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Window on Westonbirt

Want to know what’s looking good right now? Have a peek through our Window on Westonbirt to discover what to watch out for on your next visit...

Two-winged silverbell, Halesia diptera


Westonbirt Halesia diptera


One of June’s most beautiful white flowers is the Two-winged silverbell. Their showy clusters  (3 to 6 flowers per cluster) of bell-shaped flowers appear in June and are followed by flattened two-winged fruits.

This plant is native to floodplains, stream banks, wet woods and swampy areas primarily along the Gulf Coast from South Carolina and northern Florida west to Texas.

Its name comes from the Greek words di meaning two and ptera meaning wings, in reference to the two-winged fruit of this plant. The genus name honours the Reverend Stephen Hales (1677-1761), an English physiologist, chemist, and inventor.

See it  in Sand Earth (location 21M) and off Circular Drive (location 17D).



The Wheel Tree, Trochodendron aralioides


Westonbirt Arboretum Trochodendron aralioides


Known as The Wheel Tree due to its fruits, which look like a spoked wheel.

They are lime green in colour and stand out against the evergreen leaves with their attractive scalloped edge.

Native to Japan, Korea and Taiwan, this is a very old species; an imprint of its leaf was  found in a 49 million-year-old fossil discovered in Washington State, USA.

Our specimen can be seen on Main Drive, location 18F/E.



Cornus kousa


 Westonbirt Cornus Kousa


After the glorious technicolour of May’s Rhododendrons June is a quieter month, but the flowering dogwood Cornus kousa is one of its stars. The showy parts of the “flower” are the four narrowly pointed petal-like white bracts which surround the centre cluster of insignificant, yellowish-green, true flowers.

It was first collected in Japan in 1875.

We have several specimens in Silk Wood and in Old Arboretum, but the largest and best is tucked away off Mitchell Drive just beyond Down Gate, location 22G.




Head into the Welcome Building as you enter the arboretum to discover what’s looking great on our Window on Westonbirt Board.

You can find all of the plants listed here using the Westonbirt Map, available for free at the Welcome Building - just ask our wonderful Welcome Desk Volundeers for a copy! 

Looking ahead? Find out what the rest of spring has to offer at the National Arboretum

Last updated: 6th June 2018

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.