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H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Hedera Conglomerata - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Hedera Conglomerata - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Hedera Conglomerata Described.

Hedera Conglomerata - Hedera Conglomerata.
Conglomerate Ivy; Nat. Ord. Araliacæ.

I do not introduce this as a flowering subject, but as a dwarf ornamental shrub; it differs so much from all other species and varieties of Ivy, and is so beautiful withal, that I trust no further apology is needed for giving it a place amongst decorative plants and shrubs. I have not been able to learn its habitat or origin; its stunted tree-like shape, together with other peculiarities, would indicate that it is a species; be that as it may, it has long had a place in English gardens, and yet it is seldom met with—it would be hard to explain why. On a bit of rockwork I have grown a specimen for nearly five years, and it was an old shrub when planted, yet it is not more than 2ft. in diameter and 1ft. high. It is much admired, and many notes have been taken of it. For rockwork, it is one of the best dwarf evergreen shrubs I know.

It has very small leaves, densely arranged in flat or one-sided wreaths. They seldom exceed 1in. in diameter, and are of various forms, as heart-shaped, sagittate, oval, tri-lobed, and so on. Some are notched, others slightly toothed, but many are entire. All are waved or contorted, wrinkled and thickened at the edges, where the younger leaves show a brown line; the under sides are pale green, and furnished with short stiff brown hairs, as also are the stout leaf stalks. The upper side of the foliage is a dark glossy green, with shadings of brown. In substance the leaves are leathery, inclining to stiffness. The stunted branches have a cork-like appearance as regards the bark, are diffuse, curiously bent, and sometimes twisted loosely together. It is of slow growth, more especially in the upward direction, and though provision may be made for it to cling and climb, and it has also well-formed roots on the branchlets, still, it assumes more the tree-shape. I never saw or heard of its flowering, much less that it ever produced seed; if it does not seed we are not only deprived of an ornamental feature belonging to the genus from the absence of berries, but it proves that it is only a variety of some species.

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Hedera Conglomerata

It may be grown in any kind of sandy soil, and nothing special whatever is needed. An open sunny situation will favour its form and colour of foliage; under trees I have found it to produce larger leaves of plainer shape and more even colour. During the winter it becomes a conspicuous object on rockwork, where it seems most at home. It may be propagated by cuttings, and spring is a suitable season to lay them in; in well dug light soil they soon make plenty of roots.

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