Over the weekend I was envying my in-law’s Southern Magnolia tree again. Not only are the huge blooms alone to be adored, but the life cycle of the flowers is gorgeous and fascinating.
Here are photos that show the process of birth, life, death, and the promise of rebirth:
Buds pop out of the tips of branches, covered in a fuzzy protective cover
The bud grows and forces the cover off
The bud continues growing until those foot-wide petals are ready to unfurl
A fresh, newly opening flower with the gorgeous cane inside
All 9 petals open wide and oh so showy with a light, sweet fragrance
Another in the process of aging, a few petals not open all of the way and with the center cane beginning to turn colors as it ages
Side view of the same bloom; honey bees just love these flowers!
View from below; the sun illuminates the thick, soft petals beautifully
The petals wither and brown, the protective stamens fall, and the gorgeous deep red of the cane is visible
A bare but fuzzy cane in the process of aging
The fuzziness decreases but it swells with promise of seeds inside
In the fall the brilliant red seeds begin to push their way out!
The seeds get 3 pics of their own because I am simply fascinated. After the seeds drop and are eaten by small critters or are lucky enough to begin the growth cycle of their own, the canes dry up and drop to the ground.
That big ol’ tree tolerates the grandkids well, too.