Club members learn about the magnolia

Published 9:13 am Thursday, August 11, 2016

The big white bloom of the Southern magnolia tree has been compared to Southern women – strong but delicate.

That’s a compliment to both.

Amanda Lanier, curator of education at Reynolda Gardens, presented a slide program on the magnolia tree to the Bermuda Run Garden Club at the regular August meeting.

A native tree to the U.S., there are 90 species that provide different shapes and sizes. Magnolias can grow to 90 feet tall and 40 feet or more in width. The trees can grow in dry or wet environments, depending on the species.

“These primitive, Southern evergreens were around when dinosaurs roamed the land,” Lanier told the garden club members. “The blooms were probably a good food source for those big creatures.”

Asian varieties of magnolia trees bloom before the leaves appear on the tree. Magnolia  blooms are six petals or more. These resilient blooms are pollinated by beetles which were around before more modern pollinators. The cone-shaped magnolia fruit provides seeds that birds enjoy. The flowering period for magnolia trees is May to September.

“Magnolia leaves are tough, smooth on top and furry brown on the underside,” Mrs. Lanier said. “They are planted a lot in the South because they are a very resilient tree. They are messy because they drop leaves 365 days a year, and drop their seed cones also.”

Magnolias are a good screening tree to combat pollution. Amanda suggested you buy established trees rather than start from seed. A tree can take three to fiveyears to establish a root system.

The garden club meeting also featured Sharon Allard, Davie Senior Services events director. Allard thanked the club members for the flower bouquets they make for the Meals on Wheels program. Allard invited members to participate in the Ms. Senior Davie County event in September.

Plans were finalized for making the center pieces for the Hospice dinner Aug. 20 at Bermuda Run Country Club. Plans were shared for horticulture specimens, container plants, and floral designs from club members participating in the Dixie Classic Fair.

The club will have a blanket/pajama drive for Storehouse for Jesus Sept. 22 and 23.

Chair  Marie Labarowski announced that the fall shredding event will be Saturday, Oct. 8 from 9 a.m.-noon in the Bermuda Run Town Hall parking lot.

Members are busy with community projects.