Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Magnificent Magnolias

Due to limited access I have a backlog of photos right now and the last post wasn't exactly visual heaven was it so you get two posts today. Now is roughly when the Magnolias are flowering across the northern hemisphere and in kew in particular. Kew being old has enormous tree magnolias which have had the benefit of time to grow into monstrous bloom producing trees as opposed to biggish shrubs which is how they so often look.

This is Magnolia veitchii var alba.


magnolia veitchii alba


The specific name veitchii is one to look out for by the way. It relates a plant in some way to the Veitchs, a family of skilled planthunters and nurserymen associated with some seriously awesome plant introductions at the height of Victorian biophilia. They had a glasshouse nursery solely for Nepenthes pitcher plants in the Victorian era by way of example of their scale. Some information on the Veitchs is here. Plants named for or by them or introduced by them are invariably awesome.

See I told you it was big:

magnolia veitchii alba3


Also massive but somehow less awesome was this pink Magnolia soulangeana.

magnolia soulangea

This one is fairly common in gardens but I much prefer the big white waterlily looking ones. Magnolias (and waterlilies for that matter) are both ancient families by the way and therefore of interest to Julia who has a new plant blog for her ancient plantbabies. I'm sure its going to be interesting so go over, take a look and tell her her Metasequoia will be fine.

9 comments:

Mel said...

BEAUTIFUL!! Those magnolias are just beautiful!

Julia said...

They certainly are of interest to me! In fact I'm trying to work out how to get water lilies into a container garden...

Thank you for the link love - you'll see I have reciprocated (and indeed taken your name in vain!).

Texas Travelers said...

.
I agree.
Magnificant.
.

Dave said...

"Seriously awesome plant introductions"? No wonder you didn't see eye to eye with Mike over the native trees issue! (As someone who has seen many of his favorite woods taken over by ailanthus and norway maple, I'm afraid I tend to side more with Mike. But magnolias sure seem O.K.!)

tai haku said...

I kind of agree with Mike Dave; especially on the topic of norway maple and ailanthus - they are both ridiculously invasive in the UK too and I don't like either of them. But nice cute non-invasive magnolias? Can't argue with these guys.

More seriously I think invasiveness is less of an issue in the UK than the states because we have so little untouched land anyway that controlling invasive trees is not too much of an issue (maple seedlings can be an exception). Invasive waterplants and perennials like Japanese knotweed are more of a concern though.

Julia said...

YES! Maple seeds and seedlings are the biggest plant issue I have - I wait until they have a nice thick 2mm stem on them, and then they're so easy to pull out, roots and all. But by that point they're quite big and unsightly. I've been picking seeds out of my pots all winter though. I don't know how they manage to get under the huge lumps of green slate I put down as mulch though...

Granny J said...

In blogging a batch of Memphis flowers, I discovered this fascinating fact about magnolias -- they arrived before the bee and so evolved to be fertilized by beetles.

bard catheters said...

I visted this place with my father about five years ago while he was on business tour of his incontinence products. Lovely nature

adult diapers said...

It is really a great and worth to share with people.