Saturday, July 9, 2011


Expanding your awareness
I have mentioned many times that I have a really cool back yard.  It's becasue I do!  Any time we find something of note, the kids and I look it up, identify it, and discuss.  The funny thing it that the one thing we neglected to look up are the biggest things in the back yard!
This is the flower from our Tulip tree.  The tree itself is featured on the blog many times, but I never remembered to look it up until now. Wikipedia says that this tree is the Liriodendron tree. (Click the link to read more) 
Liriodendron (play /ˌlɪri.ɵˈdɛndrən/)[1] is a genus of two species of characteristically large deciduous trees in the magnolia family (Magnoliaceae).
These trees are widely known by the common name tulip tree or tuliptree for their large flowers superficially resembling tulips, but are closely related to magnolias rather than lilies, the plant family to which true tulips belong.
The tulip tree is sometimes called "tulip poplar" or "yellow poplar", and the wood simply "poplar," although Liriodendron is not closely related to the true poplars of the genus Populus. The tree is also called canoewood, saddle-leaf tree and white wood. The Onondaga tribe calls it Ko-yen-ta-ka-ah-tas (the white tree).
Two species of Liriodendron are known extant. Liriodendron tulipifera is native to eastern North America, while Liriodendron chinense is native to China and Vietnam. Both species often grow to great size, sometimes exceeding 32 m or 100 feet in height. The American species is commonly used horticulturally, and hybrids have been produced between these two allopatrically distributed species.

Now I know why my allergies act up so badly in the spring...I am very allergic to the magnolia pollen. This tree is beautiful, but it is also a curse.  All of that yellow green pollen, those pollen pods, and flowers fall at different times, so I'm constantly raking and sweeping the porch.  Drives me nuts!

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