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Manglietia insignis (Wall.) Bl.

Modern name

Magnolia insignis Wall.


Magnolia insignis Wall.

An evergreen tree 40 ft or more high, the young shoots, leaf-stalks, and leaf-buds more or less downy at first, becoming nearly or quite glabrous later; branchlets ringed at the joints. Leaves rather leathery, oblanceolate to narrowly oval, finely pointed, gradually tapered from the middle to the base, 4 to 8 in. long, 2 to 3 in. wide, dark glossy green above, pale and slightly glaucous beneath; stalk 12 to 1 in. long. Flowers magnolia-like, odorous, solitary, terminal, erect, 3 in. wide, opening after the young leaves. The flowers are variously described as ‘white or yellowish tinged with pink’, ‘splendid rose pink’, ‘richest creamy carmine’; sepals three; petals nine; flower-stalk stout, 34 to 1 in. long. Fruits ovoid-cylindric, 2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 112 in. wide, purple. Seeds three or four to each carpel, suspended on a slender filament on becoming free. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 443.

Native of the Himalaya, where it has long been known; found by Forrest in Yunnan in 1912 and several times since; also by Farrer in Upper Burma; both introduced seeds from which plants have been raised that are now growing in Cornwall and elsewhere. In the garden at Exbury it was 10 ft high in 1931, but had been somewhat injured during the winter of 1928-9. At Kew in a sheltered shrubbery well protected from the north and east, it was 8 ft high in 1932 and perfectly healthy, but has since died.

There is a specimen at Caerhays, Cornwall, which is 28 ft high and 434 ft in girth at 312 ft, dividing into two stems at 412 ft (1966).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Caerhays, Cornwall, pl. 1928, 66 × 1014 ft and, from Forrest 26506, 59 × 814 ft (1984); Trewithen, Cornwall, 44 × 234 ft (1973).



Other species in the genus