|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Evergreen erect or procumbent shrubs, rarely small trees, usually hairy and glandular: lvs. petioled, roundish to lanceolate, mostly serrate: fls. in terminal panicles or axillary racemes or solitary; calyx 5-parted; corolla urceolate, 5-lobed; stamens 10; ovary superior: fr. a 5-celled, dehiscent caps., usually inclosed by the fleshy and berry-like calyx.—About 90 species in the warmer and subtropical regions of Asia, Austral., and in Amer. from Canada to Chile. Some have edible fruits, and an aromatic oil used in perfumery and medicine is obtained from G. procumbens and several Asiatic species.
This genus includes the wintergreen and some other ornamental low aromatic plants with alternate, evergreen leaves, white, pink or scarlet, often fragrant flowers in terminal or axillary racemes or solitary, and with decorative, berry-like red or blackish fruit. G. procumbens is fully hardy North, while the other North American species are somewhat tenderer and need protection during the winter; G. veitchiana promises to be hardy as far north as Massachusetts. They are well adapted for borders of evergreen shrubberies as well as for rockeries, and in suitable soil they are apt to form a handsome evergreen ground-cover. Most of the foreign species can be grown only South or as greenhouse shrubs. They grow best in sandy or peaty, somewhat moist soil and partly shaded situations. Propagation is by seeds, layers or suckers, division of older plants, and also by cuttings of half-ripened wood under glass.
G. antipoda, Forst. Shrub, to 5 ft., sometimes procumbent, hairy: lvs. orbicular to oblong, ¼ - 1/3 in.: fl. solitary, white or pink, campanulate. New Zeal., Tasmania.—G. coccinea, HBK. Shrub, to 2 ft., hairy: lvs. roundish ovate, about 1 in.: fls. slender-pedicelled, in elongated, secund racemes; corolla ovate, pink. Venezuela. R.H. 1849:181.—G. ferruginea. Cham. & Schlecht. (G. ignescens, Lem.). Small shrub, rufously hairy: lvs. ovate or oblong, 1-2 in.: fls. almost like those of the preceding species. Brasil. B.M. 4G97. J.F. 3:265: 4:371.—G. fragrantissima, Wall. Shrub or small tree, glabrous: lvs. elliptic to lanceolate, 2 ½ - 3 ½ in. long: racemes axillary, erect, shorter than the lvs.; corolla white or pinkish, globular-ovate. Himalayas, Ceylon. B.M. 5984.—G. myrsinites, Hook. Allied to G. procumbens. Lvs. orbicular or broadly ovate, ½ - 1 in. long: corolla broadly campanulate; filaments glabrous; anthers without awns. Wash, to Calif, and Colo.—G. nummularioides, D. Don (G. nummularia, DC.). Procumbent: branches densely rufously hairy: lvs. orbicular to ovate, ½ -l in. long: fls. solitary, ovate, white. Himalayas. G.C. II. 22:457.—G. oppositifolia, Hook. f. Shrub, to 8 ft.: lvs. mostly opposite, ovate, cordate, bluntly toothed, 1 ½ -2 ½ in. long: fls. white, urceolate, 1/5 in. long, in terminal panicles 3-4 in. long. New Zeal. G.C. III. 52:109. Gn. 75. p. 412.— G. ovatifolia, Gray. Procumbent, with ascending and sparingly hairy branches: lvs. ovate, acute, 1-1 ½ in. long: fls. solitary, campanulate: fr. scarlet. Brit. Col. to Ore.—G. pyroloides, Hook. f. & Thorn. (G. pyrolaefolia. Hook. f.). Low shrub, sometimes procumbent, almost glabrous: lvs. elliptic-obovate, about 1 ½ in. long: racemes few-fid., axillary. Himalayas. Japan. Var. cuneata, Rehd. & Wilson. Branchlets minutely villous: lvs. narrow, oblong-obovate, cuneate: ovary and fr. villous. W. China.— G. trichophylla, Royle. Dwarf: lvs. elliptic, ciliate, 1/5 – ½ . long: fls, axillary, pinkish: fr. blue. Himalayas, W. China. B.M. 7635.
Alfred Rehder. CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
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