Q: I took these pictures while fishing on Stone Mountain lake. It’s hard to appreciate just how large the blooms are without a scale to compare to, however the blooms dwarf a magnolia tree flower. The leaves are maybe 24 inches long and nearly 10-12 inches across at the widest point.
A: You’re smart to note that the flowers look like a magnolia. This is one of the deciduous magnolias…maybe big-leaf magnolia, cucumber magnolia or Ashe’s magnolia. Unlike the familiar evergreen Southern magnolia, these big-leafed trees lose their leaves each fall.
The flowers are enormous and are just as fragrant as Southern magnolia. I usually see them growing on the edge of a clearing, typically in places where the soil stays moist.
The site by Stone Mountain lake would be perfect for one!