|Lenne Saucer Magnolia - Magnolia x soulangiana 'Lennei' |
Magnoliaceae - Magnolia Family. Spectacular flowers are Lenne's secret.
USDA hardiness zones: 5A through 9A
Magnolia Index | Tree Encyclopedia | Trees Index | Juglandaceae | Pinaceae
Lenne saucer magnolia is an outstanding flowering tree for specimen plantings, growing to 20 feet tall and 15 wide, with a broad, pyramidal form . Lenne saucer has a particularly outstanding floral display, with "goblet-shaped, deep magenta-purple flowers with white interior . I photographed these flowers on May 5th, near Chicago.
Most magnolias are naturally understory plants and grow well in the shade. They will, however, thrive and often flower better, when placed in sunny areas. While some magnolias tolerate moist conditions, most prefer a well-drained soil rich in organic matter. The plants will grow best in soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. Since magnolias are somewhat brittle, they should be placed them in an area protected from strong winds. Also keep in mind protection from snow. Heavy, wet snows, which can easily break branches, especially on evergreen magnolias, should be removed from the tree if possible. Magnolias generally require little pruning. .
Several species in the Magnolioideae are grown for their dried flower buds, known as xinyi, which are used medicinally. In addition, HOUPOEA officinalis (Magnolia officinalis) is extensively grown for its medicinal bark. All species in the family are ornamental, and many are grown in public and private gardens throughout much of China and in other parts of the world .
Saucer Magnolia grows best in rich, moist but well-drained soil. Will tolerate some shade, but growth may be sparse and the flowers less profuse. Saucer Magnolia dislikes dry or alkaline soil but will otherwise does well in an urban environment (although salt aerosols are to be avoided). Transplant in the spring, just before growth begins, or buy balled and burlapped or containerized plants. Older plants do not like to be pruned and large wounds may not close well .
The genus Magnolia contains about 200 species of flowering trees and shrubs, with innumerable cultivars and varieties being developed all the time. Magnolia is an ancient plant lineage, first appearing in the fossil record about 20 million years ago, while evidence of plants in the family goes back to 90 mya . Plants in Family Magnoliaceae are trees or shrubs, deciduous or evergreen, usually with perfect flowers .
Having evolved before pollinators in Hymenoptera (bees, wasps & ants) appeared, the progenitors of our modern ornamental magnolias relied on beetles for their sexual gratification. Their large, showy flowers are a direct result of the plant's strengthening its delicate flower parts against the beetle's comparitively "rough handling" while feeding on pollen.
Left: Primitive beetle ancestor inside 50 million year old Baltic amber .
Family Salicaceae -- Willow, Cottonwood, Aspen
There are only two genera in this family, Salix (willows), with about 300 species, and Populus (poplars), with barely 40 species. Salicaceae are found throughout the temperate parts of the world, with the majority of species occurring in the north; both willows and poplars have a strong affinity for water, and are commonly found near ponds and along watercourses.
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