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5 reasons not to settle for your average Magnolia

Collectors of fine plants will have sniffed out these rare and interesting new magnolias. They are greatly improved from wild species. 

Choosing but one seems to be the only problem. Here are our best 5:

Graham gives an idea of just how big 'Felix' flowers can be, the biggest bloom by far! Each one the size of a cabbage. 

1. Atlas 

'Atlas' is just that, global! Huge planetary petals measuring a spectacular, 20cm wide, cupped like a brandy balloon. We love the soft pastel combo of pink and ivory, gentle curves and romantic shape.  


'Atlas' has an incredibly large, globe shaped flower. 


2. Iolanthe 

'Iolanthe' has large, fully cupped flowers with pink outer petals and an ivory centre. Magnolia specialist, plant hunter and collector, Bob Cherry, picks this as the best performer for Sydney’s climate. Far superior to the usual cup-and-saucer-soulangiana you see everywhere. Grows to 3m.


Bob Cherry's pick as best performing Magnolia for Sydney, 'Iolanthe' 

3. Vulcan

'Vulcan' is nearly plum, in fact the growers call it 'red', with uniform in tone top and bottom. This one has many positive attributes: Graham rates Vulcan as his favourite due to its beautiful triangle tree shape, prolific flowering and sensational garden performance. It also flowers when young (so many just sulk, doing nothing, for years!). For purple-lovers everywhere.


Another giant flower, 'Vulcan', but superior garden specimen. You will not be disappointed.

4. Elizabeth 

'Elizabeth' flowers late in the magnolia season, has tulip-shaped, yellow-fading-to-cream flowers with a fresh lemon fragrance. Like a flock of butterflies has landed on a bare tree. Exquisite flowers on bare stems, tree has exceptional pyramid shape. Look out for other lemon yellow variety called 'Butterflies'.  


Belle of the ball, 'Elizabeth' 

5. Star Wars 

'Star Wars' is a riot, an exploding nebula of pale pink deepening towards the centre. Well behaved to 3m high and wide. Pointed flowers with elongated petals. 

Out of this world, 'Star Wars'

Where to buy:

Yamina Rare Plants

Your local garden centre