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( Principles and Practice


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JANUARY, 1837.


is, however, not to be placed upon them, for perhaps they have

been deceived. The only good evidence of any such existing is TAE tree pæony, and its varieties, Pæonia Moutan of botanists, to be derived from the drawings which have been made by good are among the most splendid plants of which our gardens can artists, and who have coloured them accurately from actually boast. They have long been cultivated, and have become quite growing plants. Of such, five were executed at Canton, in 1806, common-so much so, that there are, probably, but few gardens for the library of the East India Company, and copies of them that lay any pretensions to beauty, which are not adorned by have been made for the London Horticultural Society. Two of the gorgeous blossoms of this fine tribe.

them are referable to the P. papaverácea Bánksiæ and rosea. The common double red pæony,—the ornament of almost The third is called the Tsù Moutan, the first name indicative of every garden,—the treasured flower of the humble cottage--ex- the colour, and bas fine purple blossoms. The fourth is the Pae panding its gay blossoms when but few other plants are in Moutan, with double white flowers. The latter is of slender flower,—it is too well known to need any description. When growth; it is very scarce and highly esteemed. Mr. Sabine, in this was first introduced, it commanded an equally high price a paper in the Horticultural Transactions, to which we are inwith that of the tree pæony at the present time, nor was it pro- debted for the information in regard to the history of the tree bably less admired; and although numerous varieties of it have pæony, states, that one of the double purple Montans was par. been produced, there are but four or five that rival, and we may cbased (about the year 1820) by an American captain, in order almost say, none that surpass it, in splendour. As common as to be carried home. But we have never heard of such a variety, this is, the idea of a tree pæony is quite novel; and there are and it was, in all probability, lost on the voyage. The fifth but few persons who have seen ove in bloom, who were not drawing is called the Hong Moutan Fa, and is said to be a yel. greatly surprised to hear of such a plant. To see the latter low (?) Rower. It is said to have been taken from a plant which grown side by side with the former, is part of the object of this flowered in the house of a mandarin at Canton, in February, paper; for though at present quite rare, we hope to see the 1810. This, however, was not believed wben this statement time when every garden will be enriched by its truly magnificent was published, and the existence of a yellow variety is consi. blossoms.

dered very doubtful. Stories are current at Canton, that they Long before the plants were introduced, they were well have them of all colours, even blue and black (?) known from the botanical and other works upon China and The London Horticultural Society, under the direction of Japan, as also from the repeated representations on Chinese Capt. Reeves, had six drawings executed in China, which are to porcelain and paper bangings, and in their printings, &c. Many be depended on for their accuracy. Two are referrible to the varieties are said to exist in China, which have not yet been in. papaveracea and p. Bánksic. The third is a semi-double white, troduced, and the Horticultural Society possess several paint- of no great beauty: the fourth a double purple, similar to the ings of kinds different from those at present to be found in gar- one above-named : the fifth a small purplish red, with pale dens. The Chinese are so selfish in regard to all the plants edges to the petals : the sixth a very double pale red, with small they possess, that, whatever price is offered, they are reluctant inner petals. The society also possesses two other paintings, to sell them, and oftentimes deceive purchasers, by selling the copied from Chinese originals in the collection of Lady Banks, most common kinds for those quite rare ; and this, too, when which are supposed correct; one is a deep rich red, the other a the rare ones, to us, are as abundant in their gardens as the white flower tinted with green. In a work entitled Mémoires

So often have purchasers been deceived in this sur les Chinois, there are several pages devoted to the history, map ner, that, from the hundreds of plants that have been im- native habitats, and other particulars respecting these plants. ported, only five or six are, in reality, dissimilar. Mr. Sabine, From these, which Mr. Sabine partly embraces in his account, however, in the Horticultural Transactions, enumerates seven; we learn that they are of great antiquity in gardeds in the north and in the Hortus Britannicus, eleven Chinese varieties are of China, and supposed to have originally been found growing registered.

wild on the mountains in the province of Ho-nan. They were Perhaps it may not be uninteresting to notice some of the subsequently cultivated in the imperial gardens of Kai-fong-fou, names and colours of tbe varieties which are said still to exist in in Ho-nan; but they flourished better in the province of Hou. the Chinese gardens. That there are a great number we have Kouang, from whence they are sent to Pekin, Canton, and no reason to doubt. The Chinese are great lovers of beautiful other parts of the empire. It is also represented that the Chi. plants, and, although they do not possess a knowledge of vege- nese have plants of various beights, from very dwarf ones to table physiology, sufficient to enable them to procure new kinds those of twenty or more feet high, and that they produce their with any certainty, yet they spare no exertions to do so as far flowers at different seasons ; some in winter and others in as their knowledge extends, as we may infer from the number autumn. This account is undoubtedly true, in regard to the of kinds of camellias and other plants which have been intro- native locality of the plants ; as their habits would lead us to dueed. Various travellers bave made great statements in re- suppose that they were of Alpine origin, subject to being buried gard to the varieties of pæonies they possess; too great reliance in deep snows during winter, and in spring breaking into foliage MAGAZINE OF BOTANY AND GARDENING, VOL. III. NO. 1. JANUARY, 1837.


more common,

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