Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Last Magnolia of the Season

It has been a pretty good year for Magnolias; no late frosts and plenty of rain, almost too much.  When the gardens finally get to June, the Magnolias are just about done flowering, except for the sweet bay, Magnolia virginiana.  In our area this species never grows into a full-fledged tree and generally grows as a largish shrub. Some genotypes have trouble with the winter cold so choose your nursery well, preferably to your north.  Ours does not produce a big floral display, but rather a few flowers at a time, and you are more likely to notice their stunning fragrance than their visual display.  The floral odor is a sort of musky fruity fermenty mix that little beetles just love.

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