Blooming in May

The Palm House displays a variety of plants that blossom in May, including the lily of the Nile (Agapanthus), big blue lilyturf (Liriope muscari), Pavonia strictiflora, peace lily (Spathiphyllum floribunda) ´Mauna Loa´, golden plume (Schaueria calytricha), Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) and sundews (Drosera).

The subtropical zone provides a beautiful assortment of such May bloomers as the poison arrow plant (Acocanthera oblongifolia), pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), New Zealand rock lily (Arthropodium cirrhatum), Hakea trineura, beaked triggerplant (Stylidium adnatum), tapering-leaved bottlebrush (Callistemon acuminatus), basket grass (Lomandra longifolia), blue flax-lily (Dianella caerulea), yellow kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos flavidus), Slender Palm Lily (Cordyline stricta) and others. The Mediterranean plants in blossom one can see here in May are the Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) and the common gorse (Ulex europaeus) as well as some others. New cones appear on the Mediterranean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens). The Chinese and Japanese plants to start blooming in May are the Buddha’s hand (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus), lemon tree (Citrus limon), Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica), Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) and others.

In the northern greenhouses, you will find the collections of succulents, rainforest plants and tropical plants. The ones to flower in May are the Malay apple (Syzygium malaccense), lady’s slipper vine (Thunbergia mysorensis), chenille plant (Acalypha hispida), silver vine (Scindapsus pictus), snowbush (Breynia disticha), Jamaica vervain (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), yellow alder (Turnera ulmifolia), golden shrimp plant (Pachystachys lutea), peace lily (Spathiphyllum) ´Mauna Loa Supreme´, peace lily (Spathiphyllum) ´Domino´; flamingo flower plants Anthurium andreanum, Anthurium scherzerianum, Anthurium nymphaeifolium, and Anthurium pedatum; moth orchids (Phalaenopsis), etc.

The tropical useful plants you can find there are the jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), mango (Mangifera indica), rice (Oryza sativa), Musa acuminata banana plant, pineapple (Ananas comosus), true cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), Saccharum officinarum sugarcane, Arabian coffee (Coffea arabica), cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), snake fruit (Salacca zalacca), cotton plant (Gossypium), cherimoya (Annona cherimola), black pepper (Piper nigrum), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), achiote (Bixa orellana) and many others.    

In the arid climate zone of the greenhouse, the ones to blossom in May are the Dyckia floribunda, false shamrock (Oxalis triangularis), hand begonia (Begonia carolineifolia), Ismene × festalis ´Sulphur Queen´, Bomarea, Begonia venosa, Cleistocactus candelilla, shovel leaf kalanchoe (Kalanchoe nyikae), the crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii), Hawortia cymbiformis, heart-leaved aptenia (Aptenia cordifolia), common climbing-aloe (Aloe ciliaris), sea onion (Bowiea volubilis), Stephania glabra, and more.

In the Alpine garden, the May bloomers you can see are primroses (Primula), the pheasant’s eye (Adonis vernalis), common lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis), pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris), hellebore Helleborus atrorubens, etc.

The arboretum displays a variety of trees flowering in early May, for example, the Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas), Forsythia, and Sargent’s cherry (Prunus sargentii), followed later in the month by other cherry trees (Prunus), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Prunus subg. Padus, magnolias (Magnolia), plum trees (Prunus), currants (Ribes), apple trees (Malus), pear trees (Pyrus), early rhododendrons (Rhododendron), shadbushes (Amelanchier), buffaloberry shrubs (Shepherdia), quinces (Chaenomeles) and others.

The display of irises provides spectacle of bearded irises blossoming at the end of May.

The bulbous plants to bloom in May are hyacinths (Hyacinthus), grape hyacinths (Muscari), bluebells (Hyacinthoides), tulips (Tulipa) and daffodils (Narcissus), Arisaema, fawn lilies (Erythronium) and tri flowers (Trillium), various Allium species, fritillaries (Fritillaria), the Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum), arum lilies (Arum), and more.

The Garden of the Senses is where you can see, touch, and smell such May bloomers as the common lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis), Podophyllum hexandrum, creamy strawberry (Fragaria viridis), garden strawberry (Fragaria xananassa), scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis), sweet-scented bedstraw (Galium odoratum), miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), wild garlic (Allium ursinum), etc.

The exposition of ornamental grasses offers a view of Sesleria that blossom in May.

In the front square, you will be able to see a display of edible plants typical of Poland created by the botanic garden in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

Along the wall, the plants you can see flowering in May are the alpine barrenwort (Epimedium alpinum), leopard’s bane (Doronicum orientale) ‘Jaune Brillant’, dwarf periwinkle (Vinca minor) ‘Alba’, heart-leaved bergenia (Bergenia crassifolia var. pacifica), wood violet (Viola odorata) ‘Königin Charlotte’, creeping navelwort (Omphalodes verna), lungwort (Pulmonaria) ´Opal’, Pulmonaria mollis lungwort, red lungwort (Pulmonaria rubra), and others.


Text: Urmas Laansoo

Photos: Sille Janson