Chinese tree has flowered in a Belgian arboretum
, an event seldom seen anywhere in Europe, the garden's curator
The Emmenopterys henryi
, billed as
"one of the most strikingly
beautiful trees of the Chinese forests," has brought flower lovers flocking
to the Kalmthout Arboretum in the northern province of Antwerp, and will do so for up to a month, the site's curator Abraham Rammeloo said.
He described the greeny-white trumpet-shaped blooms, which grow in clusters
, as being "a bit like clibming hydrangeas
but much more beautiful."
According to the arboretum, there have only been four previous major flowerings of the tree in Europe since it was first brought over from China 100 years ago.
The first time was in Italy in 1971, another was at Wakehurst Place in England in 1987, and twice before it has bloomed
at the same Belgian location.
"We're probably just lucky," said Rammeloo, before explaining that the 40-50 year old tree was relatively mature
"We probably chose the most suitable
location by accident
," he added.
"We cleared a ditch
and there was probably plenty of moisture for it there," which it needs, and "a couple of other trees have been taked away in the last 10 years to allow it more sun," he explained.
The tree, indigenous to
southern China's temperate
forests, is under threat there from deforestation
and is now rare both in the wild and in gardens.
Rammeloo said the best time to see the rare flowers in Antwerp would be over the next few weeks, although they could last through to mid-September.
A special viewing platform
has been built for visitors to admire the little flowers, which blossom
at the top of the tree.
: 絶滅の危機にある arboretum
: 植物園 seldom ～
: 園長 Emmenopterys henryi
: 香果樹 billed as ～
: 際立って flocking
: 集まる clusters
: ツルアジサイ has bloomed
: 成長した suitable
: 適した by accident
: 偶然に ditch
indigenous to ～
: ～原産の temperate
: 温帯の deforestation
: 台 blossom