From a distance I thought these white blossoms were dogwood.
As much as I like dogwood, I was happily surprised as I got closer to find that it was a Tung Oil tree.
How could you not love these gorgeous blossoms? Although some of the shine came off when I discovered it is non-native and invasive in the gulf coast states where it was grown as a cash crop in the early 1900s.
These blossoms will produce fruits with seeds that are the source of tung oil (tungoil). The oil is used for manufacturing varnishes and paints, and as a waterproofing agent for linoleum and oilcloth. Unfortunately, all parts of the plant are toxic to livestock and humans.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, Charleston, SC
March 12, 2023
I went to Middleton Place hoping for the iconic reflections in the Mill Pond. However, the wind was blowing, and not just a breeze that might have given the patient photographer a few moments of still water.
Only a few Magnolia Trees around the Low Country have flowers on them now. There are so many varieties it’s hard to get a handle on the expected bloom time, but they are winding down in numbers, but not size or presentation.
These ones surely don’t mind the heat and are one of those plants that tolerate, and perhaps thrive, on overnights that stay above 75 F (24 C).
A single bee was attracted to this huge blossom, giving it a thorough inspection.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
July 29, 2022