Saturday, September 25, 2010

Magnificent Magnolia

Magnolia is one of the earliest blooming flowers in the spring time. It is some of the oldest flowering plants on earth!
This is Magnolia Liliiflora (Nigra)
This specie has petals shaped like rabbit ears. Apparently magnolias evolved to encourage beetles to pollinate the flowers before bees came into being.
I remember hearing a story that a magnolia seed was found in an archeological dig in Japan having been sitting among rice grains buried in a pit for more than 2000 years! Perhaps it could even be used to cultivate the variety which could be interesting.
There is a range of shapes of the Magnolia from finger size petals to large head sized blooms. Having survived for so long the spread and evolution of the magnolia is complex and can be found in wide reaching places.

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