Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Flower of the day - Tuesday 31st March 2020

Magnolia 'Leonard Messel' in bloom today
Magnolia 'Leonard Messel' has come into full flower today - I just love its delicate pink goblets born on bare branches. Strictly speaking it should be called Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel', because it is a selection of the cross between two Japanese species, M. kobus and M. stellata, which arose by chance at Nymans, Messel's great garden in Sussex. Unfortunately my plant has lost its leader, broken off by the wind because I had grown an everlasting pea through it for interest later in the season, but happily it is growing a new one, so I look forward to it developing into a fine specimen.

'Leonard Messel' blooms a few weeks later than its parent Magnolia stellata, also in the garden, which is now at its very best, a veritable snow white pyramid of starry blossoms. Later in the season, after the leaves come out, I find it produces a few late flowers which are tinged with pink. M. kobus is white, so I wonder if 'Leonard Messel' gets its beautiful pink from its stellata parent.

Magnolia stellata in bloom today
Let us rejoice in the glory of God's creation in these strange times!

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