PYRUS ARIA.--White Beam Tree. Europe (Britain). A shrub or small-growing
tree, with lobed leaves, covered thickly on the under sides with a
close, flocculent down. The flowers are small and white, and produced in
loose corymbs. It is a handsome small tree, especially when the leaves
are ruffled by the wind and the under sides revealed to view. The red or
scarlet fruit is showy and beautiful.
-Mountain Ash, or Rowan Tree. Too well-known to need
description, but one of our handsomest small-growing trees, and whether
for the sake of its dense corymbs of small white flowers or large
bunches of scarlet fruit it is always welcomed and admired. P. Aucuparia
pendula has the branches inclined to be pendulous; and P. Aucuparia
fructo-luteo differs from the normal plant in having yellowish instead
of scarlet fruit.
P. AMERICANA (_syn Sorbus americana_).--American Mountain Ash. This
species, a native of the mountains of Pennsylvania and Virginia (1782),
is much like our Rowan Tree in general appearance, but the bunches of
berries are larger, and of a brighter red colour.
P. ANGUSTIFOLIA.--North America, 1750. A double-flowered crab is offered
under this name, of vigorous growth, bearing delicate pink, rose-like
flowers that are deliciously fragrant, and borne contemporaneously with
the leaves. The merits claimed for the shrub are perfect hardihood,
great beauty of blossom and leaf, delicious fragrance, and adaptability
to various soils. The single-flowered form extends over large areas in
the Atlantic States of North America. They are very desirable,
small-growing trees, and are described by Professor Sargent as being not
surpassed in beauty by any of the small trees of North America.
P. BACCATA.--Siberian Crab. Siberia and Dahuria, 1784. This is one of
the most variable species in cultivation, and from which innumerable
forms have been developed, that differ either in habit, foliage,
flowers, or fruit. The deciduous calyx would seem to be the only
reliable distinguishing character. It is a widely-distributed species,
being found in North China and Japan, Siberia and the Himalayas, and has
from time immemorial been cultivated by the Chinese and Japanese, so
that it is not at all surprising that numbers of forms have been
P. CORONARIA.--Sweet Scented Crab. North America, 1724. This is a
handsome species, with ovate, irregularly-toothed leaves, and pink and
white fragrant flowers. The flowers are individually large and
corymbose, and are succeeded by small green fruit.
P. DOMESTICA (_syn Sorbus domestica_).--True Service. Britain. This
resembles the Mountain Ash somewhat, but the flowers are panicled, and
the berries fewer, larger, and pear-shaped. The flowers are conspicuous
enough to render the tree of value in ornamental planting.
P. FLORIBUNDA (_syns P. Malus floribunda_ and _Malus microcarpa
floribunda_).--China and Japan, 1818. The Japanese Crabs are wonderfully
floriferous, the branches being in most instances wreathed with flowers
that are individually not very large, and rarely exceeding an inch in
diameter when fully expanded. Generally in the bud state the flowers are
of a deep crimson, but this disappears as they become perfectly
developed, and when a less striking tint of pinky-white is assumed. From
the St. Petersburgh gardens many very ornamental Crabs have been sent
out, these differing considerably in colour of bark, habit, and tint of
flowers. They have all been referred to the above species. P. floribunda
is a worthy form, and one of the most brilliant of spring-flowering
trees. The long, slender shoots are thickly covered for almost their
entire length with flowers that are rich crimson in the bud state, but
paler when fully opened. There are numerous, very distinct varieties,
such as P. floribunda atrosanguinea, with deep red flowers; P.
floribunda Elise Rathe, of pendulous habit; P. floribunda John Downie,
very beautiful in fruit; P. floribunda pendula, a semi-weeping variety;
P. floribunda praecox, early-flowering; P. floribunda mitis, of small
size; P. floribunda Halleana or Parkmanii, probably the most beautiful
of all the forms; and P. floribunda Fairy Apple and P. floribunda
Transcendant Crab, of interest on account of their showy fruit. P.
floribunda Toringo (Toringo Crab) is a Japanese tree of small growth,
with sharply cut, usually three-lobed, pubescent leaves, and small
flowers. Fruit small, with deciduous calyx lobes.
P. GERMANICA (_syn Mespilus germanica_).--Common Medlar. Europe
(Britain), Asia Minor, Persia. Early records show that the Medlar was
cultivated for its fruit as early as 1596. Some varieties are still
grown for that purpose, and in that state the tree is not devoid of
ornament. The large, white flowers are produced singly, but have a fine
effect in their setting of long, lanceolate, finely-serrate leaves
P. JAPONICA (_syn Cydonia japonica_).--Japanese Quince. Japan, 1815.
This is one of the commonest of our garden shrubs, and one that is
peculiarly well suited for our climate, whether planted as a standard or
as a wall plant. The flowers are brilliant crimson, and plentifully
produced towards the end of winter and before the leaves. Besides the
species there are several very fine varieties, including P. japonica
albo cincta, P. japonica atropurpurea, P. japonica coccinea, P. japonica
flore-pleno, P. japonica nivalis, a charming species, with snowy-white
flowers; P. japonica rosea, of a delicate rose-pink; and P. japonica
princeps. P. japonica cardinalis is one of the best of the numerous
forms of this beautiful shrub. The flowers are of large size, of full
rounded form, and of a deep cardinal-rose colour. They are produced in
great quantity along the branches. A well-grown specimen is in April a
brilliant picture of vivid colour, and the shrub is sooner or later
destined to a chief place amongst our ornamental flowering shrubs. P.
japonica Maulei (_syn Cydonia Maulei_), from Japan (1874), is a rare
shrub as yet, small of growth, and with every twig festooned with the
brightest of orange-scarlet flowers. It is quite hardy, and succeeds
well under treatment that will suit the common species.
P. PRUNIFOLIA.--Siberia, 1758. Whether in flower or fruit this beautiful
species is sure to attract attention. It is a tree of 25 feet in height,
with nearly rotundate, glabrous leaves on long footstalks, and pretty
pinky-white flowers. The fruit is very ornamental, being, when fully
ripe, of a deep and glowing scarlet, but there are forms with yellow,
and green, as also striped fruit.
P. RIVULARIS.--River-side Wild Service Tree. North-west America, 1836. A
native of North America, with terminal clusters of white flowers,
succeeded by sub-globose red or yellow fruit, is an attractive and
handsome species. The fruit is eaten by the Indians of the North-west,
and the wood, which is very hard and susceptible of a fine polish, is
largely used in the making of wedges. It is a rare species in this
P. SINICA (_syn P. sinensis of Lindley_).--Chinese Pear Tree. China and
Cochin China, 1820. Another very ornamental Crab, bearing a great
abundance of rosy-pink or nearly white flowers. It is a shrub-like tree,
reaching a height of 20 feet, and with an upright habit of growth. Bark
of a rich, reddish-brown colour. It is one of the most profuse and
persistent bloomers of the whole family.
P. SINENSIS (_syn Cydonia chinensis_).--Chinese Quince. China, 1818.
This is rarely seen in cultivation, it having, comparatively speaking,
few special merits of recommendation.
P. SMITHII (_syns Mespilis Smithii_ and _M. grandiflora_).--Smith's
Medlar. Caucasus, 1800. The habit of this tree closely resembles that of
a Hawthorn, and although the flowers are only half the size of those of
the Common Medlar, they are produced in greater profusion, so that the
round-headed tree becomes a sheet of white blossom during May and June.
The reddish-brown fruits are small for a Medlar, and ripen in October.
P. TORMINALIS.--Wild Service Tree. A native species of small growth,
with ovate-cordate leaves, and small white flowers. P. torminalis
pinnatifida, with acutely-lobed leaves, and oval-oblong fruit may just
P. VESTITA.--Nepaul White Beam. Nepaul, 1820. In this species the leaves
are very large, ovate-acute or elliptic, and when young thickly coated
with a white woolly-like substance, but which with warm weather
gradually gives way until they are of a smooth and shining green. The
flowers are borne in woolly racemose corymbs, and are white succeeded by
greenish-brown berries as large as marbles.
Other species of less interest are P. varidosa, P. salicifolia, P.
salvaefolia, P. Bollwylleriana, and P. Amygdaliformis. They are all of
free growth, and the readiest culture, and being perfectly hardy are
well worthy of a much larger share of attention than they have