Rare 90-Year-Old Tree Flowers for the First Time Ever

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Photo via UBC Botanical Gardens

One rare tree specimen in Ireland is proving that it's never too late to try something new. Some 90 years after being planted on an estate outside of Belfast, a Goat Horn Trees, native to China, is flowering its pale, aromatic blossoms for the very first time ever. Sadly though, it's attempt to find another tree with which to reproduce will likely be in vain as there's only one more like it in the whole country.According to a report from Sky News, the modest tree is a descendent of a specimen brought to Ireland from China in 1908 by plant collector E.H. Wilson, and one of only two Goat Horn trees that still survives in the country. Being flower-shy doesn't appear to run in the family, however; the other tree has bloomed several times over the last nearly 100 years.

Averil Milligan, who's head gardener at Rowallane Gardens, home of the late-blossoming tree:

We had noticed in June that this tree was making flower bud growth, which has slowly developed over the past week or so. We were intrigued to see what they were going to look like when they eventually opened and have been keeping a careful eye on it. Last weekend saw the first buds opening into a pale white flower which also has a scent, so we think its time to celebrate with our garden visitors and supporters. It has a lovely light scent and the tree has hundreds still waiting. After flowering, it produces long, curved spindle-shaped fruits which resemble a goat's horn, after which the tree is named.

There's no telling why the rare Goat Horn Tree decided to flower after 90 summers without, but the excitement surrounding its latest display should come as welcome news for late bloomers everywhere.