Kadsura japonica ‘Fukurin’

Elegant, sophisticated evergreen vine with large leaves margined in cream. Contrast with the cinnamon colored twining stems is striking as well. A close magnolia relative that display small pendant white magnolia-like flowers in July-Sept. vigorous easy to grow vine for a large pergola or fence. Twines strongly. Provide support. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Best in rich soil with regular summer water. To 12′ tall in 5 years. Excellent on a trellis. Good looking year round. Easy to grow. Seems to prefer having its feet in the shade and the top in the sun. May become semi-deciduous in the coldest winters (below 10ºF). Re-leafs quickly in spring. Red berries often follow the small flowers. Japan.

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Magnolia compressa var. langyuense

This tree is wonderful in many ways. Its staunchly evergreen, but rather than the somber glossy leaves of Magnolia grandiflora these simple leaves are  grass green and matte. Moderately fast growing shrub/tree, on average 1′ to 2′ per year if sited correctly In mid April to mid May the most exquisite miniature magnolia flowers erupt directly from the stems. These adorable ivory pinwheels have a sweet sophisticated fragrance. Well behaved plant that is moderately dense and always healthy looking. Best in a protected courtyard or agains a west facing wall, do not expose it directly to arctic east winds.  To 14′ tall by 6′ wide in 10 years. Full sun but not reflected heat and adaptable to the dappled light of woodlands. In our experience it was unharmed at a brief dip to 7ºF.. This would make a fantastic and adorable espalier subject. The way the perfect flowers are arranged on the stem would lend itself well to that method. Rich to average soil, including heavy clay soils, Best with intermittent deep irrigation in summer. A deep soak once every two weeks on established plants. This rare smaller evergreen Magnolia deserves wider use in our climate.

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Magnolia laevifolia

Excellent small scale evergreen Magnolia  with handsome rounded leaves touched with brown indumentum (fur) and in mid spring masses of large 4″ ivory white intensely fragrant flowers. The flowers have a rich and penetrating lemon aroma. Following bloom buds form immediately in the leaf axils for the following year and are clad in brown fur- they add to the over all sophisticated aesthetic of this 9′ x 6′ shrub. Formerly Michelia yunnanensis. Full sun to light shade and average soil with light summer water. Very drought tolerant when established. This particular form we’ve grown for almost 20 years and it has proven to be a cold hardy clone (to 5ºF) year after year. In colder gardens provide a protected spot.  In time this species can develop what is called a lignotuber. That is a swollen woody root-like structure at the base. This adaptation is possibly for fires and a plant can regenerate very fast if the plant is damaged above the lignotuber. Shoots will appear from this and grow regaining apical dominance and forming a straight leader. This is seldom necessary. Pruning of any kind should be done directly AFTER flowering.. This SW Chinese Magnolia does best in AVERAGE soil- or unamended native soil.

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Michelia (Magnolia) skinneriana

This is known as the improved form of banana shrub and it is. A slow growing broad leaved evergreen shrub to 6′ tall in 7 years by 3′ wide. In late spring to early summer the stems lined with glossy leaves have deliciously scented cream/pink flowers. The fragrance reminds most of banana but I think its a little more like a wine cask. As the flowers age they take on decadent stains of pink and yellow. Great shrub for a protected courtyard or a south facing wall. This close magnolia relative from SE China revels in heat with regular water during the summer. Excellent appearance year round the glossy leaves are ever handsome and the shrub itself is tidy and well behaved. Pruning is seldom necessary but if you do make sure to prune directly AFTER blooming. Blooms on twigs from the previous year. Rich soil and full sun to part sun in a warm position. Avoid areas exposed to subfreezing wind- a south or western aspect is best  Cold hardy to about 5ºF and it gains hardiness with age. Wonderful fragrance, wonderful shrub. Mulch in autumn.

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Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
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