Magnolia

Location: tree on west side of Twente Hall entry
Approximate blooming period: late February - early March

Saucer Magnolia, Magnolia x soulangiana

Origin: China, Japan 
Habitat: Hardy to USDA Zone (4) 5  May survive in Zone 4 but often the flower buds are killed in winter or the blooms damaged by spring frost 
Height and Form: Deciduous tree/shrub, 10-15(20)ft
Foliage and Bark: Leaves alternate, simple, 8-15 cm long, half as wide, obovate to broad-oblong, apex narrow and abruptly short-pointed, dark green above and pubescent below. Multistemmed, upright when young, at maturity a low-branched tree with wide spreading branches.  
Flowers, Fruit and Seeds: Flowers appear before leaves, solitary, perfect, bell-shaped, 13-25 cm diameter, usually 9 petals, white to pink to purplish (outside petals often purplish).  3-5 years to flower. 
Name: soulangiana: after Etienne Soulange-Bodin, Director of France's Royal Inst. Hort., who raised the original seedling. 
Cultivars/Varieties:

  • ‘Alexandrina’  -  flowers large, rose-purple outside and pure white inside, blooms in midseason, before leaves emerge; more than one clone offered under this name, vary some in color.
  • ‘Coates’  -  upright shrub, rapid grower, becoming rounded, to about 25 ft (8 m) tall, large flowers, light pink on the outside, white inside, Zone 5.
  • ‘Lennei’  -  very upright shrub, than oval to flat in outline, flowers deep pink (some say dark purplish), white inside.
  • ‘Rustica Rubra’  -  vigorous, more tree-like than many other cultivars, to 25 ft (8 m), large rose-red flowers, over 5 inches (13 cm) wide, inside white; blooms somewhat past midseason.
  • ‘Speciosa’  -  upright, usually a multi-stemmed, spreading tree, flowers are white with purplish flush at the base, outer petals (tepals) slightly reflexed; blooms late

Additional info: Oregon State

Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata

Origin: Japan
Habitat: Hardy to USDA Zone 5   
Height and Form: Deciduous shrub/tree, 15-20 ft x 10-15 ft 
Foliage and Bark: Leaves alternate, simple, entire, 5-10 cm long, gradually tapering to base.
Flowers, Fruit and Seeds: Flower buds are densely pubescent, silvery, 8-13 mm long.   Usually the first magnolia to bloom in spring.  Flowers are 7.5-10 cm wide, with 12-18 petals (tepals), each strap-shaped, usually white, but some pink. 
Culture: Sun to light shade, prefers a peaty, organic soil.
Name: stellata: star-like, the flowers
Cultivars/Varieties:

  • ‘Rosea’  -  pinkish (reddish?) buds open to pink flowers that soon fade to white; several forms offered under this name.
  • ‘Royal Star’  -  silvery pale buds open to clear white flowers with up to 25 petals.  Very common in commerce, a seedling of ‘Waterlily’.
  • ‘Waterlily’  -  pinkish buds, fragrant white flowers flushed with pink, with more than 30 petals, flowers later than ‘Royal Star’, likely more than one clone sold under this name.  The English ‘Water Lily’ (two words) has no trace of pink in the flowers (Gardiner, 2000).

Additional info: Oregon State


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