Magnolia × soulangiana
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Deciduous tree/shrub, 10-15(20)ft [3-4.5(6) m], multistemmed, upright when young, at maturity a low-branched tree with wide spreading branches. Bark is gray and usually smooth. Leaves alternate, simple, 8-15 cm long, half as wide, obovate to broad-oblong, apex narrow and abruptly short-pointed, dark green above and pubescent below. Flowers appear before leaves, solitary, perfect, bell-shaped, 13-25 cm diameter, and usually 9 petals, white to pink to purplish (outside petals often purplish). Fruit cluster cylindric, to 10 cm long, asymmetric, seeds red.
- Sun. 3-5 years to flower.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (4) 5 May survive in Zone 4 but often the flower buds are killed in winter or the blooms damaged by spring frost (Snyder, 2000). Caution: senescent petals falling onto sidewalks and stairs can create a slippery surface, especially in the rain.
A hybrid of M. denudata by M. liliiflora, first developed in France in about 1826. Now many cultivars, some of those grown by Oregon's wholesale nurseries include:
- ‘Alexandrina’ - flowers large, rose-purple outside and pure white inside, blooms in midseason, before leaves emerge; more than one clone offered under this name, vary some in color.
- ‘Coates’ - upright shrub, rapid grower, becoming rounded, to about 25 ft (8 m) tall, large flowers, light pink on the outside, white inside, Zone 5.
- ‘Lennei’ - very upright shrub, than oval to flat in outline, flowers deep pink (some say dark purplish), white inside.
- ‘Rustica Rubra’ - vigorous, more tree-like than many other cultivars, to 25 ft (8 m), large rose-red flowers, over 5 inches (13 cm) wide, inside white; blooms somewhat past midseason.
- ‘Speciosa’ - upright, usually a multi-stemmed, spreading tree, flowers are white with purplish flush at the base, outer petals (tepals) slightly reflexed; blooms late
- soulangiana: after Etienne Soulange-Bodin, Director of France's Royal Inst. Hort., who raised the original seedling.
- Corvallis: west side of Central Park
- Oregon State Univ. campus: several in front of the Memorial Union.