Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Farewell Sweet Magnolia....

The magnolia flowers are leaving us. They are bruising, fading, and falling to the ground. I have been enjoying cut flowers indoors every day. They remind me of the temporal nature of everything in life.  While I am sorry to see them go, I am delighted to have shared this brief journey with them. 
I have learned that magnolia flowers do not appear until the seventh year of the tree's life. I have also learned that magnolias are ancient trees and are dated as far back as 80-100 million years ago. 
             Because magnolias were on the planet before bees they were originally believed to have been pollinated by beetles! They are considered to be 'primitive' flowers because they are arranged in the form of a spiral. 
There are two different species photographed here. 
From my limited understanding of the morphology, the structure that resembles a pineapple is the female gyoecium or style, the many little structures coming off of this form are the pistils. The male stamens are the magenta forms, the anthers are white and will release pollen. 
Farewell Sweet Magnolia!

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