Magnolia figo (Lour.) DC.

TSO logo

Sponsor this page

For information about how you could sponsor this page, see How You Can Help

Credits

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Magnolia figo' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/magnolia/magnolia-figo/). Accessed 2019-10-18.

Genus

Synonyms

  • Michelia figo (Lour.) Spreng.
  • Michelia amoena Q.F. Zheng & M.M. Lin

Glossary

androecium
Collective name for the male sex organs in a flower (e.g. the stamens).
brachyblast
A short lateral flower-bearing shoot in Magnolia (primarily in species formerly in Michelia).
gynoecium
The female sex organs in a flower (e.g. carpels).

References

There are currently no active references in this article.

Credits

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Magnolia figo' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/magnolia/magnolia-figo/). Accessed 2019-10-18.

This species was described by Bean (B738), who called it a ‘cheerful evergreen’ and assessed it as hardy in the milder parts of the British Isles. Several varieties have since been recognised, however, and a key for these is presented below. Recent selections available in commerce include ‘Port Wine’, ‘Purple Queen’, and ‘Stubbs Purple’ with a strong purplish suffusion through the tepals. ‘Stubbs Purple’ is said to be hardier than most (Eisenhut 2008). It is not clear if these darker-flowered cultivars are referable to var. figo or var. crassipes. The taxonomy of the plant formerly known as Michelia skin-neriana is dubious (see below) but it is horticulturally distinct, and the name Magnolia figo Skinneriana Group is provided here to recognise these differences.

 

1a.

Shrub or tree to 5 m tall; leaves 7–13 × 2.5–4 cm with 6–9 pairs of lateral veins; brachyblast 0.3–0.4 cm long; flowers purple or reddish purple with thin tepals 1.8–2 cm long, gynoecium shorter than androecium; China (north Guangdong, northeast Guangxi)

var. crassipes

1b.

Shrub or tree to 15 m tall; leaves 2–12 × 1.5–4.5 cm with 7–13 pairs of lateral veins; brachyblast 0.4–2.7 cm long; flowers white or yellow with thick tepals 1.5–2.5 cm long, gynoecium longer than androecium

2

2a.

Branchlets dark grey to brown; leaves with 7–12 pairs of lateral veins; China (Anhui, Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Zhejiang)

var. figo

2b.

Branchlets tan to tawny; leaves with 10–13 pairs of lateral veins; China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang)

Skinneriana Group

 


var. crassipes (Y.W. Law) Figlar & Noot.

Synonyms
Michelia crassipes Y.W. Law

Var. crassipes appears to be reasonably distinct from typical Magnolia figo, as its flowers are a different colour (purple, vs. creamy white or yellow in var. figo) and it forms a small tree of 5 m or less. It also has a short, stout brachyblast and fewer lateral veins in the leaves. Figlar 2005b. Distribution CHINA: northern Guangdong, northeast Guangxi, southern Hunan. Habitat Forests between 300 and 700 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 7b. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration Liu et al. 2004; NT488.

In addition to the botanical distinctions noted above, var. crassipes has certain horticultural differences that make it more useful in the garden than var. figo. Most valuable of these is that its flowers last for two to three days, instead of one, and are a good dark red. The plant itself tends to be of denser habit and has thicker leaves.

Feedback

A site produced by the International Dendrology Society through the support of the Dendrology Charitable Company.

For copyright and licence information, see the Licence page.

To contact the editors: info@treesandshrubsonline.org.