Magnolia Diary 15 (but the first for 2012) August 26, 2012

It might as well be Felix, but it's not

It might as well be Felix, but it’s not

Baby Tulip - a small version of Black Tulip

Baby Tulip – a small version of Black Tulip

Magnolia time. Many are surprised to hear that Felix Jury only ever named eight magnolias. Mark has only named and released three so far (with a fourth in the pipeline) despite raising and trialling hundreds. Why so few? We are picky. With the benefit of hindsight, we would probably have released only seven of Felix’s eight. Atlas was named for flower size but really is not up to the quality of the others in terms of long term performance.

We can do plenty of ring-ins, generic copies, slight improvements or variations. But while roses and camellias are like buses (there will be another one along in a few minutes), we see magnolias as being for the long haul. They are nowhere near as easily hiffed out and replaced and most people can only fit one or two into their garden. To name something new means it must be a breakthrough, a major improvement on what is already available. It takes years to trial and select a new magnolia and we like to be very confident with our releases. We took another walk around this afternoon, looking at the lookalikes. At this early to mid season stage, it is still the stronger colours that dominate. I will update as the pales and whites come into full bloom.

Or how about Bambino Tulip?

Or how about Bambino Tulip?

It's not Black Tulip, but it might as well be

It’s not Black Tulip, but it might as well be


Genie to the left, our seedling to the right

Genie to the left, our seedling to the right

Ruby

Ruby

Our equivalent of Ruby

Our equivalent of Ruby

Lanarth sets the standard.  Is this significantly better? Probably not.

Lanarth sets the standard. Is this significantly better? Probably not.

Plenty of generic soulangeanas here

Plenty of generic soulangeanas here

Too much like Iolanthe

Too much like Iolanthe

But maybe there is a future in patio magnolias?

But maybe there is a future in patio magnolias?

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2 thoughts on “Magnolia Diary 15 (but the first for 2012) August 26, 2012

  1. William

    It is highly commendable that Mark Jury doesn’t flood the market with a lot of look-a-likes and copy-cats, but at the same time, perhaps one could be on the look-out for better, or other attributes, such as better cold-hardiness, heat tolerance, drought resistance or smaller, compact size, even if the blossom otherwise looks almost similar with an already existing cultivar?

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Plants should be selected on more than just a pretty flower, so all those other factors come into consideration. But too often, new cultivars are rushed on to the market without adequate trialing, or at times any trialing at all beyond admiring a few flowers. And if a plant looks very similar to a cultivar already released, then it would need to be a BIG improvement in other areas to justify going ahead with it. There is more detail in the article I wrote for the American Magnolia Society journal, just posted on our website too. https://jury.co.nz/2013/03/15/the-jury-magnolias-from-new-zealand/

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