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Tree ID

Posted by ospreynn z7 NM (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 20:52

Hi everyone... my sister sent me a couple of pics of a cultivated tree in Indiana... she says it is fairly common there. I would like to know what it is..... Thanks

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tree ID

Magnolia x soulangeana.

RE: Tree ID

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 1:00

Straightness of branches and orientation, fragility (notice the brown line on the first flower, indicating breakage in wind) of flowers points to another kind, perhaps one of the wild Sec. Yulania species, otherwise one of the many other garden hybrids.

RE: Tree ID

it is commonly called the saucer magnolia ... and thats its coloration ... no fancy cultivar name on this one ...

and one thing for sure.. over 2 or 3 decades of having this plant...

the minute the flowers open ... we will have the first windstorm of the season.. lol ... 9 out of 10 years ...

and at least one or 2 years in that ten.. the flowers will get frost/freeze damaged ...

which is the long way of saying.. bboy is right.. but its a fact of life regarding this plant ... in the midwest ...

with last year fruit crop destroying freeze at flower bud time.. i am not sure mine bloomed at all.. last year ...

there are some magnificent plants.. in front of hundred year old houses.. all across MI ...

the scent is to die for... very tropical.. for us caught in the midwest/great white north .. without many of the tropical scented plants .... jasmine.. gardenia.. etc ....

the star of the family ... in my zone.. is the.. wait for it.. lol.. the star magnolia ... its a little more bulletproof.. and smaller all around.. including flower size ... mine is the first thing to bloom this season.. and opened in the last few days ... if you can grow the foo foo one.. she could also grow the star ....if she were so inclined ... see link

have a great day


Here is a link that might be useful: link

RE: Tree ID

Thanks guys!! your comments are greatly appreciated!! She just moved to IN, and she wants to have one of those planted here in the southwest!!! My guess is that it will die here, but it is hard to say no to my little sister....
The only magnolia that you see growing here in M. grandiflora... painfully slow grower... but there are some 30'+ specimens in town.
We have the worst spring weather anywhere in the country, in fact, spring is the harshest season for plants around here... Dry and windy.. dust storms everywhere...
I will keep in mind the star magnolia ken.... but my guess is that neither will be happy here.
bboy, what is your experience growing magnolias in the west?

RE: Tree ID

It would probably do OK if irrigated, IMHO.

RE: Tree ID

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 13:21

Really does not look like a saucer magnolia in limited view provided here. Deciduous magnolias are highly prevalent on the west coast down to southern California but I don't know about results in New Mexico. Although 30 ft. southern magnolias could be taken to imply some of the deciduous ones would be possible also - check the zoning in the Sunset Western Garden Book. I know that past editions of the book have had saucer magnolia zoned for a very wide climate range, and that they had several fairly nice examples planted where shaded by a building when I was a student at WSU during the 1970s (original dominant natural environment bunch-grass steppe, with native trees and shrubs of much height only in ravines etc. and on hills high enough to catch a little extra atmospheric moisture).

As mentioned the main recurring problem with magnolias that flower early in the year, before the leaves come out is weather damage. If you want to try saucer magnolia the best ones are 'Brozzonii' and the structurally similar 'Picture'. But I don't know where you would buy the second cultivar in particular at this time. Otherwise, one of these other hybrids might be the best bet, at least for initial experimenting ('Susan' seems to have emerged as the preferred choice):

Here is a link that might be useful: The U.S. National Arboretum presents eight hybrid magnolia cultivars affectionately known as ''The Girls.''

This post was edited by bboy on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 14:07

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