Loebner Magnolia Article
Authored by Claudia Winslett
This is the first bygl-alert over the next several weeks from students in the Horticulture and Crop Science 3410 class, “Sustainable Landscape Maintenance”, now meeting virtually. This alert text and images are by Claudia Winslett (the posting indicates the author is Jim Chatfield; we are working on changing this as students begin submitting these articles). The pictures are from Columbus, Ohio with its Growing Degree-Days of 99 as of this Sunday. Magnolia stellata, one of the parents of Loebner magnolia, shows first bloom at 83.
Loebner Magnolia (Magnolia xloebneri), a hybrid between Magnolia kobus and Magnolia stellata, is a group of cultivars of a small woody tree that blooms in early- to mid-spring. The blooms range in size from 4-6 inches and are whitish-pink. The petals are very thin and overlap. The blooms occur on naked branches before leaves emerge. The plants are often grown multi-trunked as the layering appearance is attractive.
The flowers are breathtaking and when in full bloom the Loebner Magnolia is striking as it stands out with its white and pink against the landscape. However, protecting these plants from late frosts and harsh winds while in bloom will prolong the beautiful spectacle. Even though magnolias are hardy plants, the delicate petals are susceptible to frost damage.
The trunks twist and tangle around each other, as do the branches. This gives the plants a unique look as the flowers appear around these branches and trunks in early to mid spring. Small suckers can also appear at the base of the trunks each year. Loebner magnolias grow well in well-drained soil and in full to partial sun.
The buds of these magnolias are relatively pink and their white color appears as the blooms open. The buds also have small hairs around the outer protective covering that encases the bud. After flowering, this small deciduous tree puts out leaves for the summer, and eventually small cone-like red fruits appear at the end of the growing season.