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Name: Jennifer
Status: student
Grade: N/A
Location: N/A
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Question:
Is it unusual for magnolia trees to bloom in the fall in livingston,nj and why? And if not why?


Replies:
Dear Jennifer,

Usually Magnolias bloom in the spring; however, some varieties do bloom into the fall such as the following one:

http://home.att.net/~velvet-hammer/information.html

Magnolia grandiflora - Southern Magnolia var. Victoria Southern Magnolia is large evergreen leaves, fragrant white flowers that bloom all summer into the fall.

Different species have different "phenologies" or timing/periodicity of flowering. Sometimes related to amount of light or the temperature, and at other times related to the availability of pollinators.

Sincerely,

Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.


Yes, it is unusual, but this has been an unusual year, especially in the northeastern United States. My suspicion is that the hot weather coupled with the drought caused some plants/trees to go dormant (some which did not did not survive). Once the weather cooled and the rains arrived, the plants emerged from this artificial dormancy. I have seen holly bushes around my house in flower, and this is also an uncommon occurrence this time of year. The worry is....if the plants think this is 'spring', will they be able to prepare enough for when cold weather arrives? Normally the clues to the seasons are length of day and temperature. Hopefully, as the days shorten and the nights continue to cool, the plants will harden off the new growth which is occurring late in the season; if this occurs, they should come through the real winter ok.

Thanks for using NEWTON!

Richard R. Rupnik



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