Bloom of a southern magnolia, magnolia grandiflora.  June 12, 2003.  Frankfort.

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Photographer's comments:
     The southern magnolia tree certainly isn't unique to Kentucky, and in fact isn't even native to Kentucky.  The natural range of magnolia grandiflora is across the southern coastal states, from North Carolina all the way west to Texas.  Kentucky is almost too far north for most cultivars of the southern magnolia to survive, year-in, year-out.  Anyone who plants a magnolia here is taking a chance against the occasional bitterly cold Kentucky winter.
     Still, I'm glad so many people in Kentucky take that chance and plant this unusual tree with its huge, fragrant blooms.
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Other photos of this subject:
    1) Closeup of the pistil in the center of a bloom.
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Links to more about this subject :
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     1) Here is only one of many websites with reliable information about the southern magnolia.  This one is from Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) in Blacksburg, Va.
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More location information:
     
The flowers in these photos were on a tree growing on the state Capitol grounds in Frankfort. 
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Posted July 3, 2003.