One of the most important genera of hardy shrubs, comprising both evergreen and deciduous species, all distinguished by large and beautiful flowers. See Chapters 16., 18. and 19. The best known evergreen is the large-leaved grandiflora, which is often seen on house walls. The Exmouth variety is very good, and there is also a form called ferruginea. Delavayi is a modern evergreen species with large glaucous evergreen foliage from Southern China. See section on modern shrubs. Of the deciduous species, conspicua, the Yulan, which grows up to twenty feet high and has large pure white flowers in advance of the leaves in spring; Fraseri, yellow, spring, a shy bloomer; hypoleuca, cream, red anthers, sweet, spring; Lennei, purplish red, spring, a hybrid, flowers in advance of the leaves; macrophylla, white, summer; parviflora, cream, late spring; Soulangeana, rose, spring, flowers in advance of the leaves; stellata (syn. Halleana), white, spring, flowers in advance of the leaves, there is a variety rosea; and Watsoni, cream, sweet, spring, not hardy, are the most important. Acuminata, yellow, early summer; glauca, white, early summer; Kobus, purple ana white, spring; and tripetala, white, spring, are all beautiful. Alba superba is a form of conspicua, and Soulangeana is also sometimes classed as a variety of the species. Stellata flowers profusely in a young state and is exquisitely beautiful. Others are Campbelli, rustica rubra, salicifolia, cordata, glauca and pumila. Rich, loamy soil is best. Very little pruning is required. There should be as little root disturbance as possible.
Fig. Magnolia Lennei. Colour photo by R. A. Malby.
Fig. The small flowered magnolia. M. parviflora. Photo by R. A. Malby.