What to look out for in April

Outdoor Gardens

Cornwall is now a veritable cornucopia of wildflowers, and the gardens at Eden are no exception, with primroses, bluebells, violets and campion vying for your attention in Wild Cornwall and Myth and Folklore.

Wander through the formal gardens on a fresh spring day and you will be greeted by a treasure trove of little gems, including Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ decorating the Plane tree steps with its lovely, silver-patterned leaves and powder blue flowers. Fritillarias and camassias are in full bloom along with Corydalis flexuosa and Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’. One of the highlights of the Cornish spring garden, Magnolia 'Leonard Messel', with its large, showy, fragrant flowers, can be found in the Japanese swale, behind the Core, while Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ appears in several locations across the gardens – a fragrant, rosy-pink stunner.

Rainforest Biome

Latest news: three titan arums - the largest flowering structure in the world - are set to bloom in our Rainforest Biome soon. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for updates.

In the warm and humid environment of the rainforest, tropical crops grow and develop at an astonishing rate. Look out for padi and field rice, peanuts and pigeon peas, lablab, long beans and sorghum, along with a host of other unusual crops.  Native to the tropical forests of the Philippines, the stunningly beautiful jade vine, Strongylodon macrobotrys, is in bloom, with its pendant trusses of turquoise, claw-shaped flowers – a sight not to be missed!  

Mediterranean Biome

In the centre of the Biome, and hot on the heels of our vibrant and colourful tulip displays, you will now find the exotic Persian buttercups, Ranunculus asiaticus – a stunning collection of showy, rose-like blooms in shades of deepest pink, purple, red, yellow and orange – bred from wild forms found in the eastern Mediterranean and south-west Asia, and used as ornamentals and cut flowers. See a timelapse video of the Persian buttercups.

Persian buttercups (Ranunculus asiaticus) are now putting on a stunning floral display in the Eden Project's Mediterranean Biome - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

 

Our beautiful Madeira cranesbill, Geranium maderense also begins flowering in April, and if you have ever visited the Mediterranean region at this time of year, you will recognize the unmistakeable and evocative scent of citrus blossom, especially potent on sunny days.

Spring plant highlights

Here's what to spot at Eden in the coming months. 

Outdoor gardens 

Wander through the gardens on a fresh spring day, and enjoy British wildflowers at their best, especially in our Wild Cornwall and Myth and Folklore areas – bluebells, primroses, violets and campion, all vie for your attention. In the Japanese swale, behind the Core building, look for the beautiful magnolia ‘Leonard Messel’, with its large, showy, fragrant flowers, opening before the leaves appear. Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ can be found in several locations around the garden – a fragrant, rosy-pink stunner.

Rainforest Biome

Escape the gloom and venture into the steamy heat of the rainforest – beautiful flowers of the glorybower Clerodendrum, await you there, along with tamarinds, fruiting in the West Africa section. These pod-like fruits are used extensively in cuisines around the world. Chocolate lovers will find ripening cocoa pods on the lower terraces of the Biome. 

Take a little time out to look at our diverse collection of tropical palms, including the lady palm, used to make walking sticks and umbrella handles, and the Madagascan traveller’s palm, with its leaves aligned east to west – a useful compass if you get lost! In Oceanic Islands you will find the unique bottle palm, critically endangered in its native Mauritius, but thriving here and about to flower. Look up and you will see the towering royal palm, whose flowers are white with pink anthers.

The star of the show in April is the stunningly beautiful jade vine, Strongylodon macrobotrys, native to the tropical forests of the Philippines. Its pendant trusses of turquoise, claw-shaped flowers are not to be missed!  

Mediterranean Biome

Spring arrives early in the Mediterranean biome, and in South Africa, bright orange and creamy yellow Chasmanthe are in bloom, pollinated by sunbirds in their native land. Aromatic shrubs are also flowering, including Agathosma; ‘the scent of Africa’ 

If you love citrus, don’t miss the magnificent citron! These huge, warty fruits, with thick fragrant peel are like giant lemons – sadly too big for your gin and tonic glass, but they provide excellent flavouring for confectionery and preserves. 

By April, the Mediterranean rock roses (Cistus) are at their best, their delicate petals like crumpled silk, and the grapevines are bursting into life with ribbons of bright green foliage.

But taking centre stage this month are the tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs, providing a kaleidoscope of vibrant colour. Protected from the weather outside, these stunning displays will last for weeks. 

South Africa continues to bloom with dainty, little lachenalias and the stunning, dusky-pink princess protea, Protea grandiceps.   

If you feel up to venturing a little further, the largest plantation of monkey puzzle trees in the UK awaits you in our Wild Chile area (right up near Pineapple car park). In late spring they look particularly stunning, displaying masses of bright new growth.