The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Visual character of Virgilia trees

Previous - Next

The Virgilia is certainly one of the most beautiful of all that class of trees bearing papilionaceous, or pea-shaped flowers, and pinnate leaves, of which the common locust may serve as a familiar example. It grows to a fine, rather broad head, about 30 or 40 feet high, with dense and luxuriant foliage-much more massy and finely tufted than that of most other pinnated-leaved trees. Each leaf is composed of seven or eight leaflets, three or four inches long, and half that breadth, the whole leaf being more than a foot in length. These expand rather late in the spring, and are, about the middle of May, followed by numerous terminal racemes, or clusters, of the most delicate and charming pea-shaped blossoms, of a pure white. These clusters are six or eight inches in length, and quite broad, the flowers daintily formed, and arranged in a much more graceful, loose, and easy manner, than those of the locust. They have a very agreeable, slight perfume, especially in the evening, and the whole effect of the tree, when standing singly on a lawn and filled with blossoms, is highly elegant. When the blossoms disappear, they are followed by the pods, about the fourth of an inch wide, and three or four inches long, containing a few seeds. These ripen in July or August.