The Middlebury Landscape

Star Magnolia

Filed under: Blooms — Tim Parsons at 6:01 pm on Sunday, April 26, 2009

Star Magnolia

It’s been a great weekend to see Magnolia flowers as they go flying past you at 30 MPH in the wind. Seriously, it’s been pretty windy all weekend. A hot wind yesterday, from the south. It got up to about 84 degrees, and today it didn’t feel like it broke 50.

The magnolias on campus are still in full bloom, though. They are Star Magnolias, a wide spreading shrub/small tree of about 15 feet wide and tall. Perfectly hardy in the Champlain Valley, and a great early flowering choice for the landscape. Fine in full sun, but also adaptable to part shade as well. One at my house is thriving on the north side of a garage, and it probably doesn’t get more than 3 hours of sun a day.

The ironic thing about the magnolias on campus is where they are planted. Someone in years past thought they were not very hardy, so they planted them on top of steam lines, thinking the heat from the steam would help protect them. So, there is one behind Voter, right on top of that steam line, one in front of Carr Hall, and another in front of Allen. There was one by Starr/Axinn, but we moved it with a tree spade last year during construction, and it now resides behind Hillcrest.

We planted Merrill Magnolias last year by the Bowker House, on the corner by Adirondack Road. They have a more classic magnolia flower, not in the star shape of the Star Magnolia, more like a small tulip. They are going to be much taller as well, as much as 30 feet or so.

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