The Magnolias provide welcome early spring flower, including Magnolia denudata.
Named after the professor of botany at Montpelier, Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), the genus Magnolia includes approximately 125 species from Asia and America. Acquiring the specific name denudata from its habit of flowering while leafless, this is an elegant species reaching up to 10 m in height and spread. It is one of the earliest species to flower, though the pure white flowers are often damaged by frosts. Magnolia denudata produces slender, hairy buds, and petals to 10 cm in length, which initially emerge erect and then reflex to produce lily-shaped blooms.