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magnolia trees

 
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although magnolias are relatively common here (the evergreen type) I honestly don't know that much about them. I spent many hours in the magnolia tree in our yard as a child. playing with the giant flowers too. I know they are a very old species and have some intriguing taxonic relationships. they have some interesting obvious characteristics though that may have some uses. the leaves don't break down easily. they are evergreen (the type I am familiar with, although I don't think all types are). they have lovely large red seeds etc......
 
                    
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I think they're native to...thailand?  Wikipedia says south east asia.  I love them too, there are amazingly huge ones on the coast and down in the valley.  Just incredible when blooming.  I've seen pictures of short forests of them in virginia, I think. 
 
              
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Location: West Iowa
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They aren't just native to asia, I have various species I'm trying to grow.  Though none are native to my particular region. 
 
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I stumbled upon them in Wikipedia the other day.

They're neither monocots (like grass, palm, onion, banana, orchid) nor dicots (like pea, rose, tomato, forget-me-not, cabbage, apple, dandelion, buttercup, maple, macadamia).

It's odd. They're in a little group separate from those two, along with cinnamon, black pepper, laurel, nutmeg, avocado, and sassafrass (among others, of course).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnoliid
 
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After the freezing rain stopped, dh was able to peel Magnolia leaves off of the ice, which created leaf shaped ice sculptures. We put them it the freezer for a few days until the sun shone so I could get some good pix.
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