Monday, April 4, 2011

This is a lovely specimen of "collected as Magnolia officinalis"

We have it in our records as collected in NW Korea in 1984 as Magnolia officinalis, which it clearly is not. It's one of two plants that we have from the same seed lot. The other was growing, reasonably enough, on Korean Hill. Despite being the same age, it's much smaller; it doesn't even flower yet. Since there is a question of identity, Amanda and I dug the smaller plant from Korean Hill and, with Nathan's help, moved it to a trial bed where we can watch it more closely.

Tony Beane, one of the attendees at the Magnolia Study day (who drove many hours from Canton, New York) spent several hours comparing flowers and plants and concluded that it could be the product of a cross between sprengeri and liliflora 'Nigra'. I think we're coming around to it though more investigation is needed we all feel that it has M. springeri either as a parent or one generation removed and the consensus is growing that M. liliflora 'Nigra' could also be part of the mix. That would make it a sort of a sibling of two of our introductions, 'Galaxy' and 'Spectrum'. At any rate it's clearly a beautiful flower.


Sarah said...

It's beautiful!

MulchMaid said...

That first specimen is a lovely tree. I miss the wealth of magnolias I remember from the Washington D.C. area. Out here, there's a plethora of Magnolia stellata, and the occasional Magnolia grandiflora - looking somewhat out of place.

abby jenkins said...

A very beautiful tree no matter what the strain!