MAGNOLIA ACUMINATA.--Cucumber Tree. North America, 1736. This is a large
and handsome species, of often as much as 50 feet in height, and with a
head that is bushy in proportion. The leaves are 6 inches long, ovate
and pointed, and of a refreshing shade of green. Flowers
greenish-yellow, sweetly scented, and produced abundantly all over the
tree. They are succeeded by small, roughish fruit, resembling an infant
, but they usually fall off before becoming ripe.
M. CAMPBELII.--Sikkim, 1868. This is a magnificent Indian species, but,
unfortunately, it is not hardy except in the favoured English and Irish
localities. The leaves are large, and silky on the undersides, while the
flowers are crimson and white, and equally as large as those of the
better-known M. grandiflora.
M. CONSPICUA (_syn M. Yulan_).--Yulan. China, 1789. A large-growing
shrub, with Pea-green, deciduous foliage, and large, pure white flowers
that oft get damaged by the spring frosts. M. conspicua Soulangeana is a
supposed hybrid between M. conspicua and M. obovata. Whatever may be the
origin of this Magnolia, it is certainly a handsome and showy plant of
very vigorous growth, producing freely its white, purple-tinted flowers,
and which last for a long time in perfection. There are several other
varieties, including M. conspicua Soulangeana nigra, with dark purplish
flowers; M. conspicua Alexandrina, M. conspicua Soulangeana speciosa,
and M. conspicua Norbertii.
M. CORDATA, a native of the Southern Alleghanies (1801), is still rare
in collections. It is a small-growing, deciduous species, with yellow
flowers, that are neither scented nor showy.
M. FRASERI (_syn M. auriculata_).--Long-leaved Cucumber Tree. North
America, 1786. This species has distinctly auriculated leaves and large,
yellowish-white, fragrant flowers.
M. GLAUCA.--Laurel Magnolia. North America, 1688. This is one of the
commonest species in our gardens, and at the same time one of the
hardiest. It is of shrub size, with Laurel-like leaves, and
sweetly-scented, small, pure white flowers, produced about the end of
M. GRANDIFLORA.--North America, 1737. One of the handsomest species,
with very large, glossy, evergreen leaves, and deliciously odoriferous,
creamy-white flowers, that are often fully 6 inches across. It is
usually seen as a wall plant, and the slight protection thus afforded is
almost a necessity in so far as the development of the foliage and
flowers is concerned. M. grandiflora exoniensis (Exmouth Magnolia) is a
very handsome form.
M. LENNEI.--This is a garden hybrid between M. conspicua and M. obovata
discolor, and has flowers as large as a goose's egg, of a rosy-purple
colour, and produced profusely.
M. MACROPHYLLA.--North America, 1800. This species has very large leaves
and flowers, larger, perhaps, than those of any other species. They are
very showy, being white with a purple centre. It attains a height of 30
M. OBOVATA DISCOLOR (_syn M. purpurea_).--Japan, 1790. This is a
small-growing, deciduous shrub, with large, dark green leaves, and
Tulip-shaped flowers, that are purple on the outside and almost white
M. PARVIFLORA, from Japan, with creamy-white, fragrant flowers, that are
globular in shape, is a very distinct and attractive species, but cannot
generally be relied upon as hardy.
M. STELLATA (_syn M. Halleana_).--Japan, 1878. A neat, small-growing,
Japanese species, of bushy habit, and quite hardy in this country. The
small, white, fragrant flowers are produced abundantly, even on young
plants, and as early as April. One of the most desirable and handsome of
the small-growing species. M. stellata (pink variety) received an Award
of Merit at the meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society on March 28,
1893. This bids fair to be really a good thing, and may best be
described as a pink-flowered form of the now well-known and popular
M. UMBRELLA (_syn M. tripetala_).--Umbrella Tree. North America, 1752. A
noble species, with large, deep green leaves, that are often 16 inches
long. It is quite hardy around London, and produces its large, white,
fragrant flowers in succession during May and June. The fruit is large
and showy, and of a deep purplish-red colour.