the southern magnolia


when i was living in Vermont, i read about life in the deep south. i read of the legendary Magnolia. moving to Alabama in 1993, i had high expectations. the magnolia is an evergreen tree. the foliage during the winter is deep, dark green, it’s leaves are glossy & firm, which is nice when everything else has turned a dull brown. but when spring arrives, half of the tree’s leaves turn brown & begin to fall, while everything is emerging from it’s winter slumber. spring is when the magnolia is at its ugliest. it is then, that the trees begin to flower. the blossoms can be as big as my hand, depending on the age of the tree. they do not stay white long, the petals soon begin to brown & droop a bit. the tree in spring looks as though it is dying. & when i’ve described the magnolia to others, who’ve not viewed the tree in life…”the southern magnolia looks like someone threw dirty gym socks into a dying tree”

this was a lucky shot, the flower had just opened & was at its best & fortunately for me, there was no brown leaves within sight of it.

10 thoughts on “the southern magnolia

  1. beautiful image – and interesting to learn a bit about the tree too. It is as if the Southern Magnolia likes to do things its own way – slightly different to everything else!


    1. Thank you! I was lucky because usually the flowers are too high for me to photograph. Did you notice one of the leaves is starting to brown? Just in time, lucky me! ~amy


  2. The big white magnolia is the tree in the garden of our home in Sandwich, Kent, UK, when I was a teenager. It has a lemony scent, doesn’ it? BUT there is another deciduous one which has smaller, pink-tipped flowers and it is lovely when the flowers come out in Spring, before the leaves. There was one in the same garden, but also we had another of the deciduous type when we lived in Woodenbong, up in the mountains on the border of Queensland and New South Wales.


    1. The only one that i can think of that would have pink before leaves is the Japanese Magnolia. That is a stunner! I took a few photos of them this past spring…maybe you could search for the post (by typing in the search menu, ‘Japanese Magnolia) & see it. The blossoms remind me of tea cups & saucers. Do you think that is the one you are thinking of? I would LOVE to have one of those growing in my yard… ~amy


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