A Colourful Parrot

Friday, October 5th, 2018

The large Parrotia Persica (or Persian Ironwood) tree at the western end of the garden is beginning to take on its autumnal hues. This year I have been photographing it day by day from the same place and hope to post a video of its transformation when it reaches its most vibrant state. It still has a way to go, but today it was bathed in sunshine and it seemed to glow in the morning light in a way that the camera can’t quite convey.

I assumed it was named for its vivid parrot-like colours, which will become more evident in the coming days, but not at all. It was a German naturalist, Johann Jacob Friedrich Wilhelm Parrot (1791 – 1841) who gave it his name. He was also a doctor, an academic and an explorer, and he led the first expedition to the summit of Mount Ararat. As colourful as a Persian carpet, this tree from northern Iran never fails to put on a good show here in Kent.