Magnolia 'Esveld Select'

In the 1980s, the Dutch nurseryman R. Bulk found an unusual seedling growing in Esveld nursery among a sowing of the Kobus magnolia, and took it into propagation. Mr. Bulk later called his discovery a variety. It develops into a regular, erect, strong-limbed tree which flowers a little later than the ordinary Kobus magnolias, with slightly larger flowers. The new leaves are characteristically brownish red in the same way as the well-known variety ‘Wada’s Memory’.

Although ’Esveld Select’ is listed in nursery catalogues as a Kobus magnolia (Magnolia kobus) it is believed to be a cross with another hardy Japanese species, the willow leaf magnolia (M. salicifolia). These hybrids are often produced when the original species are grown close to each other, and are known by the name Magnolia × kewensis.

There seems to have been no experience of growing 'Esveld Select' in Finland until Arboretum Mustila obtained seedlings in 2010. So far it has been one of the most vigorous and problem free of the magnolias at the Arboretum. However, only time will tell whether it will continue to thrive in the long term, because at Mustila even the hardiest magnolias are growing at the extreme limits of hardiness.


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