Tony Hall shares his favourite fruits and leaves from this autumn's show.
Trees display an array of vibrant colours at this time of year. Here's my pick of some of the best to look out for:
Images: Vitis leaves (left); maple leaves (right)
Images: Diospyros leaves (left), Parrotia leaves (right)
Images: Quercus coccinea leaves (left), the conifer Psuedolarix amabilis (right)
There is a wonderful show of autumn fruits this year: some are edible for us, such as the hazel and sweet chestnuts, but many more are palatable for birds and mammals. I'm sure that for most people, the prime autumn fruit is the blackberry.
Image: Blackberries - a favourite autumn fruit
However, there are many fruits from around the world in our collections and now is the best time to see them. The fruits of the ash, called ‘keys’ because they resemble bunches of keys, the Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) whose fruits can be as big as tennis balls, and the smelly fruits of Ginkgo, are just a few to watch out for.
Images: Ash "keys" (top left), Osage orange (top right), Ginkgo biloba fruits (bottom)
Keep an eye out for the Sorbus fruits as well - especially the Kew hybrid with its white and pink contrasting fruits.
Images: Sorbus x kewensis fruits (left) and Sorbus forestii fruits (right)
- Tony -
The Arboretum team blog includes stories about individual plants growing at Kew, information about the growing techniques that we use, and reports on our field trips to see woody plants growing in their natural habitats. You can also find out how we look after Kew's renowned world plant collections.
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