It’s been a restless night as I listened to rain and sleet against my bedroom window, wondering when the Upstate will finally turn the corner on winter and early-blooming trees and shrubs can flower without harm from freezing temperatures and ice. Despite the cold season’s relentless grip, I know we are inching towards spring. In addition to ‘Okame’ cherry and forsythia, deciduous magnolias offer testament that time is marching on.
I have to admit I don’t know much about this group of plants, but there are many beautiful, mature specimens in nearby neighborhoods that catch my eye each year. So, as I headed out for errands yesterday, I grabbed my camera to capture a few favorites before the next wave of bitter cold arrived.
I particularly like the deciduous magnolias with saucer flowers. Called tulip trees because of the shape of their blooms, they flower before their leaf buds open. Though early blooms often fall victim to late freezes, a good season will quickly soothe past disappointments.
Like many evergreen magnolias, most deciduous species like fertile, well-drained, slightly-acidic soil, and full sun to partial shade.