Hummingbirds and lantern trees
One of the best known ornamental flowering woody plants, native to Chile, is the Chilean lantern tree (Crinodendron hookerianum).
This plant relies on pollination by hummingbirds and has adapted to this. The red pendant flowers hang at the end of long peduncles (stalks) keeping them away from the stems and foliage, and allowing better access for the birds. Flowers are also narrow-mouthed and then shape resembles a Chinese lantern, just shaped for the needle-like beaks of hummingbirds.
Keep an eye out for our tree 311429 - it is a pink flowering form of the normally red flowering lantern tree. It is called Crinodendron hookerianum 'Ada Hoffman' and can be found in the wild.
Find where this tree grows at Westonbirt by using Arboretum Explorer
The red petals are somewhat waxy and thickset so that they can withstand the energetic activity of birds feeding on nectar and pollinating the flowers. The hummingbirds also scatter pollen, which is unusually dry and sticks to the birds head, which is then transferred to other flowers the bird visits. Flowers appear in May and can be found almost all year round.