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The Silver Bell Trees

THE SILVER BELL TREES.

The silver bell tree (Mohrodendron tetraptera, Britt.) earns its name in May when among the green leaves the clustered bell flowers gradually pale from green to white, with rosy tints that seem to come from the ruddy flower stems. A "snowdrop tree" may be eighty feet in height in the mountains of east Tennessee and western North Carolina, but ordinarily we see it in gardens and parks as a delicate, slender-branched tree, that stands out from every other species in the border as the loveliest thing that blooms there.

Not a moment in spring larks interest if one has a little mohrodendron tree to watch. For weeks the ruddy twigs grow ruddier by the opening of leaf and flower buds; then comes the slow fading of the flowers, when sun and rain seem to work together to bleach them into utter purity of color and texture. Gradually the white bells fade and a

queer little green, tapering seed-case enlarges and ripens. Through the late summer these pale green fruits are ex ceedingly ornamental as the leaves turn to pale yellow.

In cultivation, the silver bell tree is hardy in the New England states, but in its native woods it grows north no farther than West Virginia and Illinois. It is easily trans planted and pruned to bush form, if one desires to keep the blossoming down where the perfection of the flowers can be enjoyed at close range.

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