Native Region: Eastern North America
Zone Range: 5-9
Preferred Climate: Full to semi sun; well draining humus rich acidic soils.
Harvest Date: Friday 06 January, 2012
Seed count: 12-15
One of the last magnolias to bloom in spring, its creamy white cup shaped flowers can reach 30cm across, far out sizing M. grandiflora. This hardy species looks deceptively tropical with its massive mid green leaves which have a silvery white reverse. A medium sized tree reaching 10 metres in height with near equal spread. Being relatively thin for their size, the delicate leaves can be damaged in strong winds so its best to seat the tree in sheltered sites. Wide spreading branches make it an ideal shade tree. Occasionally, a tree bears flowers that have a dark purple blotch as the petal base.
Never let magnolia seed dry out as this kills the embryo. Sow immediately 2 cm deep, keep moist, keep the pot outside to finish the cold stratification cycle of 120 days. Sunlight inhibits germination. Most seed will germinate in May with the remaining the following May. Newly emerging seedlings need indirect light/dappled shade at first then stronger light as they put down a larger root system. Protect from nibbling pests two years. Note: seed beginning to sprout are too fragile to ship (and are all mine!). All magnolias growing in temperate regions have identical seed germination requirements where no special treatment is needed other than sowing and cold stratification (experience cold damp conditions).