Looking good now
This stunning Indian bean tree is finally in flower at the heart of the Rock Garden.
This stunning Indian bean tree is finally in flower at the heart of the Rock Garden.
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Crown Imperials

The central monocot oval of the Systematic Beds is dominated by a stand of beautiful orange Crown Imperials, Fritillaria imperialis. 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.
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.

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