AFTER weeks of anticipation, a 25-year-old specimen of Emmenopterys henryi, a highly rare tree originating from China, has come into flower for the first time at Batsford Arboretum in Gloucestershire.

It is only the sixth time the species has flowered in the UK since its first recorded flowering at Wakehurst gardens in West Sussex in 1987. It is thought that the recent heat wave may be responsible for Batsford’s tree coming into flower.

The Emmenopterys was introduced into cultivation in the UK from China by Ernest Wilson in 1907.

Batsford’s tree was one of a few micro-propagated from Ernest Wilson’s original tree at Kew, several years before it died, to keep his legacy alive.

As expected, Batsford’s Emmenopterys has produced clusters of beautiful white delicate flowers, surrounded by soft white bracts, around the top of the tree.

The flowers are thought to last for up to two weeks.