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Hornbeam

Hornbeam

Hornbeam leaves and flowers are coming out now in early April. The Common Hornbeam is native to Southern England and is also found throughout Europe and Turkey. It is a medium-sized tree and can grow to 30m. It is common in hedgerows and woods and has been planted in...

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Tulips

Tulips

Tulips are coming into flower now. Tulips are members of the Lily family. The Tulipa (Tulip) genus with  about 75 species is native to mountainous areas of Eurasia and North Africa. The main area of diversity is Central Asia. Some species and many cultivars are...

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March Flowers

March Flowers

At the moment, in late March, two attractive garden plants are  in flower - the Garden Anemone and the popular Wallflower 'Bowles's Mauve' . Two trees have also recently come into flower - the Wild Cherry and the Norway Maple. Some early flowering cherries may already...

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Pears

Pears

Two species of Pear are coming into flower now,  the Common Pear and the Callery Pear. Both have identical white flowers. They can be confused at a distance with the Crab Apple but they flower 2 to 4 weeks before the Apple. The Common Pear Pyrus communis is native to...

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Violets and Pansies

Violets and Pansies

Violets and Pansies are members of the Viola genus which is in  the Violet family Violaceae. Viola is the ancient Latin name for the  Sweet Violet   Viola odorata used by the Greeks to make perfumes and the Romans to make wine. It has a very distinctive scent which is...

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Primroses

Primroses

The Primula genus of over 500 species includes the Wild Primrose Primula vulgaris and the Cowslip Primula veris. Both species are in flower now, in mid March. A natural hybrid between these two species is the False Oxlip (P. veris x vulgaris). It has been used to...

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Wych Elm flowers and fruit

Wych Elm flowers and fruit

Normally the Wych Elm Ulmus glabra produces flowers in March and  fruit  in April before the leaves. This year the fruit is already on the tree in early March. The fruit is bright green when formed but turns yellow and is shed in May and June. The Wych Elm is native...

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Blackthorn Flowers

Blackthorn Flowers

Three closely related trees have white flowers in spring - Cherry Plum, Blackthorn and Wild Cherry. They are all members of the Prunus genus in the Rose Family and have very similar flowers. The Prunus genus of over 400 species of trees and shrubs includes Wild...

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Early Flowering Magnolia

Early Flowering Magnolia

The Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) is already in flower in London, following the mild winter. Magnolia trees and shrubs are members of a very large genus containing between 120 and 230 species depending on the classification system used. The genus is named...

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Silver Maple Red Flowers

Silver Maple Red Flowers

The Silver Maple Acer saccharinum is native to eastern and central North America from Newfoundland to Texas. It was introduced to Britain in 1725 and has been widely planted on city streets and parks. Its leaves are silvery underneath and it has bright red flowers in...

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More February Flowers

More February Flowers

Following the mild winter, some  flowers are out in February that normally would not be seen until March. Two wild flowers,  the Lesser celandine and the Coltsfoot are in flower as are two trees, the Cherry Plum with white flowers and the Goat Willow with yellow...

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Flowers eBook Released

Flowers eBook Released

The book will appeal to gardeners, horticulture and biology students and anyone who enjoys looking at  flowers in the garden or countryside. The author is Alan Birkett and this is an eBook available as a download to the Books app of iMacs, Apple Laptops, iPads and...

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February flowers

February flowers

More flowers are out in February than in January. Early flowering Daffodils may already be in bloom. The wild daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus  grows in woods and grasslands throughout England and Wales and also in Germany, Portugal and Spain. Plant breeders have...

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January Flowers – Hellebores

January Flowers – Hellebores

Few flowers are out in January but one early flowering plant is the Hellebore. Also out at this time of year are Snowdrops, Winter Aconite, Winter Jasmine, Lungworts and some Heathers. This post describes the main features of the hellebore. Hellebore flowers have 5...

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Summer Fruit

Summer Fruit

Summer fruit that you may be lucky enough to see in the countryside at this time of the year in the UKThe Cherry Plum is also known as the Myrobalan Plum. It is native to a region from the Balkans to central Asia and has been cultivated in Britain from the 16th...

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Tree of Heaven

Tree of Heaven

The Tree of Heaven Ailanthus altissima, native to northern and central China, was introduced to Britain in 1751. It was planted extensively in London Squares and elsewhere in parks, streets and gardens. It is now very common in urban areas and has spread naturally in...

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Three unusual Lime Trees

Three unusual Lime Trees

There are three unusual Lime trees that are found in Britain, Mongolian Lime, Henry's Lime and Oliver's Lime.The Mongolian Lime Tilia mongolica is a small tree native to eastern Russia, Mongolia and northern China. It was introduced to Britain in the 1880s. It has a...

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Mulberries

Mulberries

There are two Mulberry species found in Britain, the Black Mulberry Morus nigra and the White Mulberry Morus alba. The Black Mulberry, native to Southwest Asia, was probably introduced to Britain in about 1500. It has been cultivated for centuries for its edible fruit...

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Lime Tree Flowers

Lime Tree Flowers

There are three species of Lime that flower in June and July. The Broad-leaved Lime is native to Europe and Western Asia. It was probably introduced to Britain but now grows naturally in the lime rich soils such as those of the Wye Valley and parts of the Pennines. It...

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Elder

Elder

                                                                                                                                The Elder Sambucus nigra is a shrub or small tree found in hedgerows and woods throughout Britain. It is also native to Europe, North Africa...

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Plane Tree Flowers

Plane Tree Flowers

The London Plane (Platanus x hispanica) is probably a hybrid between the Oriental Plane and the American Sycamore, first created in Spain or southern France in about 1650. It was introduced to Britain in about 1680. It is now common in large gardens and parks and very...

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Two Horse Chestnuts

Two Horse Chestnuts

Native to Albania and Greece, the Horse Chestnut was introduced to Britain in 1616 and is now common in parks, village greens and city streets. It is easily recognised by its leaves, its spectacular flowers in spring and its production of 'conkers' in autumn. It can...

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Whitebeam

Whitebeam

The Common Whitebeam Sorbus aria is native to the south of England and south and central Europe. It grows best on chalk and limestone. It has been planted as an ornamental tree in many streets and gardens. The leaves are oval and toothed but their most obvious...

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Oak tree flowers

Oak tree flowers

The English Oak is the dominant tree in most of Britain, particularly on the richer soils in valley bottoms. It has been planted everywhere in parks, gardens, deer parks and woods. It has male and female flowers on the same tree. Male flowers are on catkins and hang...

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Manchurian Cherry

Manchurian Cherry

The Manchurian Cherry is native to north-east China, Siberia and Korea. It was introduced to Britain in 1910. It was 'discovered' by Richard Maack and registered in 1857. It has white flowers that resemble those of the Bird Cherry. It is valued for its beautiful bark,...

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Snowy Mespil

Snowy Mespil

The Snowy Mespil, also known as the Juneberry, Snowy Mespilus or Serviceberry, is a deciduous shrub or small tree, originally from North America but now growing wild in Europe, including Britain. It is an ornamental tree planted widely in gardens for its delicate...

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Cherry Blossom in Spring

Cherry Blossom in Spring

Cherry flowers in spring may be white or pink and have varying numbers of petals.  A  ‘single’ flower has 5 petals, a ‘semi-double’ flower has 2 rows of 5 petals and a ‘double’ has 3 or more rows. ‘semi-double or double’ flowers arise when some of the rows of anthers ...

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Trees in flower in Spring

Trees in flower in Spring

Two trees come into flower at the same time  in early spring. The Common Pear has white flowers and the Norway Maple has green flowers. Viewed from a distance one tree looks white and the other green.The Common Pear, also known as the Wild Pear, is probably of West...

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Blackthorn

Blackthorn

Blackthorn Prunus spinosa                                                                                                                                The Blackthorn is a small thorny tree or shrub, usually found in farm hedgerows, but often planted in urban areas....

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Magnolias

Magnolias

Magnolia trees and shrubs are members of a very large genus containing between 120 and 230 species depending on the classification system used. The genus is named after the French botanist Pierre Magnol. It is an ancient genus with 'primitive' flowers adapted for...

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