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Magnolia ashei

Magnolia ashei is classed as a subspecies of Magnolia macrophylla. This is probably the best garden plant of the species as it is the smallest grower. The foliage is generally healthier looking than ssp macrophylla. It occurs naturally in a limited range in northern Florida, where it lives in  canyons and reaches out for the light from among pines and other species.It starts flowering from a young age, sometimes as a 2 year old seedling in the nursery. The flowers are generally a little smaller than the other subspecies and the dark "eye" at the centre can be variable from dark to almost non-existent. As the flowers mature and release their pollen, the stamens are released and almost appear to be able to drop into receptive flowers below that are distinctly funnel shaped at the tip. The tepals also curve over the centre of the flower to give the stamens partial protection from rain. In the autumn the fertilized flowers develop into bright seed ''cones".

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