Thursday, April 16, 2009
Star Magnolia - Skywatch Friday
The sky sure was gorgeous yesterday and there were a few minutes to snap a some pictures of the Star Magnolia. There also was time enough to take a few deep breaths of the scent. This Star has been planted for about 12 years and it has grown fairly slowly to a nice shrubby specimen. A detailed look at some of the flowers revealed that a frost had nipped at the buds. There was a little discoloration on some the now open petals. It must have been that night in the 20’s a couple of nights ago. Most Magnolias can be hit by frost around here in Connecticut. It is rare and hasn’t happened in recent memory.
Growing this Japanese native is easy. It likes moist sun but can grow in part shade also. I like to site them in a warmer area of the garden just to be safe even though they are hardy to USDA Zone 4. They are really showy in flower and look good during the summer with handsome foliage.
There are a few cultivars of Star Magnolia. I have seen 'Centennial' which was introduced to celebrate the Arnold Arboretum’s 100th Anniversary in 1972. There is also a variety called 'Royal Star' which has pink buds. I saw one of those blooming on the street we have been working on in Greenwich. It was quite beautiful but much taller than the advertised height of 10 feet.
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