Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Magnolia Sprengeri ‘Diva’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

 

Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' flower (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' flower (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Mid spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15m

Eventual Spread: 10m

Hardiness: 6b – 10b

Family: Magnoliaceae

Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’ is a deciduous small tree/ large shrub. Its dark green leaves are obovate, up to 15cm long and 10cm broad, with a 3cm petiole. The exfoliating bark is a pale grayish brown to blackish brown color. The young twigs  are pale yellowish brown in color. The rosy red slightly fragrant flowers appear before the leaves, are erect, cup shaped, up to 15cm wide, with up to 14 tepals. The fruit is a cylindric aggregate of follicles which is up to 18cm long. 

Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Magnolia sprengeri ‘Diva’, commonly known as Sprenger’s magnolia, is native to central China in forests or thickets at an altitude of between 1300-2400m.

The etymological root of the binomial name Magnolia was named after Pierre Magnol, a 17th century French botanist. Sprengeri is named after Carl Ludwig Sprenger (1887-1917), a German botanist.

The landscape architect may find M. sprengeri ‘Diva’ useful as a dramatic specimen small tree/ large shrub. It should be sheltered from strong winds.

Ecologically, M. sprengeri ‘Diva’ is attractive to bees who pollinate the plants flowers.

M. sprengeri ‘Diva’ prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers an acidic to neutral pH of soil.

Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Magnolia sprengeri 'Diva' open flower(11/03/2012, Kew, London)

M. sprengeri ‘Diva’ requires little maintenance.


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