Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Saucer Series

Saucer Magnolia, that is.  (Magnolia × soulangeana)  I think it's the most magnificent tree blooming in our area right now - it's also one of the first trees to bloom here.   It's deciduous in zones 4 through 9. 



This hybrid tree was created in 1820 by Etienne Soulange-Bodin, a former calvary officer in Napoleon's army. It's a cousin of the Southern Magnolia and is nicknamed the "tulip tree."





The flowers can reach up to 8" in diameter, but it's not a huge tree. It averages about 25 feet tall with a 25 foot spread.










It likes moist, acidic soil, which is why it's so happy in the clay-like soil of Nyack.

Do you have a favorite blooming tree?   

17 comments:

Ronda Laveen said...

I, too, love magnolias...and Redbud. Which is blooming right now.

Joanne said...

What beautiful flowers. I like seeing the dogwoods in bloom. And it's not a tree, but I do love the lilacs in May.

TALON said...

Your photos are gorgeous, JGH! The magnolias aren't out here yet, but there are some beautiful ones in the neighborhood that I anticipate each year. I always wish I had space for one.

PamHMG said...

I can't believe you took some of those photos they look like they're right out of an art gallery. My favorite blooming tree is probably my cherry tree - don't know which variety but it blooms late (for cherries) in late April. Wish it lasted longer than 2 weeks...

tina said...

It is a magnificent tree and this year has been fabulous for it. Thanks for the background on it. I love that kind of info.

tina said...

My comment disappeared. Blogger is funny this morning. Your tulip tree is gorgeous. They've been really super pretty down here too this year.

beth - total mom haircut said...

Oh, this is funny. I posted pictures of ours just the other day! I did refer to it as a tulip magnolia though. Perhaps I should go edit that...

I've been in the market for a new flowering tree too. We had some junipers get smashed by the snow and had to remove them. Yesterday I finally made the decision and got a Wolf Eyes Kousa Dogwood that I'm very, VERY excited about:)

patti said...

YES!!!!
MAGNOLIAS!!
made them "symbolic" in "What the Bayou Saw."

But have a special place in my heart for tulip trees.
Thanks for a botanical lesson!

P

Gail said...

I love this tree and have tried several times to get one established here...Your photos are so enchanting they make me want to try planting one again! gail

Karen said...

Oh, these gorgeous photos are making me sad that magnolia season is pretty much over here! Nothing like that scent, those fleshy petals are so sensual too. I taught my daughter how to crack the bases and peel away the different layers - the pink, the inner white, and the almost-clear membrane on the other side. We can sit forever and do that when our neighbors' petals rain down.

It's so hard to choose a favorite flowering tree... I guess I will always have a soft spot for fragrant ornamental cherries.

PS Your mountain laurel is Kalmia, right? Does it have flowers that start out bunched up and then expand to half-circles? We had one like that when I was growing up. I always liked to "pop" the flowers before they opened. Guess I have always been a bit of a flower-torturer!

Skeeter said...

I spotted more and more of these this year! I was eyeing one at the Garden Center but opt for a Fringe Bush instead. If price were not an object, I would have gotten them both! I am trying my best to stick to a budget this year. They are soooo pretty though and temptation is calling me…

Pam J. said...

So beautiful. I'm using one of your close-ups for my background. Redbud is my favorite. It's so fleeting (and turns into such a blah tree...)

Lynn said...

Wow -- really lovely pictures!

Squirrel of Nyack said...

hmmm... favorite... hmmm... I like so many! my fave blooming shrub has always been lilac , . I'm thinking Magnolia has always been my fave bloomin' tree.
super nifty post! so pretty!

Bangchik said...

Eight inches is sizable. That shot, peeking into the inside, probably is the same view enjoyed by bees, and hummingbirds as they hover and plunge for the sweetness of nectar! ~bangchik

Patrice said...

Those are lovely looking magnolia flowers.

sam said...

I love these trees. We are getting a double dose this year - they were in full bloom in Maryland/DC where we just visited, and are just budding here in central WA.