Sunday, December 26, 2004

Magnolia madness

We went a little overboard buying magnolia trees. The first two were the 'Jane' magnolias, previously mentioned in the scale insect blog. These were quickly followed by a 1/2 priced end of season 'Royal Star'M. stellata. That was followed by a M. sieboldii, a creamy white flower with bright red center.

The stellata looked wonderful in full bloom so after not seeing them for sale for a couple of years, the local nursey had them. We quickly picked up two more. Soon thereafter, Home Depot had them for sale at a ridiculously low price, $14.95 so we bought four. As soon as we got home we turned around and bought them out. Omygosh! we now have 13 stellata's. Interspersed between the all the stellata purchases were a M. grandiflora 'Edith Bogue' and a M. virginiana the native sweet bay magnolia whose leaves apparently can be used in flavoring food like the regular bay leaf which is a laurel.

Later, we also purchased a yellow mag. 'butterflies'. One of the local nurseries had these but the $400 price tag and 10 ft. size was too much for us to handle. So we leafed through the stack of plant and bulb catalogs and found this at Wayside Gardens. We also bought a 'galaxy' and the 'Edith Bogue' from them. I almost gave up on Wayside Gardens because the first two bareroot trees we bought, a golden raintree and stewartia, although they seemed robust, died. They were quickly and cheerfully replaced but it wasn't a good start. We haven't had any problems since so maybe we didn't plant them properly. The last magnolia I bought was a M. x loebneri "Dr.Merrill" It's supposed to be a larger version of the stella.

Well actually, that's not the last one. I made a late season purchase after trying to identify a mag. tree on the Princeton U. campus. I was looking through an old issue of Horticulture magazine and saw an article about magnolias. There was a picture of M. cylindrica "Pegasus" which looked like the tree at Princeton. Did a web search and found a wonderful mailorder resource for magnolias Gossler Farms Nursey in Oregon and bought a "Pegasus" in late October. Well that's it. I don't think I missed any.

So that makes how many?

A little obsessed??

As I sit here and look out the window with a little snow falling, the 'stellas' look great. The hairy flower and leaf buds looking like big pussywillows, makes it a wonderful winter interest shrub.

Surprisingly, magnolias along with the ginko are ancient trees, one of the first flowering plants on fossil record.


Blogger Girl Gone Gardening said...

I used to call these "tulip trees" When I was growing up. We had a very beautiful dwarf one growing on the corner of our property. Every spring it would stop trafic. People would litteraly park their cars and stare or come up to the door and ask us what it was. A couple of times we even got thank you notes in the mailbox. We were the only property that was totally lawn free..the largest property in the neighboorhood (1/3 acre) and it was so pretty almost all the neighboorhood enjoyed it. I was delighted to find out that there are wild tulip trees in Indiana. Not nearly so pretty but much taller and you know they are blooming by the perfume in the air.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

which do you think looks better? the m. stellata, royal star? or m. loebneri 'spring snow?' do you have both these?

5:07 PM  

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