Trees with outstanding inflorescences
AESCULUS CARNEA The red hybrid horse chestnut
is very variable, the cultivar briotii should
always be chosen. A. hippocastanum, the common
horsechestnut, growing into a very large tree, is well
known. The double-flowered baumannii is smaller
and does not produce conkers. A. indica, the
Indian horse chestnut, has the largest flower spikes
of all, pink-flushed, in June and July; A. octandra,
the sweet buckeye, a smaller tree, has flowers that
are pale yellow; A. pavia var. atrosanguinea
is a small tree with crimson flowers in June. CATALPA
BIGNONIOIDES The Indian bean has many foxglove-like
flowers in a pyramidal, erect spike in July and August.
The individual flowers are white marked with yellow
and purple. Does well in the heart of London.
CLADRASTIS TINCTORIA The yellow wood has
pendent clusters of scented pea-like white flowers with
a yellow blotch on the standard in June. Does not always
flower but has handsome foliage.
CRATAEGUS The many-flowered inflorescences
of the numerous thorns, mostly with white but sometimes
red or pink flowers, are well known and very similar.
A choice should be made from those that also bear showy
DAVIDIA INVOLUCRATA The pockethandkerchief,
or dove tree has its small flowers surrounded by two
large white bracts, making it a remarkable sight in
FRAXINUS ORNUS In May the manna or flowering
ash is usually densely covered with clusters of small,
KOELREUTERIA PANICULATA The golden-rain
tree or pride of India carries in August erect pyramidal
spikes of many small yellow flowers each with a red
spot at the centre. The foliage also is attractive.
LABURNUM By far the best, with the longest
chains of flowers and the sweetest scent, is the hybrid
L. x watereri.
MAGNOLIA Ofthe large tree magnolias, the
following have large and magnificent flowers: M.
campbellii (pink), M. delavayi (creamy-white),
M. denudata (pure white), M. grandifiora (white),
M. mollicomata (rose-purple), M. obovata (creamy-white),
M. sargentiana (rosepink), M. tripetala, umbrella
MALUS There are very many floriferous
crab-apples, both with white, pink and rose-colored
flowers. It is best to choose those which also produce
interesting fruit or have colored foliage.
PAULOWNIA P. fargesii and P. tomentosa
(syn. P. imperialis) have broad spikes of
heliotrope foxglove-shaped flowers up to 30cm (lft)
long which are not produced every year, because of winter
frost damage to the flower buds. PRUNUS A selection
from this very floriferous genus is best made when a
second attribute, such as early flowering, decorative
fruit, autumnal leaf color or decorative bark is present.
The Japanese cherries, with flowers ranging from white
to shades of pink and even yellow, must be chosen on
beauty of flower alone.
PYRUS The ornamental pears are with few
exceptions not commonly planted other than for their
foliage, as neither their flowers nor fruits are significant.
SORBUS The rowans and service trees have
decorative clusters, in some kinds large, of white or
rarely pink flowers, but they are best selected by giving
attention to the merits of their foliage and berries.
STYRAX S. japonica flowers freely
in June, the bell-shaped flowers hanging from short
shoots; S. obassa has similar flowers, fragrant,
on spikes at the same season and in addition has large,
almost round leaves that turn yellow in autumn. TILIA
The very many small clusters of pale yellow flowers
that are carried by all species of limes in June and
early July must be mentioned if only on account of their
scent. T. cordata is the best for a small space,
as it is slow growing.