Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's in bloom: Magnolia ashei

Magnolia ashei, Ash’s Magnolia, is the rarest of the big-leafed Native American magnolias. Found only in the Florida panhandle, it is in danger from habitat disturbance.

It is a desirable small, often multi-trunked tree that does well in cultivation, especially as it will bloom at an early age (three to four years from seed).

The outstanding flowers are up to 10 inches wide, white with maroon markings at the base of the petals and a jasmine- or citrus-like fragrance.

This magnolia likes well-drained, moist, acidic to neutral soils. Enjoy exploring the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants and discovering the fascinating collection of Magnolias.

-- Alice Le Duc, director of adult education

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