The Japanese Magnolia

It is Spring in Charleston, you can tell, for all the flowers and buds have awoken from their cold slumbers to greet the warmth of the changing seasons. Among them all, it was the tuliptree that caught my eye, so vibrant and beautiful with color. Walk down the streets of Charleston on the South side of Calhoun, and you will probably see what I’m talking about. Also known as the Japanese Magnolia, the tree is native to China, but was cultivated and brought here from Japan, thus they got the name–information so graciously provided by my green-thumbed, greenhouse fanatic of a mother. The tree produces blossoms in the early spring, petals of bright fushia, set against a background of pure, clean white. The petals change in color based on age and location, however each blossom is so breathtakingly beautiful that I considered hard about picking them and filling my house with. However, I did not, not wishing to end their lives any sooner than they are already doomed to end. Soon the blossoms will outlive their own beauty. It seems in nature, the flamboyant colors never last long, but always make way for the enduring green that follows. Thus will happen with the magnolia, for it is after all a tree. Leaves will poke through, knocking the fragile petals to the ground. They will scatter about, become trampled, or wither into a sad carpet of brown shrivels, as happens every year. But following close behind the dismay of the petals, the green will take over, and the comfortable hue of summer will paint the city streets yet again. You may have noticed the tuliptree in this purple state, but wait until Fall comes back around and those once-green leaves will turn to a bright yellow, before going through the motions of the cycle once more.

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