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Magnolia

Magnolia acuminata × 'Norman Gould'

This yellow-flowered and probably extremely hardy magnolia hybrid, the result of work by the American August Kehr, resembles many other yellow-flowered varieties which have become popular in North America. The yellow pigment of the flowers and the tree-like habit are inherited from the cucumber tree (M. acuminata). The foliage and flowering are more like those of its other parent, the white-flowered ‘Norman Gould’ variety, which is a Kobus magnolia whose chromosomes have been artificially doubled to make it tetraploid.

There are two plants growing in Alppiruusulaakso (Rhododendron Valley) which were planted in 2006. Unlike most magnolias they have survived the winters without problems and grown rapidly, but flowering will probably not start until they have reached some size. The scented yellow flowers open together with the foliage and, according to the literature, can last for up to a month. This hybrid is unlikely to be very tender to spring frosts because it inherits the later flowering tendency of M. acuminata, rather than that of the earlier M. kobus.

 

Magnolia × wieseneri

magnolia_wieseneri_aashild_kalleberg_kukinta_jsaarinen.jpg

This cross between the Japanese bigleaf (also called whitebark) magnolia (M. obovata) and the Siebold magnolia (M. sieboldii) just bursts with tropical luxuriance, and is very promising in Finnish conditions. Older nursery stock may be rather tender but Gothenburg Botanic Garden has produced the varieties ’Aashild Kalleberg’ and ’Swede Made’ from apparently hardy parents, which may well prove hardy in southern Finland, too.

The influence of the bigleaf magnolia is apparent in the vigorous growth, large leaves and flowers of these varieties, while the other parent, the Siebold magnolia, has contributed its shrubby habit and extra hardiness. This cross is also found in the wild in central Japan, where the parent species are in proximity. The shrubs flower about the middle of summer with scented white blossoms which have showy red stamens. Individual flowers can exceed 15 cm.

 

Magnolia × proctoriana - Proctor’s magnolia

Seed collected from willow leaf magnolias (M. salicifolia) in collections produce hybrids with star magnolia (M. stellata), and vice versa. Such hybrids appear to be among the hardiest of the magnolias. Experience in Finland so far only covers a short period but is very promising. The oldest of the shrubs at Mustila has already achieved flowering age.

Proctor’s magnolia is a very typical intermediate form between the two parent species. It has inherited from the star magnolia the large number of petals (>6) and the shrubby habit; the willow leaf magnolia’s influence can be seen in the narrow pointed leaves and their strong scent of aniseed when crushed or broken. The flowers are white, like those of both parents.

 

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