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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Leea (after James Lee, Scottish nurseryman, 1715-1795). Vitaceae. Tropical small trees or shrubs, some of which are cultivated as young plants in warm conservatories for their coloured foliage and stately habit.

Leaves alternate, 1-3 times pinnate or simple, the petiole dilated at base; leaflets entire or serrate; tendrils none: flowers small or large, red, yellow or green, in cymes opposite the leaves; calyx 5-toothed; petals 5, connate at the base and joined with the tube of stamens; ovary 3-6-celled: cells 1-ovuled: fruits a berry, mostly succulent, nearly globose but flattened at the top.

Species: about 65, in tropics of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Pacific. Vitis differs in having the climbing habit, ovary 2-celled; cells 2-ovuled. The first species mentioned seems to be valued particularly for its flowers: the others are foliage plants which are presumably distinct horticulturally, but two of them may not be good botanical species, and cannot be distinguished without a knowledge of the flowers.

Leeas are tropical house plants. Leea amabilis has beautiful silvery vine-like foliage. It makes a handsome plant for pillar-posts, and does exceedingly well planted out; but it should be given a season of rest in winter by a partial drying out, when it will lose most, if not all, its foliage. This practice should be followed in any case. It may also be grown as a trained specimen in pots. Peaty soil is often recommended, but good light loam, with plenty of drainage, does equally well. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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  • L. macropus , Laut. & Schumann, "with broad lfts".CH


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