Archive for the ‘Family: Magnolia’ Category

I almost missed them – they bloomed while I was busy and are just starting to lose their petals now.  There was an article recently in the Boston Globe about the magnolia trees on Commonwealth Avenue  which are certainly magnificent.  There is a place in my heart, though, for the magnolias on Marlborough Street (parallel to Comm Ave) because I lived there once and that’s where I fell in love with them.  I took a few pictures of the magnolias still blooming May 2nd, 2011.

Magnolia on Marlborough

Magnolia Flower

Magnolia Flowers, May 2, 2011

Magnolia in the Back Bay

Magnolia Flower, without petals

I posted last year about the magnolia trees blooming in North Carolina in March, check it out for some more background information on magnolias.  It’s interesting to compare the species – the ones in Boston are clearly different.

Here’s a little more from the Peterson guide (1958 edition) about magnolias – thank you Aunt JoAnn!

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I visited Chapel Hill, North Carolina last week.  The day before I left Sweden, it snowed.  North Carolina, on the other hand, was warm, sunny and spring was in full swing.

There is something about flowering trees.  I’m not sure what it is, perhaps that there are so many flowers all in one place, or perhaps that the flowers hang down above you all the better to enjoy at eye level.  When I lived in Boston, I fell in love with Magnolia trees.  I was so pleased to see that I caught them in bloom in Chapel Hill!

Magnolia, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A little about the Magnolia from the subfamily Magnolioideae, family Magnoliaceae.

  • Magnolias are from a primitive genus; fossils have been found from 20 to 95 million years ago.  They do not have any sepals or petals.
  • There are 210 species, and more is being learned about their relationships through DNA sequencing.
  • They are so ancient that they evolved before bees, so they rely on beetles to pollinate them.
  • The bark of the magnolia has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause caries and periodontal disease and the formation of dental plaque.  A traditional Chinese medicine, hou po, is made from the bark and is believed to have anti-anxiety and anti-angiogenic properties.

Magnolia Flower, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Magnolia Flower, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

September 14, 2010 –

I’m surprised how many people are interested in magnolias!  I have included some information below on the different kinds of magnolia trees in northeastern and north-central U.S.

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