Sweetly fragrant flowers adorn the branches of the Chinese willowleaf magnolia in early spring, followed by comparatively narrower oval leaves. In its native China, this tree's common name is "hope of spring." Often growing from multiple thin trunks, this deciduous magnolia attains an oval silhouette when mature. It was first introduced into North American landscapes in the late 1970s.
Branch tips display long, upright flower buds with a fuzzy surface and tan color--almost like massive pussy willows. Traditionally, the Chinese dried these flower buds to use as medicine. In very early spring the buds open to reveal narrow white petals, often with a streak of violet or pink. The flower center is light yellow from a cluster of anthers. By late mid-spring, the leathery green leaves appear. Each blade is a narrow oval, but they do not approach a lance-like shape as the common name "willowleaf" evokes. In autumn the leaves become muted light yellow with blushes of pink or burgundy.
Grow Chinese willowleaf magnolia in full to partial sun in a humus-rich, fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Acidic to neutral soils are best, as they prevent nutrient deficiencies. In hotter or drier climates, afternoon shade prevent leaf scalding and diminishes need to irrigate the shallow root system. Mulch over the soil conserves moisture and keeps the root cool. Grow this rare magnolia--hard to find in American nurseries--as a specimen tree on the edge of woodlands or in a park lawn, cemetery or spacious garden. (info source: Learn2Grow)
Genus - Magnolia
Species - Biondii
Common name - Chinese Willowleaf Magnolia
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 9
Height - 30'-55' / 9 - 17 m
Spread - 15'-20' / 4.60 - 6 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, laom, Sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Shade Trees
Germination rate - 90%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White-pink
|Germination||1. Soak the seeds in water to soften the coating. Change the water every day for 3 or 4 days. Use your fingers or rub between paper towels to wash the coating off. |
2. Stratify the seeds in the refrigerator for 30-40 days in a damp medium (steriule sand, peat moss or damp paper towels) in a plastic tub or bag and then bring them out into room temp. 70 degrees F (20-22 C). Or plant them outside.
3. Once sprouted the young seedlings/trees need protection for the first couple of years from weather extremes and critters. If you're planting outside, wait until after winter.