Unidentified exotic flower

Ohiofem(6a Ohio)March 13, 2012

Can anyone identify the flower in this photo? The buds are fuzzy, almost like a pussy willow, before they open.

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val1(z4 UT)

My guess would be a saucer magnolia, but I am new to this. They are stunningly beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 4:26PM
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THe flowers in the lower pic seem to be amaryllis (hippeastrum) The upper photo are magnolia.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 6:11PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Yes - two different plants are shown.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

It's definitely the same plant, just photos taken from different angles a couple days apart. The flowers shown in the top photo bloomed from the branches on the lower left in the second photo. I'm not trying to stump anyone. This is an arrangement from an unknown florist given to a friend who asked me to help her identify it. So we can't ask the florist what it is.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 6:22PM
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Looks like a Magnolia to me. The have large fuzzy buds shaped like that, and are coming into bloom in many parts of the country this time of year. They will also bloom before the leaves come out, so seeing the flowers on bare sticks that don't seem to have been defoliated makes me think Magnolia too.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Magnolia seems like a good guess to me. But that color is one I've never seen in a magnolia. I wonder if you could root one of the branches and grow a tree from it? Anyone know?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 8:22PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Definitely Amaryllis. The stem goes all the way up and it's the same flower. Very pretty. I never saw that color amaryllis.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 8:39PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry, OF,

That doesn't seem possible. I'm w/ Zackey on this, that's an Amaryllis. I too see where its stem goes all the way up. Very different style branch & stem from that to the stem & buds in the 1st pic.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 9:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Those buds do not belong to an Amaryllis. Looks like a Magnolia soulangiana (Tulip magnolia, Saucer Magnolia) to me. The central stalk of flowers, however, is something different...Amaryllis. The florist has removed the Amaryllis leaves for artistic purposes.

So though they may look like the same plant to you, those flowers come from entirely different families.

If you examine the two different sets of flowers, you'll see that they are quite different.

Tulip magnolia, by the way, is a much loved tree in warm climates and a favorite for simple indoor forcing. Budded stems can be brought inside in the late winter in order to enjoy some early spring flowers.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 10:27PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I'm guessing you are right about the combination of two different flowers. I have only seen the photos and gotten a report from my friend, who swears all the blossoms come from the same plant material. I can't grill her because she is out of town caring for a sick relative, who received the floral arrangement. In any case, it is one of the most striking arrangements I've ever seen. Kind of an optical floral illusion, I guess. Thanks for all the feedback.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 10:40PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I would reiterate that there are definitely two different pink blooms there. The magnolia will be growing on woody twigs with the furry buds. The Amaryllis on a stout fleshy stalk which oozes clear snot-like sap when cut (forgive the analogy!).

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 5:49AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Having slept on it, I am now leaning toward thinking it is a combination of magnolias and gladiolas. I am very familiar with amaryllis, and the arrangement of the vertical flowers doesn't seem right for amaryllises unless there are several. It's been many years since I've grown gladiolas, but I remember that I grew some in that peachy shade. They bloom from the bottom up unlike amaryllises.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:10AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Google image search for "Amaryllis leaves" claims 1100 pictures, I didn't count them, but the first 100 did not resemble the pictures in the OP. Then I did an image search "hippeastrum leaves" and found no leaves looking like the picture in the OP.

I've no idea what the plant is.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Since it's a florist's arrangement, the leaves could be from any plant. But here's a photo of magnolia leaves:

And here's a gladiolus:

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:26PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

There are no Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) leaves in the arrangement, that's why you don't recognise any albert_123. They are big strappy things unsuited to delicate floral arrangements. The two plants are Magnolia and - probably - Hippeastrum. There appear to be two, or possibly 3, separate clusters of Hippeastrum flowers on stems of different lengths. If you look at the tallest stem it is clearly not a Gladiolus as the flowers are not arranged up the stem but at the top. The Magnolia flower in the first picture has not yet opened in the second picture but you can see that the twig coming out horizontally is the same one and that it has magnolia flower buds on it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:42PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The magnolia shown in the pictures above are of a different species than from those leaves you posted, Ohio. They are from Magnolia grandiflora, Southern Magnolia. As a matter of fact, who knows what kind of leaves are in that arrangement...the designer can use anything she/he wants. Forget trying to match the flowers with the foliage.

Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) is blooming now in my location. Most are shades of violet and pink, though there are many cultivars. The flowers appear before the leaves (it's a deciduous tree) and are one of the harbingers of Spring.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 4:59PM
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