Our neighborhood Tulip Tree is finally blooming! Lots of other trees flower first and then open their leaves, but Tulip Trees do the opposite. So, here’s a side view of the flower, which reminds me of a subtly colored garden tulip (if there is such a thing):
Now, let’s peek inside a flower. Because Tulip Trees are a kind of magnolia, there are lots of pollen-producing parts surrounding a cone-like mass of seed-producing parts. They say this is what some of the first flowers looked like, back during dinosaur times:
The next photo shows an unopened bud below a flower:
Oak Parkers and other who want to see Tulip Tree flowers can find this tree on the south side of Rehm Park, where Scoville deadends into the park. It’s a young tree, so some flowers are at eye level for adults. There are other Tulip Trees in town, but they’re so tall that you need binoculars to appreciate the flowers.
We’ve been following this tree since early spring. In case you missed those posts, here’s what a Tulip Tree twig looked like on April 29, when the leaf buds had just opened:
Also on April 29, the flower buds were just beginning to form:
Back on April 8th, the leaf buds were opening below the remains of last year’s seed pods:
If you want to see what happens once the flowers fade away and seeds begin to form, go here.
Can you tell I like Tulip Trees? They remind me of my younger days, when I first explored the woodlands of southern Ohio and Indiana. I saw huge Tulip Trees in some of the old growth forests. I also love the link Tulip Trees provide to Early Cretaceous flowers (that’s the later part of dinosaur times). So, I’m glad that the Parks Department and Village Forester have planted at least a few Tulip Trees in our parks and along our streets.
To learn more about Tulip Trees, you can check these websites:
- Wikipedia: Encyclopedia-style information about Tulip Trees.
- NEWTON Ask-a-Scientist: Tulip Trees in the Midwest.
- HowStuffWorks: In case you want to grow your own Tulip Tree.
- US Forest Service: A PDF file with lots of information about this species.
This post is our contribution to this month’s Festival of the Trees. This blog carnival includes several other Tulip Tree posts, plus posts on other tree flowers, tree fruits, knots and gnarls, and more. Go here to read the festival entries.