Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Magnolia macrophylla and Magnolia sieboldii 'Colussus': one native, one Asian, both beautiful

Today it rained for the second day in a row. It turned out to be a good day to look at Magnolias. These are not two of my favorites, they are my two favorite Magnolias. Not 'Colussus' in particular, though it is nice, a spectacular double-flowered hexaploid. I just like the graceful pendulous flowers of M. sieboldii. 'Colussus' is a colchicum induced hexaploid created by Dr. August Kehr, late of Hendersonville, North Carolina. A well known and respected plant breeder, he released both Rhododendrons and Magnolia selections, one of which he named 'Hot Flash'.....some of those Magnolia people are...interesting.

'Colussus' was for sale at the FONA Spring Fair/Plant Sale. I think there were four of them and not all of them sold; Pat grabbed one afterwards for the Magnolia Collection. They (the plants at FONA) didn't look too good but they're Magnolias so they'll come around. If you bought one, congratulations!

The M. macrophylla flower is on the tree beside my front deck. Last year I was impressed by the size of the flowers and measured one at 21", noting the superabundance of rainfall. This year we've had generously adequate but not excessive rainfall and the flower only measured 17". This is still large compared to Dirr's "8 to 10 occasionally 14 inches).

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