Magnolias already!

Magnolias already!

Magnolia denduata 'Swarthmore Sentinel' photo credit: R. RobertOur mild winter has jump started some of our spring plants including Magnolia denduata ‘Swarthmore Sentinel’. This Yulan magnolia selected for its upright habit typically blooms at the end of March to early April. The creamy white blooms have been making an attractive display since last week.


Magnolia denduata 'Swarthmore Sentinel' and Cornus mas blooming in front of Bond Memorial Hall. photo credit: R. Robert

For a spring preview of the magnolia display (great eye candy), check out the latest Magnolia Society International Journal. Andrew Bunting, our curator, discusses how the American Public Garden Association is preserving germplasm and plant collections of magnolias with the North American Plant Collections Consortium. The magnolia collection at the Scott Arboretum is one of the most diverse of the collaborative.


The creamy white blossoms of Magnolia denduata 'Swarthmore Sentinel'. phot credit: R. Robert

This spring we will also host a day devoted to magnolias: April 14. As president of the Magnolia Society International, Andrew will discuss magnolias for the home garden and lead an in-depth study of magnolia specimens. Although free, this event is limited to 40. Don’t worry, despite this early start to our magnolia season, a fair number of our collection will still be in bloom in mid-April.

Becky Robert
  • Rick Lowe
    Posted at 15:08h, 13 March Reply

    You must have read my mind. Just this morning, at about 7am, I was walking past this tree and saw it in full bloom. Wow, it sure seems early.

    Best of luck for a beautiful spring full of Scott Arboretum blooms.


    • Becky Robert
      Posted at 15:22h, 13 March Reply

      Thanks Rick. Lots of trees are now blooming with the strike of warm weather. ‘Swarthmore Sentinel’ sister Magnolia stillata ‘Royal Star’ is making a great showing along Chester Road too. Did you catch the Prunus ‘Okame’ in full bloom over the Swarthmore College entrance rock?


  • Warren A. Jacobs
    Posted at 06:36h, 14 March Reply

    What’s the GDD count down there and how far ahead of last year is it? Do you think we need to start counting them earlier if we want them to truly correspond with phenology? (for those who have the need to put a number on things)

  • Bill Costello
    Posted at 08:59h, 20 March Reply

    As of 3/20/12 the 50?f Growing Degree Day ( the standard measurement) was 72, last year it was 31 and 2010 was 61.

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