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Rare Chinese Tree Blooms in Raleigh

Posted August 6, 2007

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— In the City of Oaks, a rare Chinese tree is blooming in a homeowner’s yard.

The 9-year-old Emmenopterys henryi bloomed for the first time this summer, said homeowner Jeane Andrus.

She bought the tree as a seedling at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh and planted it in her yard on City of Oaks Wynd road, Andrus said.

Arborists told her that trees of this rare species, which is native to China, commonly do not bloom they are 30 years old.

“Every spring, (my husband) would come out and he’d say this is the year this tree is going to bloom,” Andrus said. “And I would just roll my eyes and say, ‘Oh right.’”

Experts shared Andrus’s surprise at the blooming of her tree.

“I thought it was spectacular,” said Mark Weathington, assistant director of the Raulston Arboretum, who said that such a young Emmenopterys henryi blooming is “extremely rare.”

The first time an Emmenopterys henryi bloomed in the United States was 1994, according to research.

Since then, there have been only about a dozen documented cases of a Emmenopterys henryi blooming in this country.

“It’s pretty rare to see that tree at all in this area. It’s a very, very uncommon tree,” said Weathington.

Andrus agreed that her tree blooming is a special occurrence.

“Nature has a way of surprising you,” Andrus said.


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  • scorekeep Aug 8, 2007

    More news, another tree bloomed in Raleigh and , mysteriously, another one did not.

  • Say it to my face Aug 7, 2007

    I am having trouble growing my poplar...

  • lizard Aug 6, 2007

    I once had a rare one in my yard. An Edee-yit Tree. Had to call the police to handle it though.

  • lizard Aug 6, 2007

    rufus - well said,,,most lucent, succinct comment of the night

  • djofraleigh Aug 6, 2007

    I hope this foreign species does get out of hand as so many others have. That Bradford pear from China is a problem tree now. Now only does it over take native species, it reproduces to a tree full of thorns that piece clothes and hides of deer. They also stink. The braford pear blossoms quick and grows fast but have you noticed the trees don't age well, damage easy, misshape and lose that lovely shape they start out with.

  • Just WhiskeyKel Aug 6, 2007

    Maybe now people will see you don't have to chop down every tree for another darn super Target or Walgreens every half mile and just let nature be nature.
    Natural Beauty!!!

  • olivedrabby Aug 6, 2007

    Mix in an editor "commonly do not bloom they are 30 years old" - I think you dropped an "until".

  • magnus Aug 6, 2007

    I wonder how many native trees were sacrificed so that this introduced exotic species could displace them so successfully.