Saturday, August 2

Magnolia Update

It's been a while since my last magnolia post which really indicates the lull in interest after the flowering has finished.

As the leaves become thicker and more leathery under the canopy darkens which is why I tend to grow spring flowering or woodland plants there as they can cope with the dense shade.
The birds seem to appreciate the cover provided when visiting the feeding areas but it does mean it is often too dark to photograph them.


The leaves have a waxy coating which stands up to being battered by any sudden downpours such as we have experienced this year.
The tips of the leaves are sharply pointed which help funnel off the rain.

The veining is also very pronounced. The leaves are very free of any insect damage so I am assuming that the leaves are of no value to our native insects at least not foodwise.

You may remember that I mentioned that a clematis and wisteria had decided to climb the tree. This year we noticed that another climbing plant was using it as support.
We do have a honeysuckle like this one planted elsewhere in the garden so I can only assume that a bird has deposited a seed here after browsing the berries. Maybe it fancied a peanut for dessert.
At the end of June the tree had dropped its seed pads and they littered to ground beneath.
I was curious to see whether the pods contained any seeds and so cut open a couple. Firstly lengthwise ...
... and them a cross section.
Inside were tiny white seeds that I assume are unripened. I'm guessing that they don't ripen or I would have a forest of young magnolias by now. Regardless I have sown some in a seed try which I have left in the greenhouse - just to see what happens - I am expecting that to be nothing.

Meanwhile the tree is producing a second lot of flower bud - not very numerous and a bit bedraggled but the tree is trying its best.

PS: Many thanks to those of you taking the trouble to vote for my blog in the competition here I'm not likely to win against excellent competition so now that I have at least got some votes the target is not to come last! I don;t think voting is restricted to the UK.


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

21 comments:

  1. It really does have a thick canopy, I bet the birds are thankful of a little protection whilst they feed in the rain.

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    1. I'm guessing it helps protect a little from sparrowhawk detection, Jo although we have seen one fly under it.

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  2. Those seed-pods actually look quite succulent! Are you sure they're not edible??

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    1. I don't know, Mark but I'm not trying one!

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  3. I think the canopy gives the whole area a jungly feel Sue, I can see why the birds love this spot. Will the Honeysuckle and friends climbing through the tree eventually cause damage or is it big enough to cope?
    Good luck with those seeds

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    1. The tree can take it Angie. The climbers are tiny in comparison

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  4. Is it usual to have a second lot of flowers?

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    1. I seems to get a few late flowers every year Jessica

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  5. It really is a marvelous tree, I have just plated a tiny one, maybe down the line it'll begin to look like yours, give of take twenty years or so! Good luck with the competition!xxx

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    1. I hope that your little tree thrives, Snowbird and thanks for the good luck wish. I think the best I can hope or is third step on the podium and that is with an enormous amount of luck

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  6. I love magnolias, even when they're in leaf, the foliage is really nice. Mine is almost all dead I think. It was just a small one that was in a pot before. Something happened to it when I planted it out. It has one tiny green leaf on it. I have no idea why, it's disappointing. I seem to remember reading something about beetles pollinating magnolias a long time ago.

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    1. Oh, and I only just realised you were in a competition, I've just voted for you, good luck.

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    2. I hope your little tree rallies, CJ don't give up on it just yet.

      Thanks for the vote - O need as many as I can muster - the competition is very strong

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  7. Nice to see your mature magnolia compared to my young one, which one is it you have, I think you have said before but I have forgotten? Mine also threw all the seedpods on the ground, but that happened much earlier, perhaps we need a second magnolia close by to get fruit on the trees?
    My ‘Heaven Scent’ will also produce a late summer flowering but I assume it will need to be more mature before I can expect that. It has however already buds for next spring formed, just like it did last summer.

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    1. I'm pretty sure it is soulangeana, Helene but not sure if it is a particular variety as it should have been a purple flowering type and was wrongly labelled, By the time it flowered it was an established plant. The seed pods were cast at the beginning of July and nest years buds are forming on ours too.

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  8. I love the contorted shapes of the branches Sue. I'vealways been put off the idea of growing climbers up deciduous trees as I fear it will look really untidy in winter, how do you find it?

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    1. The contortions are down to the tree being battered by builder's when it was very young, Janet. I was surprised it survived, To be honest I don't even notice the climbers in winter as the tree is so large. The clematis can be cut back hard and I only noticed the honeysuckle flower by chance - no doubt if it grew very vigorously it would have to be dealt with. None actually grow from the base of the tree but escape from the fence behind it.

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    2. The magnolia provides a good canopy, and provides interest in the garden. And the flowers are wonderful in bloom. Good luck with the competition.

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    3. It's a bit too wide a canopy now Kelli. As for the compeyition I'm just happy that so far I have a respectable showing

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  9. I tried to vote for you but it did not work (it said the site was not available).

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    1. Thanks for trying Alain - it's the thought that counts :)

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