Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kobushi flowers catch the spring wind

at Umami Hills Park

みな指になり風つかむ花辛夷   林翔

Kobushi flowers become all fists catching the wind
(Japanese word “kobushi” means both “辛夷, magnoliga” and “拳, fist”.)

辛夷, Kobus magnolia, or Kobushi magnolia, is a species of magnolia native to the mountainous regions of Japan.  They bear pleasantly fragrant white flowers with a hint of pale pink.

Kobushi with the backdrop of Cornus officinalis at Umami Hills Park
In late March, the buds of Kobushi magnolia shed their furry coats and burst into bloom on the bare branches before the foliage emerges. 

at Sagi-ike Pond, Nara Park

 Each white flower has petals faintly tinted pink peering deep inside.

At Sagi-ike Pond in Nara Park, there is a glorious Kobushi magnolia which usually is in full bloom before cherry blossoms at the beginning of April. 

 This year, their bloom is delayed like other spring tree flowers.They will be at their best in a week at the same time with cherry blossoms.

In northern Japan, Kobushi magnolia is also called “田打ち桜, tauchi-zakura”, or “cherry blossoms for starting planting”.  Farmers in northern Japan used to start farming at the sight of its exuberant florescence.  Such index is practical even now because weather changes every year. 

I like to walk under the arch of Kobushi magnolia to see what is
beyond the hill of the ancient tumulus at Umami Hills Park.
The tree below is 木蓮 (mokuren), Magnolia liliiflora, or lily magnolia. which is originally from China.  They are more common than Kobushi magnolia in Japanese gardens.  The
blooming of lily magnolia is always a little ahead of Kobushi magnolia.

Incidentally, I found cherry blossoms near Ara-ike Pond one day before the official announcement about its bloom in Nara Park.  At Sagi-ike Pond, none was blooming with most buds on the verge of flowering. 

荒池園地, near the Ara-ik Pond, Nara Park

Sagi-ike Pond, Nara Park

I took some of these pictures at Umami Hills Park last April and some of them at Nara Park the other day.   The other day was such a serene, warm day, however, yesterday was a spring storm more intense than a typhoon.  I hope buds and flowers held strong clinging to the branches through the violent wind.
I'll be leaving with today's protagonist, Kobushi magnolia.

- This post is linked to Our World Tuesday. -


  1. so pretty. the scent must be delightful.

  2. Oh, the sheer beauty of these blooms! I can imagine how heady the fragrance must be...!

  3. The Lily magnolia looks like the small magnolia tree in my yard, Yoko... it's blooms just faded a few days ago. We had fierce thunderstorms last night, but further south in Texas tornadoes touched down. Springtime is beautiful, but such a dangerous period for storms.

  4. Such beautiful flowers! :) I can hardly wait that here the flowers start to bloom....but for the climate of the Finland the spring gets that far as late as in May...we still have snow in here...

  5. Hello Yoko:
    As it is, very sadly, most unlikely that we shall ever have the opportunity to visit Japan, and almost certainly not at this time of year, your images of the wonderful Magnolia trees at the peak of perfection serve more than enough as compensation. They look, and we are sure are, absolutely beautiful and to see them with the cherry blossom will, indeed, be heaven itself.

  6. As usual, these are beautiful photographs, and inspiring to look at. I love to see magnolia trees in the Spring and I have seen these particular magnolias (or something like them) in peoples' gardens here. No magnolias grow wild in England, sadly. I am a little anxious about the magnolias blooming here at present. Usually they come about a month later but they have been encouraged by the warm weather we have had. Now, there is very cold weather on the way and I am afraid these delicate flowers will perish before they have fully bloomed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't happen.

  7. Beautiful!
    We don't have Magnolia in our garden, but we can enjoy their beauty in a nearby park.
    It's a little early for them here.
    Thanks for sharing these beauties.
    Wish you a wonderful day.

  8. When I was a student in our capital, Bucharest, I used to go to the Botanical Garden every early spring. The few Japanese cherry trees they have and the beautiful magnolias performed an incredible scene, with fallen petals all around... I've always been amazed by the discrepancy between magnolia's ethereal appearance and fragrance and its sturdy, almost skin-like blossom texture.

    I wish I could walk under your arch of Kobushi magnolia too, Yoko! It's beauty is like an open door to spring. A season I'm still waiting to come in my city.
    But I'm especially fascinated by your last picture: a blink of frozen time, carrying the unknown promises of any possible outcome. A poem that needs no words...
    Thank you for that!

  9. I love magnolias, ours start to fade it's a pity as they turn slighlty rusty-colour!

  10. Yoko, I am fascinated and mesmerized by your masterly taken photos of such heavenly beauty! Thank you for the informative, poetic and loving description accompanying them, and for the pretty kanji characters, which look to me like artful drawings.
    This is another of your most enjoyable posts - I am so looking forward to future ones!

  11. Magnolie są piękne . Nie ma liści na drzewie,ale wspaniałe w kształcie i delikatnym zapachu kwiaty. Lubię białe, ale różowe też pięknie wyglądają. Kwiaty wiśni nawet w pączkach ślicznie wyglądają. Niedługo będzie u Was cudownie jak rozkwitną. Pozdrawiam.
    Magnolias are beautiful. There are no leaves on the tree, but wonderful in the shape of flowers and delicate fragrance. I like white, but also look beautiful pink. Cherry blossoms even in the buds look pretty. Soon you will be in bloom as beautifully. Yours.

  12. it's a sheer beauty, Yoko! Lovely flowers and great photos!

  13. I like the imagery of flowers as “fists catching the wind”. We have magnolias here in BC, too. I think many are similar to the “lily” variety. The buds with boaters in the background make gorgeous pictures, stardust! I hope all these new blooms were not whipped about too much. The storm sounds frightening but sometimes the frailest flowers turn out to be the best survivors.

  14. Yoko, Thank you for your message, I was also amazed by his wonderful photographs is the nature of your beautiful country.
    Greetings from Portugal


  15. Flowers from Nara! Thank you! ^^ The magnolias almost as beautiful ... no, just as beautiful ... as cherry blossoms. I have to run to work now, but I'm going to read this post again, with more attention, tonight. Enjoy this gorgeous spring day! :)

  16. I think the first shot really expresses the heart of the haiku-poem. Personally I prefer Kobushi to Mokuren.
    It might be a bit early and chilly for full bloom but the warm and fuzzy shot with a lady and a dog on the boat leisurely behind Sakura reminds me of the song; merrily is but a dream♪♪

  17. The white magnolia is so pure and soothing. And I love the Japanese letters, what an artistry to be able to write in Japanese!

  18. Both of the magnolias are beautiful but I think I prefer the lighter almost white one bettter; your pictures are wonderful.

  19. Hello!
    Want to know your blog?
    Have more contact?
    We are fortunate to be on the Blogspot platform that offers the opportunity to speak to the world!
    If you are open in the field of communication, it is you open new horizons that you know every day!
    There are other countries, people who share the same passions as you.
    I invite you to visit Blogspot Directory
    This blog is not personal! I created it for everyone!
    Us to share the different passions, fashion, paintings, artwork, photos, poems and so be able to find in countries other people with similar passions.
    I think this community could also interest you.
    On the right side with the books of green! You will find the country with the names of blogs by country, most certainly you will see people, you already know! so come join us! thank you
    The more people and more opportunities it will give, you are some sort Ambassador of this blog is you also have to make known to your contacts
    Have a great day with the hope that you come join us.
    To find out, click on the link below:

  20. What a magic visual presentation of the beginning of REAL spring! I love all your photos as magnolias are among flowers I dearly love and admire!They bring such a romantic touch to the air!
    Well, the "spring typhoon" on April 3rd was quite frightening and my heart was bleeding for those flowers I've just seen on branches and among grasses just a day before. Had a look at them yesterday. Ume blossoms were all gone! Kobushi too, just mokuren kept their place! A little dishevelled, but still alive.
    I look forward least...a spring without catastrophes!

  21. Greetings, Yoko!

    Magnolia trees are lovely. Ours here in Stone Creek are a bit different but still very similar. We have many of them, but none have the blush of pink interior.

    So many beautiful flowers/blossoms you show in this post. Thank you and I wish you no more storms, just sunny, warm weather!

  22. May I write a second comment? ^^

    I read your post again, this time slowly, lingering over all the beautiful photos. The kuboshi flowers look like little puffs of cotton wool. So beautiful.

    I like the idea that the farmers used this flower as a weather clock. Much more reliable than NHK's weather predictions? :)

    PS: The blossoms in Tokyo survived the storm just fine. Probably in Nara, too?

  23. Hi,Stardust.

  24. Rurosha - I think the buds and young flowers in Nara just fine, too. Though cherry blossoms look delicate and are ready to surrender to the Will of Nature when the time comes, they are quite tough when they are young. In my garden, however, many flowers of mountain camellia fell off and looked like decapitated heads. They had been blooming long, so maybe it must have been the time to go.

  25. The magnolia are magnificent! Each shot is a work of art.

  26. I think the work of 林翔 is great.I wonder who named こぶし。 Nice naming!
    You often visit Umami Hills Park lately and introduce many kind of plants to us. I've never been to there so I will try to go there as I heard a new botanical garden is build. Thank you for lovely photos.

  27. Glorious spring blossom views - thank you.

  28. simply amazing your pictures...I really like the ones with the boats in the background! sunny greetings...

  29. This is heavenly beauty. Love the blossoms and the delicate colors of the flowers, a walk amid nature is alway so tranquil and peaceful.. i can imagine it all through your wonderful photographs and write up. A refreshing post as always, thank you for my virtual tour.

  30. Honestly I'm sorry my dear Yoko ...
    The magnolias are beautiful!
    Very nice park and wonderful photos!
    Many greetings and kisses

  31. Hello Yoko,
    I'd love to see magnolias growing wild in the mountains! Your photos are lovely,lucky you found the flowers before the storm.This changeable weather makes life difficult for bees and all wildlife I think.

    Enjoy your weekend,

  32. Me ha encantado la entrada ¡Cuánta belleza!
    En especial la foto de la abeja.. ¿Podría usarla en un post que publicaré? Por supuesto pondré un enlace a tu blog si te parece bien.

  33. Hello Yoko,
    I just came across your beautiful blog and now I am your newest follower. I am looking forward to seeing more postings from you...Greetings...Heidi

  34. Thank you for the wonderful photos, a great mood, and the absolutely ideal places you show in your post. It was a pleasure.

  35. Such beauty! We have magnolias here, too, but they are not yet in bloom. Your photos are magnificent.

  36. Such pretty Spring blooms. I love all the flowering trees. I had a gorgeous flowering crabapple, but it didn't last long because of the wind and rain. It was beautiful for a little while though. Have a lovely weekend. Mickie :)

  37. No sé lo que opinarás pero tienes premio...

  38. beautiful ! I have magnolias in my garden too.Greetings, Essi

  39. Absolutely amazing!!! Fantastic photos of gorgeous magnolias!
    Enjoy your day!
    Pia xx

  40. Beautiful photos, as ever!

    I didn't know about this flower before. Sakura, ume and camellia are much more famous. But whose blooms are you most eager for, Yoko?

  41. Simply beautiful shots!
    Must be a great place!
    Many greetings
    Yvonne & Raphael

  42. Lovely. Enjoyed your pics a lot.

  43. Ekaterina – I’m so sorry for not having responded sooner. I like kobushi magnolia best.


Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I will visit your blog shortly. Have a nice day!