I think I’ve been out four or five times snapping photos of dad’s big Magnolia Tree this past week. I started when the buds turned pink and I have kept taking photos (lots of photos) until now when the leaves are falling to on the grass below. I’m fascinated with this strange tree, a anomaly in the Swedish nature.
Dad got this Magnolia tree on his 50th birthday and it has been growing in the garden for 13 years now. The flowers bloom on the bare twig and shifts in a purple pink color that is awesome.
One day I decided to paint it in my art journal.
I made a loose sketch and then watered it and watercolored on the wet page. I added some nearby tulips and when the page was dry I wrote a little bit about the Magnolia like I’m now doing here in my blog. Like I said, I’m fascinated.
I think that the flowers looks ridiculous because the petals are so huge that they fall to the sides like whimsy hats on old ladies. They look like something a drunk artist over-did and had a laugh at. They look too large for the tiny twigs the bloom on, like they shouldn’t be and couldn’t be. But they are, they are! I love that about them.
The Magnolia flowers don’t care that non of the other trees even have leaves this early in the spring… They didn’t care at all and I think maybe they are the ones having the laughs right now.
Magnolia is an ancient genus. Having evolved before bees appeared, the flowers developed to encourage pollination by beetles. As a result, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are tough, to avoid damage by eating and crawling beetles. Fossilised specimens of M. acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae dating back to 95 million years ago. Isn’t that cool?