The Color Maroon?

march-18-2009-085-2Jane is blooming.march-18-2009-083-2Magnolia ‘Jane’ is the centerpiece of the heath/heather bed that has recently been redesigned, or rather it is in the process of being redesigned. We almost lost her in the late freeze of Easter aught seven. She is just now recovering, showing several promising buds. We will buy any flower with the name Jane in it, we also have Lady Jane tulips, but they are not flowering yet. Jane was the name of my mother in law, and she is missed sorely by the Fairegarden clan. These plantings that bear her name help keep her memory sweetly.march-18-2009-123-2Blooming soon is the PJM Rhododendron. This is another near fatality of aught seven’s freeze. Most of the branches are dead, but since the three shrubs of this type are hidden by junipers in the view from the house, they were left to regrow and there seems to be life stirring. There is a lesson here to not be hasty in digging up supposed goners, if you can stand to leave them in the ground. It helps to not be able to see them.march-18-2009-133-2This pansy is closest in color to maroon, much darker than the photo shows.march-18-2009-145-21The orchid Oncidium ‘Sharry Baby’ is blooming now. This is an indoor photo and the color is quite close to what the eye sees. Last year we read on a blog that this is chocolate scented. We gave it the sniff test but could detect no aroma. Several attempts were made to discern that wonderful smell, and finally it was at night that we were to experience that exquisite perfume. This must be pollinated by a moth in the wild, and saves its pheromones for reproductive promise after the sun sets.march-18-2009-138-2Not blooming but sending up reddish leaves and stalks is Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’. This is a workhorse perennial in every bed here. It self sows like mad, having crossed with some other pink and red flowered penstemons. We have selected the pinker flowering seedlings to anchor the mid spring bloom period. The everred foliage is ruggedly handsome. You won’t lose track of where this is planted over the winter, unlike many other perennials that go dormant then.march-18-2009-127-2Another out of sight out of mind area is around the side of the house by the HVAC unit, home to among others, the herbaceous peonies, Paeonia lactiflora. Passalongs from friends and neighbors, these are old fashioned varieties with huge blooms. Close planting allows them to hold each other up without support, like good friends should. You can see that nothing has been done over here including clean up of last year’s stalks. That is a big peony no-no according to the experts, but we have seldom cut anything, occasionally we mulch the whole area for a neater appearance, but even that has not been done in the last several years. Something else keeps us busy. This is one of our most shady areas as the dogwoods planted to give privacy and shade in that corner, seedlings brought from our other Tennessee house, have grown larger than the house is tall. There could be a nice little shade garden over here. Maybe that will be put on the to do list. But it is not likely for we never go over that way and it is not a view from any window. Maybe when it becomes so shady that the peonies stop blooming we will be spurred to action.march-18-2009-128-2Home grown from seed using the heat mats and grow lights in the greenhouse/sunroom, the red leaf lettuce Dazzle is nestled in the raised planter box as part of the salad garden. This variety is pretty enough to use as an ornamental, but it is too tasty to not be displayed on a plate before being popped into mouths.march-18-2009-111-2Not really fully blooming yet, although the petals do not open much more than this, but the color will be sharper and the form rounder is Fritillaria ‘Uva-Vulpis’ (AKA F. assyriaca.) These line the long wall behind the main house and blend well with the yellow daffodils. The color is a dark maroon with a yellow band at the edge.march-18-2009-130-2Purchased at the grocer’s after Christmas and planted in a pot with some violas and orange tulips is Purple Prince. This is way ahead of the other tulips here, ironic since it was the last package planted. The color is much darker than the photo shows. In putting together this post we found that maroon flowers are not recognized by the Canon powershot A720 IS. Does it hold a grudge against dark red, trying to turn them into pink? It is curious.

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50 Responses to The Color Maroon?

  1. Gail says:

    Good morning Frances, What a treat is was to pop over here and see the beautiful Jane bloom..she used to reside here but the drought was too much for her tender roots. She is beautiful and I love the shot of her with daffodils and evergreens in the background. It gives us a good look at how much is going on in your garden. Now I want to rush outside (it is still dark here) and see what maroon flowers and plants I have peaking up! The fritillaria and last tulip photos are just lovely… Now I am going to make coffee! Gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. Semi’s Jane did not make it when we had that frost either. I think the large ericas that surrounded her might have protected the roots. Since those are gone now, I will have to give her extra mulch to keep her roots protected. My neighbor has a Jane that must be fully grown in full bloom now. It is fifteen feet tall, or taller and covered in maroon/white flowers. It has been so nice that I hardly come into the house at all. I don’t want to miss a single leaf unfurling.

  2. Joy says:

    Hi Frances .. I was just going to say the same thing Gail did about that shot of Jane with the daffs in the background .. what a perfect contrast of colours .. you have so much to seeing with so many plants blooming .. soon I will catch up ! : )

    Hi Joy, thanks, you will be catching up and it will be a joy to watch! πŸ™‚

  3. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, I lost a maroon Magnolia (I think it might have been Jane) to a late frost, just after I bought it. The stems were green when scratched so I have kept it for a year but it never grew a leaf. I think it is time to give up on it. Penstemon digitalis β€˜Husker Red’, I have tried growing from seed but no luck, so far! I think I will just grow the lettuce! Lovely post and pictures.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    Hi Sylvia, thanks. As I told Gail, my daughter Semi also lost her Jane to that late frost. It has been in the ground for almost two years and we might have to call it quits and get a replacement. Husker Red grows itself from seed, I have never tried to do it. Like many things, including the hellebores, I fail where Mother Nature succeeds. πŸ™‚

  4. Monica says:

    I always love the peony foliage as it first emerges; I think of them as tiki torches for faeries! The thing for me, that I always think is dead but isn’t, is hardy hibiscus which buds out really late. Also, I have two heathers I all but forgot about which are a lovely maroon now. They were hidden under leaves and never get very tall in summer, but look nice now!

    Hi Monica, thanks. Hey, did you see your photo with Paul James on Susan’s Garden Rant post about him? You are a celebrity! Tiki torches for fairies, what a fabulous thought. We have some really late to wake up stuff too, and I am always afraid it is dead. Right now it is the liatris that worries me. I prefer the early risers. πŸ™‚ Good deal on the heathers too.

  5. Darla says:

    I like how you posted the same color flowers. Wonderful idea and you have tons of different plants, don’t ya?

    Hi Darla, thanks. Yes I have a lot of different things being more collector than designer gardener. I am working on doing better with the design element though. It makes for a better looking scene.

  6. Frances,

    Your colors look like a nice merlot to me! πŸ™‚

    How nice to select plants named Jane in memory of your mother-in-law.

    I am trying to introduce more merlot to my garden to go with my magenta/deep pink/purple/blue colors.

    (will be a glorious 73 degrees and sunny here)

    Hi Cameron, thanks. In reality, those shots are so much redder, and merlot is a wonderful color, I agree. πŸ™‚ Fabulous weather here also. I can barely stand to come inside the house.

  7. linda says:

    Good morning Frances, so many beautiful examples of the color maroon! It’s lovely in your garden, even if the camera doesn’t always quite get it right.

    Hi Linda, thanks and good morning to you too. That dark red color is so perfect with the yellow of the daffs. I don’t have forsythia, but it would look great with that also.

  8. Dave says:

    That’s a great color in the garden! The Magnolia is a good one. I brought a couple offspring from one home last fall. Hopefully in a few years they’ll get to flower. You’re right about Husker red, it retains a great color during winter!

    Hi Dave, thanks. Your magnolia should do well. They seem to like our climate. Husker Red is a fantastic all purpose perennial. It grows anywhere and blooms happily. I like the spent stalks too, leaving them well into winter. Maybe that is why we have so many babies!

  9. ourfriendben says:

    It’s so inspiring to see everything up and blooming in your gardens, Frances! I love the idea of memorializing a loved one through plants. And like you, I’ll often leave something that looks dead ’til the next season just in case it decides to revive. But I can’t help but feel a pang for your peonies! I can hear them pleading, “Just a little sun, please!!!”

    Hi OFB, thanks. The peonies are still getting enough sun to bloom for a couple more years. After that, we’ll see if a sunnier spot can be found. I am a softie about the pleadings of plants too. πŸ™‚

  10. Marnie says:

    That red lettuce is pretty enough to use in the ornamental beds. I just read somewhere that one gardener uses red leaved beats as ornamentals;)

    I love the old heirloom peonies. One of the blooms most anticipated every year.

    Hi Marnie, thanks. That lettuce is so very red. I also grew Revolution that has a less frilly leaf. It is not quite as dark, but still pretty and tasty. Our peonies are sometimes zapped by late freezes. They seem very susceptible to cold when in swollen bud and we often have a cold snap then.

  11. Kristine says:

    your pictures just take my breath away, so happy to see that spring is somewhere!

    Hi Kristine, thanks. It is looking quite pretty in my town right now. The green leaves are just little dots on the trees, but even that is beautiful.

  12. tina says:

    I’ll take your word for the fact these flowers are all dark red. Sometimes cameras sure change the colors.

    I can see you being spurred to action on that shade garden when the peonies stop flowering, that is when I’d do it too. The new bed and Jane look wonderful.

    Hi Tina, thanks. They really are quite dark and not pinky like the photos. The peony blooms are so often lost to a late frost that I try to keep my hopes low for them so as to not be disappointed, even in that protected spot. There are probably better plants for that space that would give more bang for a longer period. One of these days……The Jane bed is holding great promise, but right now I am missing the mass of purple and white blooms that the heaths gave to that area. There will be tweaking. πŸ™‚

  13. Bren says:

    WOW…. Wonderful color and presentation of spring. Happy Gardening dear friend!

    Hi Bren, thanks so much. I have tried to visit your blog but it is set for invitation only. Do you have another blog that is public?

  14. Rose says:

    My camera is not as good as yours, Frances, but I do find that mine can’t capture the colors quite accurately all the time either. Last week I tried to photograph the waves of blue hyacinth at the Flower Show, but they all looked purple!
    Ah well, it really doesn’t matter–all your blooms look lovely, and I’m happy just to see blooms, no matter their color:)

    Hi Rose, thanks. I know what you mean about being disappointed with the camera, especially indoors. The light has to be just right to get a good shot and even then some colors are not accurate. I think getting good shots at a flower show is extremely difficult. But just seeing all those flowers is cause for smiling. πŸ™‚

  15. Daphne Gould says:

    That red lettuce is a real beauty. I love red lettuce. I’m planting four different types and three are at least partially red. The other one is just for contrast.

    Hi Daphne, thanks. I saw how many different types of lettuce you are planting, that will be pretty as well as good eating.

  16. Lythrum says:

    I really wish that I could figure out how to take true pictures of red and deep maroon. I have ‘Husker Red’ in my garden and I love it.

    Hi Lythrum, when you find out, would you let me in on the secret? πŸ™‚ That husker is one of our favorite plants. It just has so much going for it.

  17. VW says:

    It all looks beautiful! I love it that you remember your mother in law with plants by her name. My grandmother-in-law passed away last year, and we dug up her red peony to replant in our yard. I look forward to remembering her when I see it bloom this year and for years to come.

    Hi VW, thanks. The red peony sounds like a wonderful tribute to your grandmother in law. I can think of no better way to remember a loved one who is no longer with us.

  18. joey says:

    Delightful Frances! Spring has certainly found you … (send her my way) … after balmy (for us) weather in the 60s the past few days, we’re back to crisp days and frigid nights.

    Hi Joey, thanks. It is no longer winter here, that is true. But we normally have several cold snaps, each oned named for what is blooming at that time, like blackberry winter, etc. Crisp days seem okay, frigid nights not so much. Your spring will come soon, I hope.

  19. mothernaturesgarden says:

    It is difficult not to be jealous of all the lovelies in your garden. I want to plant some of the old fashioned cocks comb that is maroon.

    Hi Donna, don’t be jealous, get planting! There are potted bulbs for sale at Walmart that are making me wonder why I am even bothering to plant bulbs in the fall. Buying them now allows us to see just where that splash of color would make the most impact, and they are cheap. I love those celosias, they are usually offered after the last frost date. My daughter Semi has great luck with them in her mushroom composted beds, they must like a rich soil. I have never had as good a luck with them as she.

  20. kate says:

    The Magnolia bloom is stunning, Frances. What a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law. I will love seeing the Rhodo when it opens ~ the colour is gorgeous. Beautiful photos!

    Hi Kate, thanks so much. The little rhodo is pretty pitiful looking if you could see the whole shrub and not just the attractive bud. But it is alive and has some new leaves, hooray!

  21. Janet says:

    Frances, I love all your maroon colors today. I see your Jane is about as open as mine, though when I got home a little while ago it looked like it is opening almost as I watch! Happy Spring!

    Hi Janet, thanks. Hooray for your Jane too. Such a cheering sight and the color and form are perfection. Those buds did open so fast. I was trying to take a shot of the bud, gave up and the next morning it was open. Cooler temps will help them last longer too. A very happy spring, just hours away now, to you too! πŸ™‚

  22. Brenda Kula says:

    You know Frances, I have always thought the name “Jane” was just plain classy. Plain, yes, but very classy. Quick and to the point. Some of my pansies are still going, despite my having counted them out. They don’t like our hot sun that comes quickly in March.

    Hi Brenda, I agree completely. Jane is a wonderful name and was going to be Semi’s middle name, but when she was born, the name I had chosen, Melissa Jane just wasn’t her. I do hope your pansies last a while longer, they are so wonderful. We never know how quickly it will warm here, but always by June they are done.

  23. Thanks for showing off your maroons. I love the color & find it much easier to incorporate into color schemes than red or even pink. It has such a depth & richness to it.

    Hi MMD, thanks. That color is a great blender, especially the foliage against any bright color, but with orange…..ooh la la!

  24. You have such a great photography skill, Frances. Thank you for treating us with such lovely shots. That pansy looks sweet πŸ™‚

    Hi Chandramouli, thanks, but really I am not very skilled. I just take a million shots to get a couple of good ones. I should not have bought those pansies, they are better planted in the fall here, but I couldn’t resist that color and the whiskers. πŸ™‚

  25. Weeping Sore says:

    There’s nothing like the gaudy pinks of Spring to wash away the dreary monochrome of the winter garden. Magnolias and peonies I can only dream about because they’d languish and die in my desert climate, so I particularly appreciate that you’re sharing yours.

    Hi WS, thanks. I am sorry you cannot grow those plants in your climate, but know there are other fabulous ones you can grow that we can’t. Each place has its own wonders. πŸ™‚

  26. Catherine says:

    You sure have a lot of color there! I love all the maroon. The Husker Red is nice just on foliage alone I think.

    Hi Catherine, thanks. You are so right about the Husker Red. It looks good with everything, and highlights the best features of the plants around it. A great all around plant.

  27. Pam/Digging says:

    Red is one of my favorite colors in the garden. That ‘Lady Jane’ magnolia is so pretty against the happy yellow daffodils.

    Hi Pam, thanks. I know how you like red and use it to its best! I am still working on that, but am trying to add more this year. Maroon is much easier to incorporate, a great blender. Those daffodils did not get the early angle of the sun and are just beginning to shine as the first ones to open have begun to fade, extending the show. A lucky year with them.

  28. annetanne says:

    Those very dark flowers can be so dramatic.
    Do you know Cosmos atrosanguinea? In Dutch it is called ‘chocolade-cosmos’, and yes, it’s color is next to chocolate.

    Hi Anne, they are that. I have heard of the chocolate cosmos and tried to grow it once. It did not like the heat of our summers, but I do admire it. Thanks for the photo link, you take beautiful photos. πŸ™‚

  29. Randy says:

    Nice series of photos. Even the peonies look fab sprouting out so quickly.

    Hi Randy, thanks. This stage of the peony foliage is the most attractive. Some places the leaves have a nice fall color, but ours just turn black. Maybe it is the variety.

  30. patsi says:

    What a nice selection !
    Glad to see I’m not the only one with tree leaves still in my beds.

    HA Patsi, thanks! I did decide to leave the leaves this year and see what happened. I got really tired of looking at them about a month ago. Now all the emerging foliage has made them disappear. Will it happen again? I am thinking mulch over top of the leaves would be better. πŸ™‚

  31. Barbara says:

    I enjoyed this colour-themed post – and was trying to think if I had anything that was maroon. Only one that comes to mind is my Calycanthus florida that came with the house. Whenever I find a plant with the same name of my great aunts or grandmothers, I just have to find a spot and tuck it into the garden. I don’t think you have to worry about your peonies – it really must be a cold snowy climate rule – they turn into gluey slime if you don’t remove them. Your’s just look like mulch.

    Hi Barbara, thanks. Calycanthus is a fabulous shrub, native here. My mailman Claude gave me some seeds for it a few years ago and they have produced very tiny but growing sprouts. Someday there will be flowers, if I live that long! πŸ™‚ Thanks for that word of support about the peony foliage. Sometimes it seems the garden duties are more than I can keep up with, and anything that can be left to fend for itself is appreciated!

  32. FJL Nong says:

    Its a WOW! Your pictures are amazing! Breathless just by looking at them..:)

    Hi FJL, thanks and welcome. So glad you enjoyed your visit.

  33. Dawn says:

    Your photos are absolutely breathtaking, Frances. And your beautiful garden almost tempts me to move North of Austin.

    Hi Dawn, thanks, it’s so nice to see you here are the alternative universe of WordPress! I was just thinking about you as preparations are being made for the Chicago Spring Fling. Are you going? And don’t forget, you’ve got a friend in Tennessee. πŸ™‚

  34. gittan says:

    Good morning Frances, another great post taking my breath away. Of all colours I like the red ones most (as you can see in my garden) But they are hard to catch with the camera. Lovely Jane with the Daffodils in behind, so beautiful! Today it’s another sunny sprign day. And I’m heading out in the garden =) I hope the sun shines over you to today / gittan

    Good morning to you, my friend Gittan, thanks so much for the kind words, as always. I do hope you have a productive and enjoyable day in the garden. Winter winds have returned for us, but it is sunny and another layer of clothing including ear protection will allow us to be outside for another day. πŸ™‚

  35. easygardener says:

    My camera refuses to recognise dark red or deep purple. Very exasperating.
    I do like Fritillaria uva-vulpis – particularly the neat yellow band that looks like it has been painted on by hand.

    Hi EG, those little fritts offer a subtle beauty to the garden. I like the foliage too, with the pointy shaped spears. Too bad our cameras are color blind to dark reds. or any reds in my case! πŸ™‚

  36. No matter how the colors show on your blog they are beautiful.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. You are so right, I should not complain and be happy to have any color in the garden, whether the camera can reproduce it or not. πŸ™‚

  37. What an array of luscious colors β€” by any name. I have to say that peonies pushing up are one of my favorite moments of early spring; their intense color always cheers me!

    Hi Linda, thanks. I agree about the peonies, I like those stalks better than the blooms, they last longer here!

  38. andrΓ© says:

    What could possibly be better than the first magnolia flowers..!?! Lucky you- we’ll have to wait a few more weeks (as usual).

    Hi Andre, thanks. Your time will come soon and I know your garden will be beautiful. I bet your greenhouse it a pretty nice place to be right now too. πŸ™‚

  39. Monica says:

    The who what now? I admit I don’t read garden Rant though I know what it is. Can’t find the post in question–can you provide a link?! (I’d like to contact them about a comment I got from what looks like Paul’s publicist but is not written in any way like I believe it’s true!)

    OK, just found the entry–thanks for pointing me to it. It’s pretty funny that she thinks we’re best buds… she must not have read the entry (which is frankly one of my favorites ever) or I’m missing her sense of humor. The comment I left there should cover all the bases! HA Monica

    HA Monica, I combined your comments, oh sing the praises of wordpress! I liked your comment on GR, but wonder if they even read them sometimes. Sorry I didn’t give you the link, it was late and I was lazy. Anyway, you saw it and responded, so good deal all around. πŸ™‚

  40. TC says:

    The sun is almost at an acceptable angle for photography. I shall take a few.

    Hi TC, the sun is getting better every day. This is the best time until fall. Summer is so difficult, I thought there was something wrong with the camera.

  41. I enjoyed all your emerging spring delights, but particularly enjoyed the aliens-from-space emerging peonies, plus your low-care methods of growing them: I’m not good at staking, so that really appeals.

    Hi Pomona, thanks. I’m with you about the staking, although there are stakes left in the ground all year for the eryngiums and some lilies. For the lilies it helps me remember they are there.

  42. lynn says:

    Frances, I love rich colors so all these blooming in your garden has me drooling! I Especially love that Husker of my favorite plants. So it’s just not my camera (or me!) that can’t get a true photo of my red

    Hi Lynn, thanks. Isn’t Husker Red just the best? Maybe you have the same camera as I do, or maybe it is just the color red. But you are not alone! πŸ™‚

  43. Kathleen says:

    Once again, my heart rate is elevated upon viewing your photos Frances. I also have a magnolia ‘Jane’ but of course it is no where near as far along as yours. It was purchased last year and seems to have survived our mild winter just fine. I also planted fritillaria ‘Uva vulpis’ bulbs last fall and am more excited than ever to see them bloom now that I’ve seen yours. Your maroons (even those that stretch that color zone) are beautiful. Happy spring to you and your garden.

    Hi Kathleen, thanks, you are so flattering with your comments! I really appreciate that. πŸ™‚ My Jane is only a few years old too. My neighbor has one that must be over ten years old and it is huge and loaded right now with so many flowers they are beyond counting! That is what we have to look forward to! You will love the subtle beauty of the little fritt. It is very unique and the foliage is gorgeous too. Happy spring to you too.

  44. Robin says:

    You are well into spring already! The masses of daffodils are gorgeous!

    Red is a most difficult color to photograph; pink is more photogenic.

    Hi Robin, thanks. It is looking very spring like here, even with frost this morning.

  45. Sweet Bay says:

    I love Saucer Magnolias, but only in other people’s yards. In our area it seems they get zapped more than 50% of the time — it’d be too disappointing, as they are so beautiful in full bloom.

    Hi Sweetbay, thanks for visiting. Jane is supposed to flower later than the species, in order to avoid the zap. Elizabeth, a yellow that I admire in my neighbor’s yard flowers later still.

  46. Racquel says:

    Jane is a gorgeous Magnolia. She is really putting on a fine display this year in the Heath & Heather bed. πŸ™‚ I love the color maroon or deep reds in the garden. But they are hard to capture on camera. Dark purples are the same way.

    Hi Racquel, thanks, she really is. There are high hopes for this latest redesigned bed. Many plantings are in the ground, though still quite small. The plan is for taller spikey stalks of butterfly and hummingbird favorites throughout the summer. Time will tell. πŸ™‚

  47. skeeter says:

    Maroon is a beautiful color in your garden. It is wonderful how you keep the memories alive with named plants.:-) Your peony is way ahead of ours in growth! We just see the heads peeking out now. Soon they will take off though. Happy Spring!

    Hi Skeeter, thanks. That is surprising that anything growing here would be ahead of you. Maybe it is the lack of clean up and mulch! HA Happy spring to you too. πŸ™‚

  48. marmee says:

    i love the deep reds, purples and maroons. there is something so inriguing to me with there(sometimes) almost black petals. it is such a happy time to see the garden waking up. i am trying to decide between an anne or jane magnolia. they look so similar. do you know the difference?

    Hi Marmee, thanks. I am not familiar with Anne, but the most important thing to consider would be the later the bloom the better, to miss those late frosts that are so frequent here. My neighbor has many of the magnolias with girl names and all are wonderful. There is an Elizabeth that is a pale yellow that I admire very much.

  49. Sunita says:

    Hi Frances! There is an Anthurium called ‘Lady Jane’ too. Maybe you could add that one to your collection too. You’d have to keep it indoors I know, still…
    It looks like you have a lot of maroons blooming and growing for you. Very eye-catching!

    Hi Sunita, thanks for that tip. The greenhouse is too crowded as it is, with the new seed starting set ups of heat mats and light stands. That does sound like a promising plant though.

  50. kerri says:

    I love your ‘Jane’, and the daffs behind her make a wonderful backdrop. The maroon stems of the peonies as beautiful as they emerge. I can’t believe how tall they are already. I just took a photo of my crocuses emerging. The stems are maybe 2″ tall with no flowers in sight, but it won’t be long. All we need is some warmth. We’ve had sunshine, but an arctic wind for the past 3 days. It’s frigid out there today, which made all your blooms and colors a real treat. Thank you πŸ™‚ Love that beautiful lettuce!

    Hi Kerri, thanks. Your spring will be that much more welcome since you have to wait so long for it! Once the crocus come up it does seem they can open on a day’s notice! πŸ™‚ That lettuce is such a dark color, the camera did not capture its intensity.

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