Monday, March 9, 2009

Magnolia zenii...I can't help it, you get two pictures for the click of one!

This rare endemic originally entered the US in 1980 as a gift of a small number of seeds from the Director of the Jiangsu Institute of Botany and Botanic Garden to two visiting botanists from the US, Steven Spongberg of the Arnold Arboretum, and Ted Dudley of the USNA. Our seeds produced two plants that were recently planted in the ground when I arrived in 1992. One was planted in a swale and the soft ground eventually resulted in it's falling. I staked it and it came back for a while (it was alive when I left), though Asian personnel tell me that it eventually did fall for good. The other plant, the one pictured, is planted at the base of a ~north facing slope in fairly good soil. It has clearly flourished and is now over 50 feet tall. Most of the flowers are high up in the air but this one hung low enough for me to photograph up.

The flowers weren't open last Friday and judging from their condition, I would guess that they began to open Saturday. There are half a dozen species or cultivars of Magnolia open today, a handful of Cherries, and all of the Flowering Apricots. It was a fragrant day in the gardens.

I remember Ted Dudley from my previous stint at the Arboretum; I would have liked him even if he hadn't used his position as an Editor for Timber Press to allow his USNA co-workers to purchase Timber Press offerings for cost. If I reach my hand out now, I can touch Krussmann's three volumes on woody plants that I would probably would not have been able to afford at full price.

No comments: