Emmenopterys henryi

Batsford Arboretum near Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire



Emmenopterys henryi is a very rare tree, in the Rubiacaea family, native to China. It was discovered by Augustine Henry in 1887 and introduced to Europe in 1907, by Ernest Wilson. The tree at Batsford is 25 years old and was propagated from the original, collected tree, growing at Kew, which died some years ago. A small number of trees are growing in various arboretums throughout the UK. Even as mature specimens, very few have ever flowered. This August 2018 flowering at Batsford is a first time event. Trees growing at Westonbirt and Cardiff have also flowered for the first time after an exceptionally hot summer.

I dashed over to Batsford to photograph this rare event. It is likely to be decades on before Emmenopterys flowers grace the trees again.