Magnolia fordiana (Oliv.) Hu

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Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw


  • Magnolia
  • Subgen. Magnolia, Sect. Manglietia


  • Manglietia fordiana Oliv.



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Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

var. fordiana

Notes made on different coasts of the United States, two years apart, both compare Magnolia fordiana to a Ficus (of the F. elastica persuasion), on account of its glossy, broad, leathery leaves. The two trees observed were at Quarryhill (2.5 m in 2004) and the US National Arboretum (4 m in 2006) but both shared the same strictly upright stems and short spreading branches that give young trees a conical shape. Growth can be rapid, the Quarryhill tree putting on 75 cm in a year (W. McNamara, pers. comm. 2004), but specimens grown in Vancouver from a collection made by Peter Bristol, Lawrence Lee and Peter Wharton in 1988 in southern Anhui province have not performed very well, being apt to be chlorotic and of unattractive shape. Their branches are also prone to break under the weight of snow (Wharton 2007). Magnolia fordiana seems to be able to tolerate cold to about –6 °C (S. Hogan, pers. comm. 2007). It is still scarce in the United Kingdom but young plants are growing at Tregrehan. Dick Figlar (pers. comm. 2007) cautions that many plants in cultivation labelled M. fordiana are probably the very closely related M. yuyuanensis (see p. 504).


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