May 22 2010
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a tulip tree flower.
Right now the tulip trees are blooming but you can’t see the flowers because the trees are very tall, the flowers are at the top, and the leaves hide the flowers from below.
Tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) are sometimes called “tulip poplars” but they’re actually in the magnolia family. Like magnolias their flowers are showy and attractive to bees — so attractive that tulip trees are considered one of our major honey plants.
Have you ever smelled these flowers? I haven’t. I’m lucky when I see them.
And I remind myself when I complain about Pittsburgh’s hills that they have this advantage: I can stand on a hill and look down on the flowers in the trees.
(photo by Chuck Tague)