other at Hackney.