|Magnolia subsp. var.|
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Michelia (P. A. Micheli, 1679-1737, Florentine botanist). Magnoliaceae. Temperate and tropical trees and shrubs, two of which (M. fuscata and M. Champaca) are cultivated in the southern states for their handsome magnolia-like foliage and red or pale yellow fragrant flowers.
Differs technically from Magnolia in the fls. mostly axillary rather than terminal, the gynophore (stipe of ovary) long and the ovules usually more than 2 in each carpel: fls. mostly axillary, solitary; sepals and petals similar, 9-15 or more, in 3 or more series; stamens as in Magnolia; carpels in a loose spike; stigma decurrent: ovules 2 or more: fr. a long, loose or crowded spike of leathery carpels, which split down the back; seeds like Magnolia.—Species about a dozen, in Asia.
Only one michelia has attained any prominence in this country. This is M. fuscata, one of the most popular garden shrubs in the southern states. It is known as the brown-flowered or banana shrub; also Magnolia fuscata. It is shrubby in habit, attains a height of 10 to 15 feet and is perfectly hardy in the middle and lower South. The shining young twigs and petioles are covered with brown tomentum.
The flowers are 1 to 1½ inches across, brownish yellow, edged with light carmine, exhaling a strong banana fragrance. The flowering period extends from the end of April until June. Propagate by seeds as stated for Magnolia grandiflora (p. 1965), but as seed is somewhat scarce, the better method is from ripened wood cuttings, under glass and with bottom heat. The cuttings should have one or two leaves left, and be cut before very cold weather. It is a very desirable conservatory shrub in northern sections.
The natural range of Magnolia species is rather scattered and includes eastern North America, Central America and the West Indies and east and southeast Asia. Some species are found in South America. Today many species of Magnolia and an ever increasing number of hybrids can also be found as ornamental trees in large parts of North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The Magnolia tree is also found in Bottomland areas.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Magnolia (after Pierre Magnol, professor of medicine and director of the botanic garden at Montpellier, 1638—1715). Magnoliaceae. Woody plants grown chiefly for their showy white, pink or purple flowers and also for their handsome foliage; mostly spring-blooming.
Deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs, with rather stout branches marked with conspicuous lf.-scars: lvs. alternate, entire; the stipules usually adnate to the petiole and inclosing the young successive lf.: fls. terminal, solitary, the buds inclosed in a stipular spathe; sepals 3, often petaloid; petals 6-15; stamens and carpels numerous, the latter connate into a spindle, developing into a cone-like somewhat fleshy or leathery fr., with dehiscent, 1-2 seeded carpels; the large, usually scarlet seeds often suspended for a time from the fr. by thin threads.—About 35 species in N. and Cent. Amer., Himalayas and E. Asia. The wood is close-grained, usually light and satiny, but not durable; that of M. hypoleuca is much used in Japan for lacquered ware; the bark and fr. of some species have been used medicinally as a tonic and stimulant.
The magnolias are highly ornamental and popular, with large white, pink or purple, rarely yellowish flowers, often fragrant; the cone-shaped fruits are often pink or scarlet and very decorative. Most of the deciduous species are fairly hardy, at least in sheltered positions, as far north as northern New York and Massachusetts, and M. acuminata, M. Kobus and M. stellata even farther north, while M. Campbellii is the most tender. Of the evergreen species, M. grandiflora, one of the most beautiful native trees; is precariously hardy north to Philadelphia. The Asiatic deciduous species are among the most showy and striking of the early-flowering trees and shrubs; the earliest is the shrubby M. stellata, blooming in mild climates in March, and after this M. denudata comes into bloom, closely followed by M. Soulangeana and after this M. liliflora. The handsomest of the deciduous species is probably M. hypoleuca, with the very large leaves silvery white below and with showy, sweet-scented flowers; also the American M. macrophylla and M. tripetala are conspicuous by their very large foliage. The magnolias are usually planted as single specimens on the lawn, and there are, perhaps, no plants more striking against a background of dark green conifers. Some species, as M. grandiflora in the South and M. acuminata farther north, are fine avenue trees. The magnolias thrive best in somewhat rich, moderately moist and porous soil, preferring sandy or peaty loam, but some kinds which usually grow naturally on the borders of swamps, as M. glauca, thrive as well in moist and swampy situations. Transplanting is difficult and is most successfully performed just when the new growth is starting. Propagation is by seeds sown immediately or stratified, and by layers of last year's growth put down in spring and tongued or notched. Layers are usually severed and transplanted the following spring, but as many of them die after transplanting, it is a safer way to take them off early in July, when the new growth has ripened, plant them in pots and keep in a close frame until they are established. Varieties and rarer kinds are often veneer- or side-grafted in early spring or summer on potted stock in the greenhouse or frame; as a stock M. tripetala is perhaps the best on account of its better fibrous roots, which render transplanting safer, but M. acuminata is also a good stock. Sometimes increased by greenwood cuttings taken with a heel and handled under glass.
Magnolias in the South.
Among the finest magnolias cultivated in the South are the two native evergreen species, M. grandiflora and M. glauca, and the exotics M. Coco (M. pumila) and M. fuscata, the last being now referred to Michelia. Magnolia grandiflora is a noble tree. It is native of the middle and southern sections of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and the upper districts of Florida, and is recognized as one of the grandest of all broad-leaved evergreen trees. In its native habitat it attains a height of 75 to 100 feet, with very large, oval or lanceolate coriaceous leaves. The latter vary, however, from very broad to rather narrow, some with a rusty under surface, others quite smooth. The flowers vary also in size, the largest frequently measuring 10 to 12 inches in diameter when fully expanded; others do not attain more than half that size. They appear early in May, in some sections during the latter part of April, and continue until the end of June. Some trees produce a few flowers during August, and even as late as October, but these are exceptions. Each flower lasts from two to four days, when the petals fall and the cone-like fruit appears. This gradually increases in size until September, when the bright coral-red seeds are detached and hang on long filaments. The seed should be gathered when fully ripe, put in dry sand until February in the South, then in moist sand for a week or ten days, when the resinous cuticle can be removed by washing. Sow the cleaned seed in a box or cold frame, and as the plants show their second leaves pot off in small pots. In July, give a larger-sized pot, and the plants will be sufficiently large to plant in permanent place during the following autumn or winter. It is always advisable to take pot-grown plants, as they succeed better than plants taken up with bare roots. Magnolias are voracious feeders, and require rich soil and an abundance of plant-food. Their roots extend to a great length, and to bring out the stately beauty of this tree they should be given ample space. The wood is white, and valued for cabinet-work. There arc many forms cultivated in European nurseries, their main characteristics being in the size and form of the leaves and size of flowers. They are propagated by grafting, either by inarching or cleft- or tongue-graft. The latter should be done under glass, taking two-year-old pot-grown seedlings. The fragrance of the flowers varies also, some flowers being more pungent than others, but, as a rule, the fragrance is pleasant. The principal varieties are M. grandiflora var. gloriosa, with flowers often measuring 14 inches in diameter; foliage broad and massive, brown on under surface. The tree seldom grows beyond 40 feet. Var. praecox, or early-flowering. Var. rotundifolia, with very dark green roundish leaves, rusty underneath.
Magnolia glauca, the sweet bay, is an evergreen tree in the southern states, becoming deciduous northward. It attains a height of 30 feet in rich bottoms or swampy lands: leaves oval, long or elliptical, with a glaucous under surface: flowers white, 3 to 4 inches in diameter, very fragrant, and produced from May to July. This tree is not sufficiently appreciated as an ornamental in landscape gardening.
Magnolia Coco (M. pumila, or Talauma pumila) is a very dwarf Chinese species, seldom growing more than 4 or 5 feet high: leaves smooth, elliptical, sharp-pointed, coriaceous: flowers 1 to 1½ inches in diameter, white or slightly tinged green, with six to nine fleshy petals, which drop soon after the flowers expand. The fragrance is intense at night, and resembles a ripe pineapple. It thrives best in a rich, partially shaded soil, but a frost of 10° below the freezing-point will injure it. It is therefore best to grow it as a conservatory plant. Propagate by ripened wood cuttings in bottom heat. As this plant is in bloom during nearly the whole year, and its delicate fragrance is unsurpassed, it is strange that it is so little known.
Magnolia acuminata (cucumber tree) is an upright- growing variety, with spreading branches, especially desirable for the upper sections, where it attains an immense size: leaves oblong, bright green: greenish yellow flowers produced in late spring.
Magnolia cordata is an exceedingly rare variety found only near Augusta, Georgia, and the western part of South Carolina: leaves oval: flowers about 3 inches long, lemon-yellow. Forms a small tree. Does well in sandy soil.
Magnolia denudata (Yulan) is a native of China with pure white flowers produced in early spring before the leaves appear. It attains an ultimate height of not more than 20 feet.
Magnolia Fraseri has leaves 8 to 12 inches long and produces white flowers 3 to 4 inches wide. This is a hardy variety and is especially adapted to the upper section. Attains a height of 25 to 50 feet. Found naturally from Virginia to Florida.
Magnolia Kobus, from Japan, is of pyramidal growth with short and slender branches: leaves-4 to 5 inches long: flowers pure white, appearing before the leaves. A desirable early-flowering species.
Magnolia macrophylla (great-leaved magnolia) is a symmetrical-growing variety with wide, spreading branches, growing naturally as far south as Florida: leaves 18 to 24 inches in length, 9 to 10 inches wide, bright green above, silvery beneath: flowers 10 to 12 inches in diameter, white, disagreeable odor. Tree attains a height of 20 to 50 feet.
Magnolia Soulangeana (Soulang's magnolia) is a magnificent tree of garden origin and is supposed to be a hybrid between Magnolia liliflora and Magnolia denudata: leaves dark green, expanding after the flowers have passed: flowers large, cup-shaped, creamy white, more or less suffused with pink; blooms in March: hardy: ultimate height, 25 feet. Var. nigra (dark-flowered magnolia) is a variety of vigorous and robust growth: flowers large, dark purple, several shades darker than Magnolia liliflora, a free bloomer; begins to bloom in March and blooms spasmodically during the entire summer. In var. Lennei (Lenne's magnolia) the flowers are deep crimson on the outside; blooms a little later than the type. Var. speciosa is almost identical in color with the species but more cupshaped and petals broader.
Magnolia stellata (M. Halleana, starry magnolia) is of dwarf habit: flowers semi-double, pure white and very fragrant. Blooms from two to three weeks earlier than any other magnolia; very hardy.
Magnolia tripetala (umbrella magnolia) is a tree 20 to 40 feet high: leaves dark green, light underneath: flowers 8 to 10 inches in diameter, white: leaves 10 to 21 inches long, 6 to 8 inches broad. Found from Pennsylvania to Mississippi.
M. compreassa, Maxim.-Michelia compressa. — M . Dawsoniana, Rehd. & Wilson. Tree, to 35 ft.: lvs. subcoriaceous, obovate, glossy above, glabrous beneath, 3-6 in. long: fr. cylindric, 4 in. long: fls. unknown. W. China. — M. fuscata, Andr.-Michelia fuscata. — M. globosa. Hook. f. & Thorns. Allied to M. parviflora. Tree, to 40 ft. : lvs. ovate, fulvous-pubescent on the veins beneath, 5-9 in. long: stamens and pistil bright red: fr. oblong, 2 in. long. Himalayas. — M. offticinalis, Rehd. & Wilson. Closely related to M. hypoleuca. Branchlets yellowish: lvs. obovate, to 1 ½ ft. long: stamens shorter: fr. oblong-ovate, 4-5 in. long. Cent. China. — M. Sargentiana, Rehd. & Wilson. Tree, to 75 ft.: lvs. subcoriaceous, obovate, glabrous above, pubescent beneath, 4-7 ½ in. long: fr. cylindric, 4-6 in. long: fls. unknown, said to be rosy red and about 8 in. across. W, China. Var. robusta, Rehd. & Wilson. Lvs. oblong- obovate, 6-9 in. long: fr. to 7½ in. long.
Pests and diseases
Selected species of Magnolia: Note: the following list only includes temperate species; many other species occur in tropical areas. For a full list, see the Magnolia Society list
- Magnolia subgenus Magnolia: Anthers open by splitting at the front facing the centre of the flower. Deciduous or evergreen. Flowers produced after the leaves.
- Magnolia delavayi - Chinese evergreen magnolia
- Magnolia fraseri - Fraser magnolia
- Magnolia globosa - Globe magnolia
- Magnolia grandiflora - Southern magnolia or bull bay
- Magnolia guatemalensis - Guatemalan magnolia
- Magnolia lenticellata
- Magnolia macrophylla - Bigleaf magnolia
- Magnolia macrophylla subsp. ashei - Ashe magnolia
- Magnolia macrophylla subsp. dealbata - Mexican bigleaf magnolia
- Magnolia nitida -
- Magnolia obovata - Japanese bigleaf magnolia
- Magnolia officinalis - Houpu magnolia
- Magnolia sieboldii - Siebold's magnolia
- Magnolia tripetala - Umbrella magnolia
- Magnolia virginiana - Sweetbay magnolia
- Magnolia wilsonii - Wilson's magnolia
- Magnolia subgenus Yulania: Anthers open by splitting at the sides. Deciduous. Flowers mostly produced before leaves (except M. acuminata).
- Magnolia acuminata - Cucumber tree
- Magnolia amoena -
- Magnolia biondii -
- Magnolia campbellii - Campbell's magnolia
- Magnolia cylindrica -
- Magnolia dawsoniana - Dawson's magnolia
- Magnolia denudata - Yulan magnolia
- Magnolia hypoleuca - Whitebark Magnolia
- Magnolia kobus - Kobushi magnolia
- Magnolia liliiflora - Mulan magnolia
- Magnolia salicifolia - Willow-leafed magnolia
- Magnolia sargentiana - Sargent's magnolia
- Magnolia sprengeri - Sprenger's magnolia
- Magnolia stellata - Star magnolia
- Magnolia zenii -
Magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia) - a large tree at Hemingway, South Carolina
- ↑ The number of species in the genus Magnolia depends on the taxonomic view that one takes up. Recent molecular and morphological research shows that former genera Talauma, Dugandiodendron, Manglietia, Michelia, Elmerrillia, Kmeria, Parakmeria, Pachylarnax (and a small number of monospecific genera) all belong within the same genus, Magnolia s.l. (s.l. = sensu lato: 'in a broad sense', as opposed to s.s. = sensu stricto: 'in a narrow sense'). The genus Magnolia s.s. contains about 120 species. See the section Nomenclature and classification in this article.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963