People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. Isaac Asimov
By: Proserpina , 11:38 PM GMT on June 17, 2014
I wrote the post below for another site as part of a photo project. Since it is about flowers, I am going to post it here too. I will also add other tidbits as time and opportunity present themselves.
DANCE OF THE FLOWERS, PART 4
Fragrant o’er all the western groves
The tall magnolia towers unshaded.
June 14 and 15 were filled with many activities and I had many photo opportunities for this entry. One activity of interest was on the 14th when my husband and I attended our young neighbor’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor. This would have been a very nice for the Shootaboot but I felt that taking photos would take away from the solemnity of the ceremony, so no photos and no Eagle story.
What to do for a little Shootaboot story? Well the morning of the fourteenth while walking with my doggie I noticed that my neighbor’s Magnolia tree was blooming. I went home to fetch my camera and then I had some fun photographing one of my very favorite flowers. I then did a little research on the history of the Magnolia tree and it is this research which makes up my ‘story’, along with some of the photos.
Magnolias are a very old, their fossilized remains have been found as far back as the Tertiary Period which occurred a 100 million years ago! When there was a dramatic climate change most Magnolias died but the ones growing in China, parts of Japan, and eastern North America survived.
The Magnolia was named for the Frenchman Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), a botanist. When Magnol died Britain was the epicenter of botanic development, but there was in Britain only one species of Magnolia, the evergreen Magnolia Virginiana. The Magnolia had been sent to England from Virginia, the year was 1688.
The Magnolia tree is prized in the South of the USA including here in Virginia. In fact the South is identified with the Magnolia, it is one of the prized and recognizable Southern symbols. Two Southern States, Mississippi and Louisiana, have made the Magnolia the official State Flower. Mississippi also made the Magnolia its official State Tree.
The Magnolia flower has many symbolic attributes, depending on what part of the world it grows. The Magnolias that grow in the Southern part of the USA are scented and therefore the Magnolia flowers meaning include ‘splendid beauty’ and ‘magnificence’. Other meanings are ‘purity’ and ‘perfection’, ‘youth’ and ‘innocence’, ‘joy’, ‘love’, ‘health’, ‘luck’, ‘beauty’, ‘perseverance’, ‘nobility’, ‘dignity’.
For me the Magnolia signifies incredible beauty. Its mysterious center provides me with insatiable fascination. I absolutely love to photograph them in an effort to decipher their innate secrets.
Majestic flower! How purely beautiful
Thou art, as rising from thy bower of green,
Those dark and glossy leaves so thick and full,
Thou standest like a high-born forest queen
Among thy maidens clustering round so fair,—
I love to watch thy sculptured form unfolding,
And look into thy depths, to image there
A fairy cavern, and while thus beholding,
And while thy breeze floats o’er thee, matchless flower,
I breathe the perfume, delicate and strong,
That comes like incense from thy petal-bower;
My fancy roams those southern woods along,
Beneath that glorious tree, where deep among
The unsunned leaves thy large white flower-cups hung!
C. P. Cranch—Poem to the Magnolia Grandiflora.
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