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THE NEW DOUBLE CRIMSON THORN.

(Cratægus Oxyacantha coccinea fi.-pleno.)

WITH AN ILLUSTRATION.

The subject of our present plate, from the pencil of Mr. Fitch, is so intense in its colouring, that we find, on comparing the drawing with the flowers on the original tree, that the latter are even deeper and brighter than those which are here represented. The flowers from which our sketch was taken, were supplied by Mr. W. Paul, from his nurseries at Waltham Cross.

As a hardy ornamental tree for planting in the shrubbery and flower garden, we look upon this Thorn as the grandest acquisition that has been obtained for many years; and as a forcing plant it is equally desirable, for the young plants appear to flower freely when only a few inches high. This, indeed, has been sufficiently shown by the examples which have been exhibited by Mr. W. Paul at the Royal Horticultural Garden, South Kensington, and at the Royal Botanic Garden, Regent's Park, several times during the spring of the present year.

As there has been some doubt created in the mind of the public as to whether there are not two new double Crimson Thorns, issuing from different establishments, under similar names, we are glad to be able to dispel the mystery. We speak advisedly when we say that the plants shown by Mr. William Paul, and the branches shown by Messrs. George Paul & Son, are identical both in leaf and flower. The variety is a sport from the double Pink Thorn, and originated in the beautiful and well-kept garden of Christopher Boyd, Esq., of Cheshunt Street, near Waltham Cross, where it still exists. It has, therefore, never been the exclusive property of any one nurseryman.

The history of the sport is briefly this: About seven or eight years ago some flowers of this intense hue were observed on a plant of the double Pink Thorn, and on examination it was found that a strong branch had started up from near the centre of the tree, with leaves as well as flowers differing from its parent. The branch was encouraged, and year by year increased in size, retaining the colour and character originally observed. The parent plant is apparently about twenty-five years old, 30 feet high, and as much in diameter, measured from the outermost branches at its greatest width. There is still only one stout central branch of this deep colour; the other branches, which are profusely adorned with flowers, being of the original pale pink so well known to horticulturists. When looking at the tree recently, so great was the contrast between the sport and the original, that we could not rid ourselves of the impression that the parent variety was in this instance paler than usual, and we asked ourselves whether the colouring matter had not been drawn from the larger surface and intensified in this particular branch by one of those secret processes which the student of Nature is often called upon to behold and wonder at, without being able to account for or explain. This may be fanciful, but here is certainly a lusus nature worthy of the attentive consideration of our vegetable physiologists.

We do not hesitate to advise every one who has a garden, to purchase this plant at once. We hear, on good authority, that the stock in the hands of the nurserymen is at present limited, and not only will those who purchase now secure the best plants, but those who delay may not obtain any. Moreover, plants purchased in pots now may be grown and established so as to flower well either in or out of doors next spring, whereas if re

VOL. VI.

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