Until last year, I thought the southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) was the only kind of magnolia tree. (I'm from the D.C. area.) I've since discovered the saucer magnolia, the bigleaf magnolia, and the cucumber magnolia, among other species, but the southern magnolia is especially dear to me. It's native to the southeastern United States. So far, they seem to be doing well up here too. (Okay, the growth isn't quite as vigorous as it would be down south.) If you haven't noticed a southern magnolia in winter, the waxy coating on the leaves might give you a hint that it's evergreen. Right now the southern magnolias are blooming. The flowers give off a strong citrusy fragrance.
Inside this flower, there were at least three honey bees. Here, a forager is heading back to the hive. Check out the pollen on her legs.
All of our southern magnolias are relatively young. You can find most of them in the south section near Fort Hamilton Parkway.