A string of nice, sunny days in the first half of January has caused several lovely species of dendroflora to blossom in the sheltered parks of Opatija. In Angiolina Park, in front of the nursery-garden, along the path leading to the Swiss House, bushes of the fragrant eastern sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) are in full bloom. Even before we see the bushes, we will catch their wonderful sweet fragrance on the breeze and be lured to find its source. These “perfumed corridors” will unfailingly guide us to the eastern sweetshrubs’ blossoming branches (Photo 2) (http://ju-priroda.hr/2017/04/zimski-cvijet-rani-ili-mirisni-kimonant-chimonanthus-praecox/).
Camellias are another of the park’s winter decorations that we should seek out. We can find them not far from Villa Angiolina in an enclosed area that highlights their diversity. Although the camellias are mostly still dormant, their flower buds are swollen, waiting for the weather to become a bit warmer before they fully blossom. Some early varieties – such as the bushes planted near the park’s north exit – are already in full bloom. There we came across lush flowerheads of the red variety, while the white variety and cream-coloured and pink variety were just beginning to blossom.
We can also find certain fruiting species in the parks in winter. The conspicuous fruit of the holly (Ilex aquifolium) clings to the branches throughout the winter. The holly signals to birds – black birds, in particular – that they can feed on its fruit when other, tastier food runs short.