Tag Archives: Yulan Magnolia

Best Magnolias

Number Three is Magnolia ‘Forrest’s Pink’

Forrest’s Pink Magnolia

Forrest’s Pink is new to our garden. I purchased it several years ago through the mail and it arrived as nothing more than a stick with several side branches. FP is coming along beautifully and I was thrilled when last fall its very first bud had formed. Forrest’s Pink purportedly flowers slightly later, which is ideal for our predictably unpredictable New England spring. I also found very appealing its descriptions of delicious shell pink blooms, without a hint of purple. Although, what is most appealing is knowing that it’s parentage is that of the Lily Tree, or Yulan Magnolia (Magnolia denudata, synonomous with M. heptapetala)–the most dreamily scented of all the magnolias.

I was excited to show you a photo of its first flower but some devilish creature chewed the bud to the base of the tree. The bud had formed very low to the ground—perhaps it made a great bunny feast. The list of critters who eat magnolia flowers is long and includes snakes, deer, squirrels, moles, mice, and opossums. In China, the sweet citrus-scented flowers of the Lily Tree are pickled and used as a flavoring for rice. The lovely ornamental seed heads of many species of magnolias provide food for a wide range of birds. Hopefully by next year at this time we will have more than one bud to gaze upon and to photograph.

Newly developing seed head of Magnolia ‘Alexandrina’

Nearly the moment the fruits of our magnolia trees ripen, they are devoured by the Catbirds and Mockingbirds.

Image of Forrest’s Pink Magnolia courtesy Google image search

Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’

Top Five Recommended Magnolias: Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’

Liv photo

When Liv was attending Boston University I would often pick her up for lunch, and if the weather were fine, we’d end up at the Arnold Arboretum. After a winter of wearying shades of gray and brown, imagine our shared delight in coming upon the lovely Magnolia ‘Elizabeth.’. Not only is her beauty great, but the sweet lemony scent, divine. Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ is a cross between Magnolia acuminata, the Cucumber Tree, a native to the eastern regions of the United States and Canada and the Yulan Magnolia (Magnolia denudata), native to China; both species are much appreciated for their heady fragrance.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden patented Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ in 1977. I find the luminous primrose yellow blossoms much, much more preferable to the more common and relatively newer cultivar, Magnolia ‘Butterflies.’ Besides, M. ‘Butterflies” has comparatively ZERO scent.

Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ is pyramidal in habit with elegantly tapered buds, characteristic of its parent the Yulan Magnolia. I would grow the Yulan Magnolia in a heartbeat if only we lived in a slightly warmer climate because it is the most dreamily scented of all the magnolias; its parentage is what gives both Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ and the Saucer Magnolias their gorgeous fragrance.

Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ grows 20 to 35 feet and does best when sited in full sun in Cape Ann gardens. Magnolias like moist soil, but hate wet feet, in other words, they require excellent drainage.