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Michelia doltsopa Buch.-Ham. Ex DC.

Modern name

Magnolia doltsopa (Buch.-Ham. ex DC.) Figlar


M. excelsa Blume

A shrub or tree 20 to 40 ft high, or sometimes 50 to 80 ft in the Himalaya; young stems slightly warted, soon glabrous. Leaves of firm texture, oval-oblong, 3 to 7 in. long, 114 to 3 in. wide, tapering to an often bluntish apex, rounded to tapered at the base, dark glossy green above, pale beneath; stalk 12 to 1 in. long. Flowers very fragrant, soft pale yellow to white, solitary in the leaf-axils, very shortly stalked, 3 to 4 in. across; petals twelve to sixteen, obovate to oblanceolate, rounded at the apex, 12 to 1 in. wide. The flowers reach the bud state in autumn but do not open until the following spring. Bot. Mag., t. 9645.

Native of W. China, Tibet, and E. Himalaya. Introduced from W. China by Forrest about 1918, first flowered in this country at Caerhays Castle in Cornwall in April 1933. There are five specimens in the collection 42 to 52 ft in height, all branched from the base or near it and with girths below the spring of the branches of 414 to 534 ft (1966). It is only in the mildest parts that this species is really at home and hardy.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Caerhays, Cornwall, 69 × 734 ft and 62 × 8 + 514 ft (1984); Trewidden, Cornwall, 38 × 412 ft (1979); Trengwainton, Cornwall, 40 × 514 + 414 ft (1979).

In addition to these there is a small tree at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, against the wall of the Henry Price Memorial Garden, which flowered beautifully in 1984; and one in the National Trust garden at Trelissick, Cornwall, planted 1946, 35 ft high and 28 ft in spread.



Other species in the genus