Saturday, April 12, 2008


Three of these Magnolias are the second earliest to bloom. The earliest M. Stellata and M. 'Merrill' are still hanging on but just barely with 3 days of warm temperatures in the low to mid 70's.

I added this picture today, Sunday of the M. 'Butterflies'. I've had trouble taking pictures of trees. It seems there are so many distracting elements which become prominent and the subject less so. I took the photo from an upstairs (dirty) window to eliminate unwanted things but the glass reflected the curtains so there appears to be a haze on the left side of the picture. Oh well, this is the best I can do to show how the whole tree looks and just how covered with flowers it is.

Here's another photo taken from slightly above ground level from our deck.

M. 'Butterflies' The yellowest if that's a word, of all the Magnolia flowers. The tree is covered with blossoms like butterflies on a shrub. This is the second year this tree is blooming and the flowers seem smaller than last year but may increase in size when they fully open.

Magnolia 'Jane'. A very commonly sold variety and one of the "Little Girls" series of hybrid Magnolia: Ann, Betty, Jane, Judy, Randy, Ricki and Susan. From the site: "Little Girl Hybrid Magnolias is a group of hybrids resulting from crosses made at the United States National Arboretum in Washington D.C. in the 1950's of M. liliiflora ‘Nigra’ and M. stellata ‘Rosea’. This group of large shrubs or small trees produces outstanding floral display in early spring and blooms later than the M. stellata."

I've never really cared for the look of these flowers but for some reason it looks very good this year so I may have to change my mind. I think my opinion is clouded by the fact that I had to remove a larger 'Jane' which was infested with the giant magnolia scale insect and the tree, possibly weakened by the infestation was prone to powdery mildew.

Magnolia Soulangeana, saucer Magnolia, Rustica Rubra. This is the first year this small tree is blooming. I didn't realize there were so many varieties of saucer Magnolias but the Clemson University site lists several. " * ‘Brozzonii’ – A large plant (25 to 30 feet tall) with large white flowers, lavender-pink at the base. A late bloomer. May not be as fragrant.
* ‘Grace McDade’ – This plant has a loose, shrubby habit. Flowers are large, white inside and lavender-pink outside.
* ‘Lennei’ – This stiff, broad shrub has huge flowers, white inside with dark purplish-magenta outside. It flowers late, and usually sporadically into the summer. The leaves are larger than most.
* ‘Rustica Rubra’ – This is possibly a seedling of ‘Lennei,’ but is a larger and looser shrub. Flowers are rose-red with white inside.
* ‘San Jose’ – This is an early bloomer with large, fragrant, rosy purple flowers. A vigorous grower.
* ‘Speciosa’ – This late-flowering, dense tree has white blooms with flushed purple at the base.
* ‘Verbanica’ – This is a slow-growing late bloomer. Flowers are rose pink outside, with white at the tips. Young plant blooms profusely."

Magnolia 'Vulcan'. We bought this tree about 3 or 4 years ago from Wayside Gardens and it was touted to be one of the "reddest" of all Magnolias. I'm quite disapointed in the color. It looks more magenta than red and in fact look quite pink. The inside is an even lighter pink so I think it's fallacious to call it a red magnolia. The 'Jane' is a deeper shade of magenta.

Three Magnolia 'Stellata' trees at the north side of the house still blooming. The coolness has kept these trees from blooming earlier so they've kept their blossoms longer than the ones in warmer locations.


Blogger kate smudges said...

Hi Ki,

You have an incredible assortment of Magnolia blooms. The Magnolia 'Butterflies' is an attractive shade of yellow and has so many blooms. Wow - I like the look of your upstairs- window photograph.

The Magnolia 'Jane' is a lovely shade of pink.

You are lucky!

12:40 PM  
Blogger DeeMom said...

Guess what...I just got the JANE, we have yet to decided which FULL SUN location to plant her...

1:48 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

You do have some beautiful magnolias. My aunt and uncle were very fond of the magnolias as well and had several unusual varieties. I just have the one star magnolia which was once in front of my house and my Husband and son moved it a couple of years ago.

When I was interviewing arborists to take care of my trees, one mentioned about the magnolia scale all over it. I got a systemic that treated for magnolia scale and voila! No more scale. I haven't seen any on that tree since either.

The area the tree was moved to is on the north side of the house in full sun. It seems happy there.

I've also noticed that there are "on" years and "off" years for these plants. This is an "on" year and even though it is still getting settled in it's newer home (this is the start of the 2nd growing season in this new spot) it is still as beautiful as it ever was.

I lke your magnolias. They are quite beautiful.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate,
We or rather I went a little crazy with the magnolias :) I added another photo of the butterflies which I took from the deck. It was rather overcast this afternoon so the bright yellow flowers showed up better against the darker Douglas firs. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the 'Jane' was this year. Hope to see your hepaticas soon. Thanks for your always welcomed comments.


Hi Deemom, Wonderful! Just be sure it's in an airy location so the leaves don't remain wet very long because it tends to get powdery mildew. And watch out for the giant magnolia scale. This tree seems to be prone to getting the scale.


Hi Julie,
At first I thought the giant magnolia scale was kinda neat until the infestation got out of hand. I hate using chemical sprays so I used to hand pick the scales but even if I thought I got every last one of them, more seem to appear. I finally used Volck oil spray as well as some organic insecticidal soap but it didn't work. I've used some systemic insecticides in the past for indoor plants but since the product is quite toxic I discontinued its use. Since the tree was extremely stressed and the situation didn't seem to be any better I got rid of the tree. I was afraid the scale would infest other trees because I believe there is a stage in its growth that it becomes airborne to start another colony somewhere else. In fact about three of our stellatas had a few of the scales but they were apparently too few to colonize the trees, thank heaven.

I hope your Stellata is over the transplant shock and is thriving now. When I walk my dog in an older neighborhood I see stellatas that are huge, possibly 25 feet or taller with a similar diameter spread. Quite a lovely tree. Stay tuned for the summer blooming Grandiflora, Virginiana and Seiboldii. Thanks for stopping by.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Phillip said...

The yellow magnolia is just magnificent!

7:04 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Phillip,
I haven't seen very many yellow magnolias any where. There is one other 'Butterflies' in the neighborhood but I haven't seen any others except at a tree nursery. They had one other variety, I think it may have been 'Yellow Bird' but the flower was much paler in comparison with 'Butterflies'. I actually bought this tree as a magnolia 'Sieboldii' a white flower with dark pink/red center. But when it flowered it was actually a 'Butterflies'. Good thing because the 'butterflies' I planted in the front yard died. I subsequently bought a 'Sieboldii' last year. Whew! confusing no?

8:47 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oh I love the buttery yellow of your 'Butterflies,' Ki! And the more you show of these beautiful trees, the more you're convincing me that you really you must have an arboretum at your place. :)

Is the tree that's absolutely covered in white blooms behind the 'Butterflies' in the picture from the deck another stellata? Wow.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim,
The yard is jam packed. I think at last count, we had 21 magnolias ;) Luckily the trees are all small so most can still be called a large shrub. In a few years it will be a jungle. My, ooooh! there's an empty spot landscaping style doesn't allow for plant growth. On the other hand, I'm fast getting very good at pruning! Six years ago when we moved here we had no shade. Now we have nothing but shade so we have to buy shade loving understory plants.

The tree behind the 'Butterflies' is a Yoshino cherry. I have more photos of it that I'll show after Bloom Day.

5:46 PM  
Blogger joco said...

What an amazing collection. And all trees covered in such a profusion of flowers.

I had to smile about the shots through a none-too-clean upstairs window. Did the same thing when we had a sudden snowfall last week, as I was too chicken to go out into the cold :-)
Have you washed them yet? I can't easily reach mine without a ladder.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Joco,
Thank you for your comment. We have no excuse for not cleaning the windows except for sloth. We have tilt in windows so can easily reach the outside of the windows without a ladder. :* I hate household chores so the garden gets most of my time and attention ;)

3:48 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

lol re: "ooooh! there's an empty spot landscaping style"... I think I know that one a little too well, myself. :) Looking forward to seeing more pictures of the cherry.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim,
Hopefully will post pics of the cherry soon along with a bunch of other photos. Our yard contrasts markedly from our neighbor's which is austerely landscaped in a formal style with lots of shaped shrubs and almost no blooming things.

7:08 PM  
Blogger f said...


I just bought a Magnolia Jane, and I was wondering how close/far should I plant the tree from my house?

Thanks for any help.


11:18 PM  

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