Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Pretty in pink - Loebner's Magnolia

Three years ago TPP got this Loebner's magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri) 'Leonard Messel' from a big-box end of season sale for $20. It was a great bargain, and in very good shape considering its pot confinement and summer vacation in the garden shop yard. The tree is now a bit over 7 feet tall and growing very well.  It's not quite as early to flower as one of its parents, the star magnolia, which allowed it to avoid this year's mid-March freeze with very little damage to its flowers.  Although some star magnolias are pink, TPP wonders if they have some hybrid ancestry? This one's flowers are definitely pink with fewer, broader, shorter tepals than star magnolias; quite handsome in our sea of blue. In terms of growth and foliage, it looks quite like its star magnolia parent.


Anonymous said...

Dearest Phactor,

a wonderful plant fully justifying your Magnolia obsession/addiction.

The Hillier manual gives the following for the origin of 'Leonard Messel':

" A chance hybrid between an unusual M.kobus which has a pale purple line along the centre of its tepals, and M.stellata 'Rosea'. Originated at Nymans, Sussex [south of England], a great garden made by the late Col. Messel."

thanks for posting!

The Phytophactor said...

Thanks, not a surprising origin since some people think M. stellata is just a variety of M. Kobus anyways, and rosea another, e.g. Calloway's World of Magnolias. The plant labelled M. Kobus on our campus has quite big flowers with very wide tepals without a hint of pink.