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This article appeared in Bean as Manglietia insignis
An evergreen tree 40 ft or more high, the young shoots, leaf-stalks, and leaf-buds more or less downy at first, becoming nearly or quite glabrous later; branchlets ringed at the joints. Leaves rather leathery, oblanceolate to narrowly oval, finely pointed, gradually tapered from the middle to the base, 4 to 8 in. long, 2 to 3 in. wide, dark glossy green above, pale and slightly glaucous beneath; stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Flowers magnolia-like, odorous, solitary, terminal, erect, 3 in. wide, opening after the young leaves. The flowers are variously described as ‘white or yellowish tinged with pink’, ‘splendid rose pink’, ‘richest creamy carmine’; sepals three; petals nine; flower-stalk stout, 3⁄4 to 1 in. long. Fruits ovoid-cylindric, 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide, purple. Seeds three or four to each carpel, suspended on a slender filament on becoming free. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 443.
Native of the Himalaya, where it has long been known; found by Forrest in Yunnan in 1912 and several times since; also by Farrer in Upper Burma; both introduced seeds from which plants have been raised that are now growing in Cornwall and elsewhere. In the garden at Exbury it was 10 ft high in 1931, but had been somewhat injured during the winter of 1928–9. At Kew in a sheltered shrubbery well protected from the north and east, it was 8 ft high in 1932 and perfectly healthy, but has since died.
There is a specimen at Caerhays, Cornwall, which is 28 ft high and 43⁄4 ft in girth at 31⁄2 ft, dividing into two stems at 41⁄2 ft (1966).
specimens: Caerhays, Cornwall, pl. 1928, 66 × 101⁄4 ft and, from Forrest 26506, 59 × 81⁄4 ft (1984); Trewithen, Cornwall, 44 × 23⁄4 ft (1973).