March is all about anticipation: admittedly, whitethorn and Prunus cerasifera are doing their thing, and Mahonia is almost over, but, in the Botanic Garden, I don’t imagine I am the only person checking up on the great Prunus yedoensis (the Yoshino cherry) on the Main Lawn, of which the flower buds are swelling in a manner which is both gratifying and hugely exciting. If nothing goes wrong in the way of storms or severe frosts, this will be a vintage year for the Garden’s greatest poster child.

The Yoshino cherry in its glory a couple of years ago (Credit: Cambridge University Botanic Garden)

I went round yesterday photographing (mostly) tree buds: the photos aren’t very brilliant (getting a real camera might improve the situation), but I hope they give some ideas …

The Yoshino cherry in bud yesterday
Nearby, the Malus trilobata (the Lebanese wild apple)
By the glasshouses, Tetrapanax papyrifera, the rice paper plant
Near the stream, Cerdiciphyllum japonicum ‘Pendula‘, the katsura tree
Magnolia denudata, the lily tree
Paeonia lutea var. ludlowii
Quercus libani, the Lebanon oak
Parrotia persica, the Persian ironwood
Eucommia ulmoides, the gutta-percha, formerly a source of golf balls
Tilia mongolica, the Mongolian lime or linden
Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea, the purple beech
Fraxinus ornus, the manna ash
Amelanchier lamarckii, the snowy mespilus or Juneberry
Another Prunus x yedoensis, near the Hills Road gate
Aesculus flava, the yellow buckeye

And finally, my favourite:

Acer caudatifolium, a maple from Taiwan, growing up with muntjac protection. A wonderful combination of striped bark and buds in shades of red and pink, clothed in delicate white down.


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