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Magnolia × veitchii Bean

Modern name

Magnolia × veitchii Bean

A deciduous tree already over 80 ft high in Cornwall; young wood purplish, clothed at first with appressed hairs, becoming brown the second year. Leaves obovate or oblong, mostly rounded at the base, shortly and abruptly pointed; 6 to 12 in. long, 3 to 7 in. wide, dark green when mature but purplish (especially beneath) when young, midrib and chief veins clothed with grey down; stalk 34 to 1 in. long, downy. Flowers 6 in. long, blush pink, opening in April on the naked twigs, each borne on a short thick stalk; sepals and petals nine, 112 to 2 in. wide, rounded and broadest towards the apex, tapered at the base; stamens 12 in. long.

A hybrid between M. campbellii and M. denudata, raised by the late Peter C. M. Veitch of the Royal Nurseries, Exeter, who made the cross in 1907, the seed-bearer being M. denudata. It first flowered in 1917. The hybrid is very vigorous in growth and has noble foliage; moreover it is quite hardy. I first saw the blooms in April 1919, and was much impressed by their beauty.

Five plants were raised from the original crossing in 1907, four of which bore creamy-white flowers. It is the fifth, with pink blossom showing the influence of the pollen-parent, M. campbellii, to which the name Veitchii was given. It was a creditable achievement to have hybridised two such fine magnolias.

To the above account, which has been taken almost unchanged from previous editions, it must be added that M. × veitchii has grown more vigorously than could have been expected when it was first raised. At Caerhays Castle, Cornwall, there are three specimens, planted in 1920, which measure 85 × 6 ft, 79 × 612 ft and 64 × 734 ft (1971). No other magnolia in the British Isles has attained such dimensions. Other examples are: Trewithen, Cornwall, 64 × 614 ft (1971); Lanhydrock, Cornwall, 52 × 434 ft (1971); Trewidden, Cornwall, a fine specimen only 33 ft high but 51 ft in spread (Camellias and Magnolias (1950), p. 110); West Porlock House, Somerset, pl. 1924, 62 × 614 ft (Gard. Chron. (10 May 1968), p. 6); Bodnant, Denbigh, two trees pl. 1916, both 40 × 614 ft (1966); Nymans, Sussex, 48 × 634 ft (1966). Mature trees flower with amazing profusion in some years.

Under the rules of botanical nomenclature the name M. × veitchii is applicable to any form of M. campbellii × denudata, though W. J. Bean meant it only for the pink-flowered seedling and its descendants. It is suggested that this clone should be known in future as ‘Peter Veitch’. The clonal name ‘Isca’ has already been given to the best of the white-flowered clones.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Abbotsbury, Dorset, Chapel Walk, 66 × 434 ft (1980); Caerhays, Cornwall, 95 × 634 ft, 82 × 934 ft and 88 × 714 ft (1984); Trewithen, Cornwall, 66 × 7 ft (1979); Trewidden, Cornwall, 56 × 9 + 814 ft (1979); Lanhydrock, Bodmin, Cornwall, 62 × 714 ft (1979); Trengwainton, Cornwall, 60 × 534 ft (1979); Dyffryn Garden, near Cardiff, 52 × 512 ft (1979); Bodnant, Gwyn., Pin Mill, 69 × 714 + 512 ft (1981).

See M. ‘Gresham Hybrids’ in this supplement for some recent hybrids of M. × veitchii.



Other species in the genus