We had a pleasant surprise this week as two trees in our yard bloomed this week in spectacular fashion, announcing their identity as Magnolia Trees. These particular magnolias are most likely a hybrid variety (Magnolia deniudata and M. liliiflora), not a wild species. The tree is not impressive, being almost like a bush, but the large, fragrant, blossoms have changed our opinion! The huge flowers came out before the leaves of the plant and it is quite a site to behold.
There are over 300 different species of wild magnolias. It is an ancient genus, estimated to have been around for some 100 million years. Fossils indicate that some magnolias were native to Europe, but today, most are found in south east Asia and the tropical Americas. Magnolias get their name from French botanist, Charles Plumier in the early 1700’s. He named them after another French botanist.
I can see why people cultivated the magnolia. They are beautiful and ancient. It is part of the wonderful Belgrade spring as the city is alive with blossoms everywhere.
Update – In 2010, our magnolia bloomed on March 29, 2010.