Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Magnolia stellata 'pink stardust'

Something remarkable happened today...the Magnolia tree went into full bloom!
Last year this exact tree was in bloom on April 30th so we are seeing that the season is ahead by 40 days. This is quite unusual. I am observing many changes in the garden and plant world that I have never observed before. 
Magnolias happen to be one of my favorite flowers. 
This particular magnolia is called Magnolia stellata 'pink stardust'. 
The very delicate buds open with the sunshine, in the morning and the late afternoon they are closed. 

Magnolias have historically been cultivated in China. They are known as 'mu-lan'. Originally, these plants were only allowed to grow in the gardens of the Emperor. 
This is a very important plant used in Chinese herbal medicine. Last year I wrote about 'huo-po' and it's uses and category in the medicine. 

These flowers are symbolic of sweetness and beauty. The blossoms symbolize a beautiful woman.

According to legend, magnolias symbolize the recovery of what has been lost. They also carry a scent that is believed to open psychic abilities. 
In my experience of photographing magnolia flowers, I feel that they are symbolic of our fragile nature. It takes very little movement from the wind or added intensity from the sun to bruise the petals of the flowers. These delicate petals will turn brown once they are affected by natural extremes and the flower will quickly weaken.  I see these flowers as very delicate reminders of our pure nature. 

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