Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra'
Epithet: lily like flowers.
AM 1907, AGM (1969, 1993) 2012
Shrub to about 3m spreading or upright, with somewhat straggly growth.
10 year height/spread: 2m/1.5m
Flowers: precocious but continuing after the leaves emerge: usually 6 (very occasionally up to 10)
narrowly petaloid lanceolate tepals 9-12cm long, erect and chalice shaped, but sometimes opening
slightly. Intense dark reddish purple, paler within.
Foliage: elliptic to obovate-oblong to obovate leaves to 13-20cm long, 6.5-10cm wide, apex
acuminate or rounded. Dark green and sometimes reticulate above, slightly pubescent on the mid vein,
lighter below, pubescent along the mid vein.
Introduced to England: about 1797 (the species),1861, by Veitch from a Japanese nursery (this clone).
Distribution: cultivated all over China and Japan for centuries, but judged to be native to China 'in
warm temperate areas S of the Yangtze', and apparently extending to Sichuan and Yunnan (the species).
Recognise by: the slim erect purple flowers occurring before and with the foliage. Difficult to
distinguish from the soulangeana hybrids out of flower.
Easy to root and grow throughout the UK. Suitable for small gardens.
Location: Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire
Photo: Ivor Stokes
Source: Arboretum Wespelaar
Location: Fota Arboretum, Cork 2007
Photo: Stephen Lyus
Location: Hamburg Botanical Garden, Germany
Photo: Kristian Theqvist
Location: Wespelaar Arboretum
Photo: Philippe de Spoelberch
Photo: Mike Robinson