Friday, May 4, 2012

out my window

Just outside my office window at Ijams, there’s a sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana, if you are into the Latinized appellation). It's now in bloom, wonderful perfect blooms like the creamy calcite alabaster prized by the Ancient Egyptians, luxurious and fragrant. Yet another reason I should take the time to look out of the window more often.

The sweetbay was the first magnolia scientifically described. (Not the tree outside my window, but another one much older.) It was the first species assigned to the genus Magnolia named in honor of French botanist Pierre Magnol. That first sweetbay was found by missionaries sent to North America in the 1680s, of course, the Native Americans knew of the trees long before that, they just did not see the need to shackle the poor thing with such a cumbersome moniker.

It’s also a tree with a bit of an identity crisis, is it deciduous or evergreen? Actually, it’s both depending on where it grows. It’s evergreen in areas with mild winters in the south, and it's semi-evergreen or deciduous further north.

- Photo taken just outside my window at Ijams Nature Center


Aby said...

This flower is found in India too...

Stephen Lyn Bales said...

That's great.

Hello dear Aby. It's good to hear from you again. Is it still hot in New Delhi?

Marie said...

Oh, it's so lovely! I bet it smells heavenly too. I have some catching up to do with your posts, and will do so tomorrow. I appreciated your emails! Saw my first Western Tanager the other day and have his picture on my latest post.