As some of you probably know by now, the Phactor has a thing for magnolias. Why he just bought a new "Butterflies" magnolia the other day and eagerly awaits it arrival, although no flowers will be forthcoming until next spring. The acceleration of spring afforded by two weeks of summer temperatures in March have also compressed flowering, and three species of Magnolia that usually flower in a sequence are in flower all at the same time: star, saucer, and tulip. They look quite lovely together, as the occupy the same portion of the garden and are spaced such that they do not overlap when viewed from either the street or across the gardens. But the undoubted queen is Magnolia liliiflora, sometimes called the "tulip" magnolia because it has rather dark pink tepals that it holds in an erect position. Both the star and saucer magnolia are more popular, and more widely planted, leaving the less popular Ann a much under appreciated plant. Do consider getting one. Here's the star and saucer (not quite fully open as the tepals spread widely) magnolia flowers for comparison. Briefly the Phactor thought about letting you vote on this, but actually on this topic, your opinion matters not at all.