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Carrierea - Growing Guide
Growing Carrierea calycina
The great plant explorer, Ernest Wilson, first discovered this still very rare tree in western China in 1908. It first flowered in the UK in 1929 but most UK plants died out until reintroduced in more recent years. Wilson considered this species of tree to be one of the most beautiful in flower that he had ever seen in China. Very recently at a London dinner members of the Garden Society were ‘star struck’ to see it in its full glory for the first time.
The flowers on this deciduous tree which grows to 20-30ft in maturity are erect and candelabra-like with up to 10 individual flowers. These are yellowish or greenish white.
The tree has a wide spreading shape or head, coarse toothed leaves, and the new growth has an attractive reddish hue. A small tree growing in full sun on the Gower Peninsula in Wales has yet to flower but it looks hopeful that it will do so soon. At Burncoose we have found the tree easy to grow but, similarly, all we have to admire, at present, is its new growth.
When more widely grown this tree may prove as sensational in gardens as the arrival of davidia or emmenoptrys.