As Denver slips into a typical high plains spring weather pattern of sloppy snow storms interspersed with breezy sunshiny days, I wanted to share these recent photos of a magnificent magnolia at the Denver Botanic Gardens. This particular variety of magnolia packs a double punch of gorgeous silky blooms, which also emit an intoxicating scent. I’d describe the scent as a mixture of citrus and rose. Amazing!

This particular magnolia is called a Yulan or Jade Lily magnolia (scientific name: Magnolia denudata). It is native to China, and has been grown in Chinese Buddhist temples for more than a thousand years. The Magnolia is an ancient genus, appearing before bees did. Botanists have theorized that magnolias evolved with beetles as their main pollinators.

I’m enjoying these pictures as the rain is slowly turning to snow outside my window, with the thought that those wonderful magnolia flowers may perish if the snow gets too heavy or if the temperature drops much below freezing. Perhaps their fleeting nature makes these magnolia flowers all the more beautiful.

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