Best flowers dating

With the advent of spring’s warmer temperatures and longer days come the chemical signals that cause a bud to begin swelling in preparation for flowering.

During this time, rapid cell division leads to the formation of the flower’s anatomy, all packaged within the expanding bud.

Trees with dormant buds can flower as soon as warm conditions and extended daylight trigger certain chemical signals, and this expediency affords them a serious advantage over plants that require more time to begin their reproductive cycles. w=625" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-841" src="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85221.jpg? w=625&h=782" alt="Magnolia 'Elizabeth' vegetative buds" width="625" height="782" srcset="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85221.jpg?

Of course, the possibility of a late winter freeze adds an element of risk, as an unanticipated frost can quickly destroy venerable flowers and foliage. w=240" data-large-file="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85221.jpg? w=625&h=782 625w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85221.jpg? w=120&h=150 120w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85221.jpg? w=240&h=300 240w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85221.jpg? w=768&h=961 768w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85221959w" sizes="(max-width: 625px) 100vw, 625px" /(or leaf stalks) connected to the branch.

As I mentioned earlier, magnolias evolved well in advance of bees, and depended on bulky and significantly less graceful (and more ravenous) beetles for pollination. w=625" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-824" src="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8540.jpg? w=625&h=782" alt="Magnolia 'Elizabeth' open flower" width="625" height="782" srcset="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8540.jpg?

Magnoliaceae is an ancient family and among the oldest living angiosperms, with fossils dating back between 36 and 58 million years.

The removal of living plant material from the Arboretum is strictly prohibited, and I am not normally one to thwart the rules, but this branch had been pruned and was destined for the compost pile.

Back in my hot, dry apartment, I plopped the rescued branch in some water and left it near a window, hoping to coax some flowers from its large, showy buds, and bring some spring into our home.

In most angiosperms, the petals and sepals of the flower are easily distinguishable. w=625" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-822" src="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8532.jpg? w=625&h=499" alt="Magnolia 'Elizabeth' breaking flower bud" width="625" height="499" srcset="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8532.jpg? w=625" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-823" src="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8533.jpg? w=625&h=499" alt="Magnolia 'Elizabeth' opening flower" width="625" height="499" srcset="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8533.jpg?

In magnolias, these two outer organs are virtually the same, and are thus referred to collectively as Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ breaking flower bud " data-medium-file="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8532.jpg? w=300" data-large-file="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8532.jpg? w=625&h=499 625w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8532.jpg? w=150&h=120 150w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8532.jpg? w=300&h=240 300w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8532.jpg? w=768&h=614 768w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8532.jpg? w=1024&h=818 1024w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85321200w" sizes="(max-width: 625px) 100vw, 625px" / Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ opening flower " data-medium-file="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8533.jpg? w=300" data-large-file="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8533.jpg? w=625&h=499 625w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8533.jpg? w=150&h=120 150w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8533.jpg? w=300&h=240 300w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8533.jpg? w=768&h=614 768w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_8533.jpg? w=1024&h=818 1024w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/dsc_85331200w" sizes="(max-width: 625px) 100vw, 625px" / One day later, the flower is beginning to fully open, and looks noticeably different every hour.

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Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) Seed Pod " data-medium-file="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/dsc7409.jpg? w=240" data-large-file="https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/dsc7409.jpg? w=625&h=782 625w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/dsc7409.jpg? w=120&h=150 120w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/dsc7409.jpg? w=240&h=300 240w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/dsc7409.jpg? w=768&h=961 768w, https://amateurecologist.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/dsc7409799w" sizes="(max-width: 625px) 100vw, 625px" /) seed pod late last fall.

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