While visiting the Batsford Arboretum in mid-September, I happened upon a most dramatic tree. It had long, bright red seed pods with a somewhat quilted-looking texture and warty-looking bumps set off against rich green, roundish leaves. I did not know what this tree was, but I was fascinated. It’s possible that the tree had a marker somewhere, but I forgot to even look after I inspected tree growths unlike any I’d ever seen before.
To find such a remarkable tree at Batsford may not be an uncommon experience, because the arboretum contains over 2850 labeled specimens, including about 1300 different trees, shrubs, and bamboo, with an emphasis on plants and trees from the Far East.
Once home, I realized my mistake in failing to find out about this tree while at the arboretum, but the trusty Internet came through (after umpteen searches using every search term I could think of). I found an image of a similar pod and identified the tree as a magnolia.