Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Jane magnolia?

I'm believe this is a Jane magnolia tree bloom on a tree in my backyard.

My wife wanted a magnolia tree. We bought one. We planted it on our hill. It died. We bought another. Planted it on our hill. It too died. Finally we bought one that promised not to grow too big. This one would fit in our small backyard without reaching either the roof of our home or the steep slope at the back of the yard.

It's a beautiful tree. It has lasted a number of years. It has survived both summers, dry, and winters, cold. But the blooms are not quite what we envisioned. The flowers are long, thin, magenta pedals that spread out from a core in an almost loose star shape.

Thanks to the Internet, I think I've figured out what we have. It's a Jane magnolia. A member of the "Little Girl" group of hybrid magnolias, it promises to remain smallish. Some call the Jane magnolia, developed in the mid '50s at the U.S. National Arboretum, a shrub rather than a tree.

The Jane magnolia blooms later in spring than many other magnolia varieties and this is good for a tree in London, Ontario. This late blooming lessens the risk that it will lose its flower buds to frost damage.

With luck our tree/shrub will not get taller than 15-feet or less and its spread may not be more than six-feet in any direction. It sounds perfect.

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