Extreme weather ends 100 year wait for champion tree to flower in Cardiff Park

A rare Chinese tree has flowered in Roath Park for the first time since it was planted over 100 years ago.

The appearance of large clusters of fragrant creamy-white flowers is thought to be a result of a cold winter followed by the heatwave conditions that have swept the UK recently.

TheEmmenopterys henryi species was introduced to Europe in 1907 by botanist Ernest Wilson but the first recorded flowering did not occur until 1971 in Italy.

In the UK this type of tree has only flowered on five occasions, with the last known flowering before this summer being in Cambridge in 2012.

The tree in Roath Park is thought to have been planted in the early 20thcentury and has grown to be a champion tree – the biggest or best of its kind in the UK.

Community Park Ranger, Gareth Stamp, said:

“This really is something special to see, I must have walked past this tree a million times but I never expected to see it in flower – and who knows, it happens so rarely, maybe I never will again.”

Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said:

“Roath Park is one of twelve Green Flag standard parks and green spaces in Cardiff and last year the public voted it the best park in Wales – this is another great reason to pay it a visit over the next couple of weeks.”

The locations of all of Roath Park’s champion trees, including Emmenopterys henryi, are marked with posts and plaques.

To find Emmenopterys henryi:

  1. Start from Roath Park Conservatory
  2. Turn right out of the main entrance and follow the path.
  3. Cross straight over two ‘junctions’ on the path.
  4. Emmenopterys henryi is on the left hand side at the far end of this block of planting.


This story first appeared on https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Your-Council/News/Pages/default.aspx