Magnolias are among the most popular trees: they are an unforgettable view, with their delicate petals that grow directly from the branches –even before the leaves are grown– to welcome Spring. Everyone can benefit from growing a Magnolia, considering the many varieties with different growth habits and dimensions. They can be planted in big parks, small gardens or even in big pots, in order to be put on balconies and terraces. The most popular cultivated variety is the Magnolia Soulangeana, a hybrid of M. Liliflora and M. Denudata, a small shrub that grows slowly and, as years go by, can develop into deciduous trees, producing huge cupped flowers in Spring, white on the inside and pink on the outside. Another popular variety is the M. Stellata, which has big star-shaped flowers of a candid white colour, blooming on the bare tree. Many other species exist, e.g. M. Kobus, M. Obovata, M. Officinalis, which are usually cultivated in botanical gardens or by collectors, and are not easily found in nurseries, despite being delicate and lovely plants. These plants are rustic as well and can easily be grown in gardens.
M. KOBUS= It produces small white perfumed flowers and reaches its maximum flowering between March and April. It is native to Japan and is among the easiest varieties to cultivate, since it can stand calcareous soil and is thus a good rootstock. It can stand low temperatures, up to -15 °C.
M. HEAVEN SCENT= Deciduous shrub that produces numerous calix pink and perfumed flowers that have a central magenta stripe in March-April, before leaves appear. It can exceed 8m in height. It loves acid soils, well drained and rich in peat and humus. Drainage is essential: potential water stagnation can cause root rot and the death of the plant.
M. STELLATA= Rather robust plant, it can well stand low temperatures, even extreme ones far below zero. It has a shrubby and rounded growth habit and have branches of a wonderful pink-silver colour. It can reach 3m in height in planted in open ground, but it doesn’t grow much if planted in pot. Its flowers, particularly perfumed, adorn the bare branches: leaves will only grow after flowering.
M. LILLIFLORA NIGRA= Magnolia variety native to China. It has an abundant flowering in April. Its flowers look like those of the M. Susan, but are of a slightly darker purple. It is resistant to all soils and temperatures.
M. SUSAN= Deciduous and floriferous plant. Its flowers resemble tulips. It is rustic and loves fresh soils. Its flowers are crimson and perfumed.