Planted in 1996 and fourteen years later Carrierea calycina produces its first flowers.
The tree in the Garden at the base of the Chinese hillside is a male; the flowers are full of stamens of multi length; the anthers laden with pollen. The terminal inflorescence is composed of three and more flowers which open in stages.
The calyx is ribbed and light green in colour as an immature bud. It expands and opens gradually whitening in colour. Now get up close and appreciate the accompanying scent. On a still humid day this is sweet and heavy; if the tree was laden with flowers it would be quite overpowering.
Native to SW China where it is found growing through the margins of forests within the range 1300 – 1600 metres. Rarely seen in cultivation in this country due to a perceived lack of hardiness. The past winter cold has cut back some of the smaller branches through the framework of this small tree. Leaf shape is good, held to the wood by a red petiole. The leaves have a waxed feel to both surfaces, almost as if a candle had been rubbed over the surface leaving a residue. A serrated edge all around terminates in a drip point.