Jane magolias are blooming around town. The magenta color is so exciting this time of year, especially when yellow has dominated for a month or more before the forsythias started to green up and the early daffodils faded. It's impossible to pass by one without admiring it for a while.
This tree, along with several more, is just outside Southpark Mall in Charlotte. I was there yesterday to make an exchange and on my way out stopped to get a picture. My hands were full, it was windy, I couldn't see the phone screen. The fact that you can even tell what I was taking a picture of is a testament to the awesomeness of cell phone cameras these days.
As I was fumbling around in the wind with my phone and bags, I accidentally knocked a few frost-damaged petals off of this bloom, so you can see my unintended dissection, but isn't it cool? There's an immature magnolia cone in there!
Magnolia 'Jane' is a cross between Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra' and Magnolia stellata 'Rosea', taking the trait for color from one and late bloom time from the other. Jane magnolias typically grow 10 to 15 feet tall and almost as wide. You can plant them in sun or partial shade. Leaves don't appear until after the blooms fade which gives the blooming trees a pleasantly airy, ethereal quality in the garden. (Perhaps not so much when pruned, and placed up against a red brick wall!)