Photographers in race to capture spring flowers

February 11, 2008

Photographers could miss out on capturing pictures of spring flowers because they have appeared much earlier this year than in 2007, warns Kew Gardens in Surrey.

A Kew Gardens spokeswoman told us: ?In terms of flowers, the most significant have been Narcissus pseudonarcissus (daffodil) which opened on 16 January, a week earlier than in 2007 and 11 days ahead of its average for this decade.?

She added: ?Galanthus nivalis (snowdrop) also flowered weeks ahead of its normal flowering times.?

Also appearing 11 days early were Crocus chrysanthus (crocus) which opened on 24 January, says Kew Gardens which closely monitors flowering times each year.

?Photographers really need to keep a close eye on,? added the spokeswoman.

More significantly, asserts Kew, is the fact that ?woody material? – species expected to be less sensitive to weather change than bulbs – is flowering earlier this year.

English Hawthorn, for example, is predicted to flower before the end of February, after leaves appeared two months before they normally would. Blackthorn and Common Ash are also among the varieties to spring up early. ?These are months earlier than the norm and, given that they are species that have evolved in the vagaries of the English climate, the more remarkable, because one would expect them not to react so easily to milder weather in winter,? said Kew Gardens curator Dr Nigel Taylor.

?This suggests the changes in our climate are more far reaching than previously seen.?

Picture: Spring had well and truly sprung in St James’s Park, London yesterday lunchtime

Daffodils in central London 10 February 2008

Credit: C Cheesman

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