Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Small good things

It’s now clear that two out of the eight Magnolia ‘Ann’ cuttings I started last spring made it through the winter. Magnolias are often precocious, flowering at a tender age, but this particular baby is a little over-precocious:

The stem of this magnolia is literally under two inches tall. I took a ruler out and measured it.

I must add, I did pinch the flower bud off after I took this flower. Enthusiasm is a fine, fine thing, but seriously, a baby this small needs to put its energy into general vegetative growth, not flowers.

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3 Comments Small good things

  1. Elaine T

    That’s colored! There are magnolia’s around here, as street trees, and they all are white, so my default is ‘magnolias = white’ . Very striking, that flower.

  2. Rachel

    You most likely have southern magnolias — you’re in California, right? I bet your magnolias are evergreen trees? That is Magnolia grandiflora, a summer-flowering tree that opens a few flowers at a time — I’m guessing here, but when people say “white magnolia,” this is the species they are generally thinking of.

    I have one of those, with an added perk of a nice, strong lemon fragrance to the flowers, but my heart belongs to the spring-flowering magnolias, which belong to the other subgenus in the genus.

    Most of the members of subgenus Yulania can interbreed; ‘Ann’ is a triploid hybrid, produced by crossing M. liliiflora ‘Nigra’ and M. stellata ‘Rosea’. The color came from ‘Nigra,’ which as blooms of almost exactly the same fushia pink. For me, ‘Ann’ tends to take pretty well. 25% of the cuttings taking is about normal for this variety for me, which is way better than the zero percent luck I had with, say, ‘Woodsman.’ I’m hoping that one of the eight ‘Angelica’ cuttings took, but I’m not sure yet.

    I know ‘Ann’ can be grown in some parts of California, but I’m not sure if it can be grown throughout the state.

  3. Elaine T

    looks up photos and varieties. We seem to have the basic grandiflora, ‘bull bay’ type. Flowers, leaves, pods/buds all match.

    I didn’t know some magnolias have scented flowers, and that tulip trees are related, either. The tulip is what the city planted two of in our space. The neighbor right next door has magnolia.

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