Magna Magnolia

Fragile tenacity: That sums up the magnolia.

Unlike the flowering crabapple, whose parchment-thin petals come and go in a few days, the victim of any passing breeze, the magnolia blossoms hang on and on and on. That’s if they escape the notice of the neighbourhood squirrels, and aren’t bitten off before they rightly have a chance to be called blossoms. If they get past that first gauntlet, their leathery petals gradually fade and twist as they dry out and as the emerging leaves push them aside.

Opinions vary in my household, but sometimes truth is not determined by a consensus. In my book, they’re lovely throughout.

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8 Responses to Magna Magnolia

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Fragile tenacity! What a wonderful phrase!
    And beautiful pictures!

  2. These magnificent blooms are aging gracefully. In fact, “pink leather” is an inspiring phrase that makes me feel I need some. I wonder if all varieties cling to the branch? A friend in NY State was complaining about the masses of petals in her swimming pool and about having to rake the lawn to remove bags full of fallen petals. I still think that would be a small penalty to pay for having a large magnolia tree!

  3. Isabel Gibson says:

    Laurna – I’m not familiar with other varieties, but these petals do eventually dry and fall off. And in the fall, the leaves are similarly long-lasting, Unlike poplar or maple leaves, say, they don’t waste away to a skinny piece of paper: they never crumble into dust.

  4. Judith Umbach says:

    Beautiful photos. I agree that they are lovely at any stage – at least with your photos as my guide. Rarely have seen magnolias in real time. Thanks

  5. barbara carlson says:

    They are the best! John and I spent a wonderful month one spring driving south to the Florida Keys — then, slowly back up the coast, every three days, in time to watch the unfolding of the magnolias all over again. Magical. Like turn-of-the-century ladies in splendid pink hats.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – 🙂 That’s a lovely way to spend a month. You could almost do the same thing with redbud, but I think the magnolia is hardy in more places.

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