The evergreen Magnolia is considered with its deciduous relatives as one of the most magnificent of flowering trees. Originally introduced from the United States to England in the early 18th Century. The name Magnolia was coined in recognition of Pierre Magnolia the French Botanist (1638-1715). Magnolias are considered to be an ancient flowering plant bearing the largest individual flowers of any tree or shrub that can be cultivated in temperate climates.
One of the only broad leaved evergreen trees that can be cultivated in a wide range of climatic conditions. M. grandiflora and its cultivars all require organic, well-drained soils with summer irrigation for success. Once established in reasonably good soils, this irrigation can be reduced to monthly deep irrigation, but in all but the best sites, weekly irrigation is required. Bull Bay Magnolia and all of the other evergreen magnolias require protection from hot winds, especially dry, northerly winds. These magnolias grow best with an easterly exposure and northerly protection. Magnolias have very coarse root systems, and once planted out of the container, they should have as little root disturbance as possible.
‘Little Gem’: Magnolia ‘Little Gem’ has come a long way from its seedling origins in Candor North Carolina in the US. This tree was raised from local seed and showed very early promise. After 16 years, the original seedling was 4.5 metres tall, and about 1.4 metres in diameter. This compact size is accompanied by an abundance of creamy white flowers and elegant foliage: ‘Little Gem’ was considered a success.
Over the last 10 years, the success of ‘Little Gem’ has proven itself successful in Australia. This magnolia is highly sought after for its excellent compact growth, its glossy dark green foliage and its great flowers. The flowers aren’t quite as large as on full-size M. grandiflora, but they are produced in abundance and are long lasting. Most flowers will emerge in summer, but whenever the day temperature stays above 20°C for more than a few days, flowers will start forming.
‘St. Mary’: This is the first clone of Magnolia grandiflora selected and named within the U.S.A. by W.B. Clarke Nursery of San Jose, California. ‘Saint Mary’ originated from a seedling purchased originally by the Glen Saint Mary Nursery , Florida around 1905.
Described as a bushy compact form, growing to an eventual height of 6m. This clone has a quicker growth rate to that of ‘Little Gem’. Features creamy white solitary flowers and bright green glossy leaves with wavy margins. Leaves are not as hairy on the underside as in the larger forms of the species.
‘Exmouth’: A more upright habit in form than many other Magnolia grandiflora, this is a very old selection raised in Exmouth UK by Sir John Colliton in the early 18th century. Has been popular in gardens and nurseries for more than two hundred years. This form features a particularly upright habit and particularly vigorous growth to a height of 8 –10m. Proven to be very useful in many street and other landscape situations. Features long narrow leaves tending to curve along the edges. Should flower over a long period through summer to late autumn.
street tree parks
water retentive soils; heat