Magnolia sieboldii ssp. sinensis
Epithet: from China
Straggly shrub to 6m high by 6m wide. Bark a distinctive fawn.
Flowers: pendant, initially cup-shaped, to 125 mm wide, composed of 9 tepals in 3 layers; fragrant
Late May - early June; secondary flush in August.
Foliage: obovate or elliptic, 210 x 130mm, distinctive dense coating of silvery silky hairs on the underside and along the midrib topside when young; tough and leathery with very prominent veins.
Introduced to England in 1908, by Wilson.
Distribution: Sichuan province of China, 2200-2850m.
Largest growing of the four related species. Flowers are the largest as well. Often confused with M. wilsonii, the main difference is that the latter has flowers that are smaller (100mm),leaves are smaller and narrower and the new shoots are covered in brown rather than fair pubescence.
Photo: Glynne Jones