Rare plant flowers on Isle of Wight

A plant which is well-known for its reluctance to flower outside of its native habitat is currently in full bloom on the Isle of Wight, it has been revealed.

The King Protea flower is native to South Africa and is notoriously difficult to grow, but after taking six months to open there is a flower on display at the Isle of Wight Councils Ventnor Botanic Garden.

According to Chris Kidd, head gardener at Ventnor Botanic Garden, the flowering of the King Protea out of Africa is the horticultural equivalent of an astronomer witnessing an eclipse from the comfort of their own home.

However, he went on to warn gardening enthusiasts that they will have to act quickly if they are to see the King Protea in all its glory.

"It will only flower for a little over a week, so anyone wishing to come and see it should pop along soon," Mr Kidd commented.

There are over 114 species of Protea in Africa, 82 of which can be found in the southern part of the continent.

Many gardeners in the UK attempt to grow flowers from more tropical climes – often with the help of a greenhouse.