Late Bloomers Garden Club_______
                                                                                                                                                           Zone VIII/GCA 
Zone VIII/GCA_______________________
Native Ashe Magnolia Named 2017 Plant of the Year by GCA
Magnolia ashei has been named 2017 Plant of the Year by the Garden  Club of America.  Annually since 1995, the GCA has identified a stellar North American native plant to receive its Montine McDaniel Freeman Medal for Plant of the Year. Commonly known as the Ashe magnolia, the plant is a deciduous understory shrub or small tree native to eight counties in Florida, but grown in USDA Zones 6 to 9 in rich moist, well-drained acidic soil.  The plant's glossy dark green leaves grow to two feet.  The large citrus-scented, creamy white, saucer-shaped flowers have purple stains at an interior base of six to nice petals.  The flowers bloom in spring, then set fruit borne on cone-shaped, pink-purple aggregates that add fall interest.  The Florida Department of Agriculture lists the Ashe magnolia as endangered due to a small population and restricted area of growth.  
"Long-lived, tolerate of heat and resistant to diseases, deer and insects, this magnolia is an ideal specimen tree for the small garden," says Lucy Rhame of the GCA.  The Ashe magnolia was nominated for the award by a member of the Late Bloomers Garden Club of Jacksonville, Florida.

Zone VIII meeting hosted by Trustees' GC Savannah, GA  April 18-19, 2018
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