Looking good now
The famous jade vine is in flower in the Glasshouse Range, much earlier than last year, while outside spring seems to have stalled.
The famous jade vine is in flower in the Glasshouse Range, much earlier than last year, while outside spring seems to have stalled.
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Fritillaria imperialis

Through the Woodland and on the Systematic Beds, hoops of orange and yellow crown imperial bells sporting a tuft of bright green leaves are standing in joyful crowds.
Sturdy, straight blue-grey stems support a circlet of rich orange flowers, the shoulder of each petal striped blue-grey, and a top-knot of fresh green leaves at odds with its father unpleasant foxy scent.

If very lucky, you could spot blue-tits visiting the flowers. Cambridge University botanist, Alberto Burquez, noted Blue-tits visiting the crown imperials at the Botanic Garden over several springs in the late 1980s and was the first to show that a European flower could be pollinated by a bird (Oikos, vol 55, p 335). This also makes the crown imperial the most northerly species of bird-pollinated, or ornithophilous, plant to be reported.
Publication Date
04/04/2014