Native Region: Eastern North America
Zone Range: 5-9
Preferred Climate: Full to semi sun; well draining humus rich soils
Harvest Date: Sunday 04 November, 2012
Seed count: 12-15
Aptly named for the terminal whorl of leaves arranged like spokes of an umbrella. An unfortunate unimaginative common name for such a lovely North American native species. If your looking for a magnolia with huge lush tropical looking leaves and large fragrant ivory white flowers for a shady moist spot in the garden other than M. virginiana, this is a good canadate. Reaches 8 metres in height with a 4 metre spread. Known to flower in 7 years after germinating from seed. Fast growing. Will push out suckers when happy.
Don't let the tri (three) + petala (petals) fool you, even Linnaeus got it wrong when endowing the species name. There are 9 petals (petals are actually tepals for all Magnolia) and a reddish boss of staemens.
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).