Magnolia ‘Star Wars’

4 May

Magnolia 'Star Wars' (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Mid to late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 6m

Eventual Spread: 6m

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

Family: Magnoliaceae

Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ is a deciduous large shrub or small tree with a bushy habit. Its glossy mid green leaves are elliptic with entire margins, up to 20cm long and 7cm broad. Its bark is quite smooth and grey. Its fragrant pink flowers emerge from large buds and open to saucer shape and are up to 25cm across. Its fruit appear as groups of red seeds.

Magnolia ‘Star Wars’, commonly known as Magnolia, is a cross between Magnolia campbellii and Magnolia lilliflora. This cross was produced by Oswald Blumhart of New Zealand.

Magnolia 'Star Wars' Flower (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ Flower (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Magnolia was named after Pierre Magnol, a 17th century French botanist.

The landscape architect may find Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ useful as a spring flowering specimen large shrub/ small tree. It prefers a sheltered location.

Ecologically, Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ flowers are attractive to some pollinating insects. Its fruit are attractive to some birds.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2002.

Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ prefers moist, humus rich, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers a neutral to acidic pH of soil.

Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ requires little maintenance. Pruning, if required, should be carried out in midsummer.

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5 Responses to “Magnolia ‘Star Wars’”

  1. Doretha Hodo 05/05/2013 at 08:42 #

    Does the tree of Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ survive during winter? How will it look like?

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 07/05/2013 at 07:41 #

      The Magnolia will survive the English winter but needs a sheltered spot and looks like the first image on the post but with no flowers.

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 12/05/2013 at 12:19 #

      Magnolia ‘Star Wars’ is a deciduous tree and will therefore be just branches and stems during the winter months, similar to the image of the tree but without the flowers, I think it is actually quite an attractive form. It will survive winter temperatures to about -17ºc.

  2. Alan 22/03/2014 at 18:33 #

    Described as a bush or a small tree I only seem to find Garden Centre Star Wars in a 2m high variety that has a straight central trunk with very evenly spaced branches all at around 45 degrees to the main trunk. Can I buy one with more tree like open and random branch growth pattern on a central trunk without severely pruning the garden centre variety over a number of years, or is this the shape expected of Star Wars Magnolias?

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 27/03/2014 at 14:44 #

      I would suggest you would be able to find one with a more random branch pattern, I am unaware of the form you describe as being standard industry practice for this Magnolia. Maybe have a chat with staff at you garden centre and see if they can source one with a more natural habit for you.

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