Foxglove Trees


Several of the new plantings are Foxglove Trees (Paulownia tomentosa), nicknamed for their flowers. They're not "native", but then neither are the magnificent double pink cherries that transform the Meadows every spring.



As long as we have some trees that support a rich range of wildlife, I reckon it's fine to have others that just look interesting (nevertheless some "alien" species do support wildlife very well. And with the last retreat of the Scandinavian ice sheet from Scotland only about 10,000 years ago, none of us has been here all that long).

Furthermore, foxglove trees are resilient: a handy trait when the weather in Edinburgh is currently so unpredictable.

Even though most of these new plantings were less than twelve feet tall when I was taking pics of them in 2015, their leaves are immense, as can be seen from this pic of two of Middle Meadow Walk's pears placed on top of a fallen foxglove leaf.


The park's giant old elm trees dwarf the little foxglove trees, but this foxglove leaf dwarfs these elm leaves in the autumn fall.


At the start of June 2016, the new foxglove trees began to show their beautiful and distinctive violet bell flowers. One near Tollcross was the first: here's some of the new leaf growth (you can see the hairy undersides of the early leaves) and the first flowers.








A few days later, another started flowering on Leamington Walk. A great tit (I think) settled on its branches for a short while while I was out with the camera, but - as you may be able to see in the pic below if you click to enlarge - it insisted on merely showing me its bum.

Bird's backside, bottom centre-right of photo

Here's some pics of the new trees around the Meadows & Links in late summer 2015.




They won't be this height for long, all being well: foxgloves it seems are the fastest-growing trees in the world.










And here's a map of where to find some of the foxglove trees in the park.