Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Magnolia tripetala

It's not every day that you have a new species of Magnolia flower, in this case Magnolia tripetala, one of the big-leafed species.  The flowers are borne at the ends of the branches and sort of sit upon a whorl of partially expanded leaves.  When fully expanded the leaves can be two feet long.  The species name comes from the outer three perianth parts that reflex downwards.  The inner perianth parts are 8-9 big white upright "petals" that spread a bit more than seen in this image.  This tree is about 5 years old and some 9-10 feet tall.  The flowers are not all that showy, but the tree has a great exotic tropical look to it, but it's worst enemy may be our midwestern winds. 
This has been a terrifically busy week, and science business is taking the Phactor out of town tomorrow, so posting the FFF early is the only way.  Otherwise you would have been reading my general botany exam instead of a flower blog.

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