The blooming of the magnolia has begun!

Breakfast with the sweet magnolia this morning! Amazing how overnight things can so quickly change. Perhaps it was the little mini flash flood rain late evening that pushed the blooms to open up. Last evening, none were beyond the early stages of unfurling those magnificent white ‘not petals.’ I learned only yesterday that the Magnolia grandiflora–native to the southeastern US–was taken to Europe in the early 1700s and from there spread to other countries. [We are the “invasive species” this time.] It is one of the oldest trees in existence, and their flowers do not actually have “true petals and sepals”, but rather something called a “petal-like tepal.” Their evolutionary process from some 95 million years ago ensures their reproduction. They were pre-bees, so pollinated by beetles, and as fascinating as human reproduction may be, these flowers have an amazing history. You can read the details at The Botany of Magnolias (Philip Evich, 2021, Smithsonian Gardens), but the short version is the flower has evolved to ensure cross pollination from the beetle, rather than self-pollination which causes problems.

I am also relatively sure that my theory on why so many buds/blooms this year compared to years past is flawed at least partially, but I am still checking on that, and considering other explanations. Maybe I will have it figured out by the time this tree is full of fully-opened blooms!

This entry was posted in Acts of Restorative Kindness, Ecosystem, Mississippi and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The blooming of the magnolia has begun!

  1. So beautiful! Our lilacs opened last night after the light rain. So magnificent!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mags says:

    What a beauty to enjoy over breakfast. It is so beautiful, I can almost smell the sweet aroma.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. peggy says:

    Wonderful – enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Katie says:

    Oh, lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Betty says:

    Beautiful, and the white of the tepal is the prettiest shade of white.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      It is a lovely shade, and I also learned that the “leathery” texture is what protects the blooms from the beetles eating hole in them while chowing down on pollen! They have lots of white magnolias on the campus, but also some of the pink variety, which I always loved. No matter where you look on that campus, you can see a magnolia, and in many places, rows of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful! I love magnolias. They look like they smell amazing. šŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t know that about magnolias being exported to Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

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