Saucer Magnolias Watch Update: February 22, 2023

The warm winter has meant that the saucer magnolias are coming out early. They’re not yet in bloom, but there are plenty of buds shedding their outer casings to show the beautiful pink and purple petals.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
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2024 Peak Bloom

It's still too early to know precisely when the famous cherry blossoms will bloom around the Tidal Basin in Spring 2024. By early March, we'll start getting a better sense of timing, after we see how temperatures are trending during the latter part of the winter. Warmer temperatures bring an earlier bloom; cooler temperatures push the bloom later.

The warm winter has meant that the saucer magnolias are coming out early. They’re not yet in bloom, but there are plenty of buds shedding their outer casings to reveal the beautiful pink and purple petals underneath. Very warm temperatures expected tomorrow will bring even more of them along in the coming days.

An early bloom brings risks of freezing temperatures spoiling the bloom. It happened last year, with a mid-March cold snap shriveling the flowers (you can see photos of the aftermath here).

There’s no similar cold snap in the immediate weather forecast, so fingers crossed they’ll be fine this year.

Saucer Magnolias at the Enid A. Haupt Garden

I took these photos this morning at the Enid A. Haupt Garden. When fully in bloom, the magnolias in this garden are just spectacular.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Enid A. Haupt Garden.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Enid A. Haupt Garden.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Enid A. Haupt Garden.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Enid A. Haupt Garden.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Enid A. Haupt Garden.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Saucer Magnolias at the George Mason Memorial

There’s a smaller grove of saucer magnolias around the George Mason Memorial (which is not far from the Jefferson Memorial).

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.
Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms.Pin
George Mason Memorial.

Things Worth Knowing

  • Saucer magnolias are also often known as tulip magnolias.
  • They typically come out around a couple of weeks before the famous Yoshino cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin.
  • You can find saucer magnolias all over the region. Three notable locations within easy walking distance of the Tidal Basin are the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, the George Mason Memorial (near Jefferson Memorial), and Rawlins Park.
  • You can see an example of them in full bloom here.
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