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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Magnolia campbelli -

Big beautiful magnolia. Wonderful collection at the Strybing Arboretum, they must have twenty plants, 4-5 cultivars, from white to dark red. I have seen only one here is SC, but I am sure there are more. Trees are deciduous, growing 30-60' in cultivation. Shape is hard to tell as I have never seen one growing out in the open, only surrounded by other trees and I have found them hard to photograph. Trees may take 20 plus years to bloom. By then the flowers are very high up in the tree and not easily seen. Perhaps this is why they are not planted very often. They also bloom very early making them subject to frost damage. They were blooming at the Strybing Arboretum before the M. stellata cultivars which are very early.





Leaves are alternate, simple, usually ovate but can be elliptical, 6-10" long, 4" wide, with distinct veins in the leaves, very different that the soulangiana cultivars. Lower surface is lighter green and lightly pubescent. Leaf base is often unequal.




The flowers are very similar to M. x soulangiana but larger, 6-10" wide. The middle petals (tepals) remain closed creating what they call a cup and saucer look. These are from a cultivar 'Charles Raffil' which blooms when young.





Bark is smooth, tan to gray colored. 


Misidentification:
Just about any another magnolia with pink flowers. The leaves have a distinctly different venation pattern, and the innermost tepals remain upright and enclosing the stamens. Also the trees will be very tall.

Location:
Aptos
438 Ewell Ave. Large specimen

 'Charles Raffil' - 6500 Soquel Dr. Horticulture Department in the gardens

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