Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

The first scent of flowers

Posted: April 12, 2012 at 08:17 am Author: Westonbirt's learning and participation team

This Easter, Westonbirt’s learning and participation team have created two great family events, with an Easter Challenge (3 – 6 April) and an exploration of Jurassic Plants (10 – 12 April) on offer for families. Trails amongst the trees and craft activities make this the perfect spring day out – here’s a taste of some of the amazing tree facts you’ll find on the trails!

During the Late Cretaceous period, as the climate cooled down, the gymnosperms (including conifers, ginkgos) began to decline.


A new group of plants developed and flourished – the angiosperms or flowering plants. This was the first era which included ‘modern’ plants such as the walnut tree and the first time dinosaurs, such as Apatosaurus, would have smelled the sweet scent of flowers in the air.

The walnut needed the cooler climate of Cretaceous times - many walnut seeds would never have survived in the warmer climate of earlier Jurassic times. Humidity over 70% and temperatures above 25ºC result in rot and fungus that spoils the seed.

Today walnut trees provide an important source of food with over 2.5 million tonnes being produced each year.

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