Magnolia ‘Kewensis’

30 Apr

Magnolia x kewensis Flower (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ Flower (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Full sun in a sheltered position

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 12m

Eventual Spread: 9m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Magnoliaceae

Magnolia 'Kewensis' in Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ in Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ is a slow growing, deciduous, rounded large shrub/ small tree. Its mid green leaves are simple, ovate to obovate with entire margins and opposite. Its bark is an attractive gray colour. Its fragrant white flowers are stellate shaped and arranged solitary. Its fruit is green in colour and they appear as follicles. 

Magnolia ‘Kewensis’, commonly known as Kew Magnolia, is a hybrid between Magnolia kobus and Magnolia salicifolia. It has been recorded in the wild where these two species intersect in their native Japan. Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ is synonymous with Magnolia x Kewensis.

Magnolia 'Kewensis' Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Magnolia was named after Pierre Magnol, a 17th century French botanist. Kewensis means ‘of or from Kew Gardens, UK’, from where it was formally created. 

The landscape architect may find Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ useful as a spring flowering specimen large shrub/ small tree. It should be sheltered from strong winds and late frosts, where possible.

Ecologically, Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ is attractive to bees and pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the variety Magnolia x kewensis ‘Wada’s Memory’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Magnolia x kewensis (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil, although it dislikes chalk soils

Magnolia ‘Kewensis’ requires little maintenance. If pruning is required it should be carried out in mid summer.

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