Its Limited Height.—Its Native Range and Ornamental Value.—Its Floral Productiveness.—Its Variety of Name.—Its Classified Belongings.—Its Medicinal and other Properties—Its Possible Perfect-nessby Grafting.—The Iron-Wood.—Where Belonging.—Height of Tree, Uses and Durability of its Wood.—Manner of Growth.—Its Disadvantages as a Timber Tree.
This tree only reaches from twenty to thirty feet in height, but bears flowers when only four or five feet high. It is native from Pennsylvania to the Gulf of Mexico, but is quite hardy farther north. As an ornamental tree it is a perfect success, but it does not remain in bloom for any period of time. It blossoms in June, and has beautiful purple, berry-like flowers that grow in clusters; its petals very much resemble fringe cut from white paper. It is known by various names; among which are snowflower-tree, snowdrop-tree, broad-leaved Virginian snowflower-tree, narrow - leaved Virginian snowflower-tree, and seaside-inhabiting Virginian snowflower-tree. This latter is a native of North America, and grows in boggy woods by the seaside.
The order to which this tree belongs embraces some trees and shrubs that are native to both hemispheres, and are for the most part deciduous. Some are timber trees, some are medicinal, which in general are bitter; one genus produces a valuable oil, and from others is produced the sweet, purgative manna. As most of the trees of this order might be grafted on one another, it is probable that their flowers might be reciprocally fecundated, in which case some curious hybrids might ^be produced between the privet and the lilac, the privet and the olive, the lilac and the ash, etc.