Identification: Flowering tree riverside cliff...

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by tmwilsoniv, May 11, 2015.

  1. tmwilsoniv

    tmwilsoniv New Member

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    I noticed this large shrub - small tree while canoeing the Gunpowder river in Maryland yesterday. My friends and I are stumped. Any ideas? 20150510_163213 A.jpg

    20150510_163142 C.jpg
     
  2. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Welcome to the forums
    Magnolia virginiana maybe ?
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I was going to say it looks like Magnolia tripetala, and I see that Magnolia virginiana var. tripetala is listed as a synonym for that.
     
  4. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    M. virginiana var. tripetala is said to be malodorous, whereas the M. virginiana seems to have a nice scent. Maybe that would help with the id.
    Wonder why one is named "tripetala".
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Missouri Botanic Garden says "Although tripetala means three petals, the specific epithet may in fact be in reference to the three sepals on each flower." That's not quite the story I was going to make up, but it is corroborated by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which says "The Latin species name, meaning 3 petals, probably refers to the 3 sepals, which are longer than the more numerous petals."
     
  6. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Ok, thank you Wendy , and for the links as well.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The two above species are from different parts of the genus. Among the American species in the grouping to which umbrella magnolia belongs it can be told immediately (while in leaf) by having leaves tapering to points at both ends, all the others producing leaves with lobed bases.
     

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