Opening in a blaze of glory in late April the foliage of Aesculus turbinata was as red as hot embers in the centre of a November night bonfire.

I took the first image on 25th April and the second on the 11th May. In these 17 days the colour faded to a light green more in keeping with our deciduous tree canopy. The chameleon effect of transient colouration stabilises as leaves mature. The anthocyanin pigment causing this redness also gives autumn colour to the deciduous canopy. At this time of year this pigment may provide protection against strong sunlight levels in the tree’s native Japan, where it grows to 30m with a sturdy trunk; here it is not as robust but with foliage of merit and flower spikes developing, worth growing.

Aesculus turbinata 25th April. Photo by Tony Garn

Aesculus turbinata, 25th April

Aesculus turbinata, 11th May. Photo by Tony Garn

Aesculus turbinata, 11th May