Vorwort

1983 hatte ich nach Besuchen der Insel Mainau (Bodensee) den ersten Kontakt mit der Magnolia grandiflora. Die schalenförmige, ca. 25 cm große, weiße Blüte hatte es mir angetan. Über die DDG (Deutsche Dendrologische Gesellschaft) kam ich zur Magnolia Society in den USA. USA-Expeditionsreisen und Reisen mit der ICS nach China (Yünnan und Setchuan) folgten. Von da an explodierte der Garten. Heute habe ich mehr als zehn in Deutschland winterharte Magnolia grandiflora’s im Garten und über 40 hoffnungsvolle Sämlinge auf dem Versuchsfeld. Zur Vermehrung gelangen nur Sämlinge und bewurzelte Stecklinge (cuttings). Veredlungen (grafts) vermeide ich, da diese sich freimachen können. Besonders wertvolle Sorten müssen dann auf bekannten winterharten Unterlagen veredelt werden. Was bei den Magnolien bereits selektiert wurde, ist bei den Trachies und im Extremfall Jubaeen noch Zukunftsmusik.

Beschreibung der Magnolia grandiflora

Magnolia grandiflora – the grandest of all trees – is an evergreen tree reaching 100 feet (30m) tall and 3 feet (Im) trunk in diameter. Trees are usually rounded to pyramidal in shape with a straight trunk and light brown to gray bark. The twigs and terminal buds are yellowish green to brown and pubescent, becoming dark brown to black and glabrous with age. The elliptic or ovate to obovate leaves are 2-12 in. (5-30 cm) long and 1-5 in. (2-12 cm) wide. Leaves are dark green and glossy above, light green to brown and pubescent to tomentose beneath, with an acut apex and cuneate base. The petioles are 0.5-2 in. (1-5 cm) long, brown, and pubescent.

The intensely fragrant flowers are 6-12 in. (15-30 cm) across and white or cream white with 9-15 spatulate to ovate tepals 2-6 in. (5-15 cm) long and 1-4 in. (2.5-10 cm) wide and usually concave. The stames are 0.5 -1 in. (1.3-2.5 cm) long and cream-colored with crimson bases. The gynoecium is crimson and pubescent. The pedices are 0.5-2 in. (1.3-5 cm) long, stout, and covered with chestnut brown tomentum. The folicetum is ovoid, 2-5 in. (5-12.5 cm) long, yellowish or reddish brown, and densely pubescent. The outer seed coat is red, orange, or rarely yellow. Chromosome number: 2 n = 114. Magnolia grandiflora is native to moist woods in coastal plain from central Florida north to NC, and west to TX. It is rarely found more than 150 miles miles inland but occurs in southern Arkansas. Magnolia grandiflora is highly variable in habit, leaf and flower size, color and amount of indumentum on the lower surface of the leaves, fruit caracteristics, hardiness, ease of propagation, and age of maturation. This variability is due, in part, to its broad natural range, or it may be due to the fact that magnolia grandiflora is a natural hexaploid.

Most magnolia grandifora require substantial summer heat to thrive and develop winter hardiness. The cultivars ‚Victoria‘, ‚BBB‘ (Bracken’s Brown Beauty), ‚Wagner‘, ’24 below‘, and ‚Simpson’s Hardy‘ and ‚Phil Savage‘ are exceptionally hardy and perform well in cool (summer) areas.

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Magnolia grandiflora, 5. August 2004