Elizabeth Magnolia - Magnolia 'Elizabeth'
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A smaller magnolia with lovely primrose-yellow flowers makes for an outstanding ornamental.
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Elizabeth Magnolia flowers
A hybrid cross between M. acuminata and M. denudata, Elizabeth magnolia is a deciduous variety with elegant tapered buds opening to outstanding pale, luminous primrose-yellow blooms on bare branches. Best planted in front of contrasting evergreens.

Developed at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, this plant is patented and may not be reproduced by budding or grafting. It makes an outstanding specimen tree in a sunny spot where it can develop a symmetrical crown. Grows to 20 feet and 15 wide. Magnolia buds and flowers are susceptible to late spring frost [6].

Saucer Magnolia grows best in slightly acidic, moist but well-drained soil. Regular watering may be required during hot weather. [6] USDA hardiness zones: 5A through 9A.

Elizabeth Magnolia Tree
Elizabeth Magnolia, Morton Arboretum acc. 215-2000*2, is 9 years old.
The earliest flowering plants date back about 130 million years. According to Cronquist Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants, the most primitive of all living angiosperms belong to the subclass Magnoliidae. This subclass contains several primitive plant families, including the water-lily family (Nymphaeaceae), buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and Magnoliaceae. Plants in the magnolia family have the following characteristics:

  • Large flowers with numerous tepals
  • Numerous spirally arranged stamens at the base of a conelike receptacle bearing numerous spirally arranged carpels. At maturity the carpels develop into a woody, conelike aggregate of seed-bearing follicles. Each seed has a fleshy red outer layer (aril) and hangs from its follicle by a threadlike stalk. Other primitive floral characteristics are radial symmetry or actinomorphic (floral parts similar in size & shape), perfect (with functional androecium and gynoecium), complete (with all 4 floral parts: calyx, corolla, androecium & gynoecium), and floral axis (receptacle) elongated. The latter characteristic is clearly visible in the magnolia blossom. With all the woody, spirally arranged carpels (follicles), this axis truly resembles a conelike structure [2].

Taxonomic relations in the family Magnoliaceae have been puzzling botanists for a long time. Because the family is quite old and has survived many geological events such as ice ages, mountain formation and continental drift, the family's distribution is scattered nearly worldwide. Some species have been isolated for a long time, while others were in close contact and able to exchange gentic material until later in their lineage. To create divisions in the family solely based on morphological characteristics has proven to be an impossible task.

With the advent of DNA sequencing in the late 20th century, intense research into phylogenetic relationships within the family has been ongoing. Long boring explanations of the studies' results can be had at Wikipedia [5].

Elizabeth Magnolia Flower
References
  1. Colin Tudge, The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter
  2. National Audubon Society, Field Guide to North American Trees
  3. Elizabeth Magnolia, Morton Arboretum acc. 215-2000*2, photos by Bruce Marlin
  4. Anders L. Damgaard, File:Baltic amber Coleoptera Scraptiidae.JPG under Creative Commons 3.0
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Magnolia" retrieved April 19, 2012
  6. Edward F. Gilman, University of FLA, ENH-548 "Lilliputian Magnolia"
    (Reviewed 2011.)  Retrieved April 19, 2012. Excerpts used with permission.
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Magnoliaceae - Magnolia Family
The earliest flowering plants date back about 130 million years. According to Cronquist Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants, the most primitive of all living angiosperms belong to the subclass Magnoliidae. This subclass contains several primitive plant families, including the water-lilies (Nymphaeaceae), and buttercups  (Ranunculaceae). Tree Encyclopedia | Tree Index | Magnolia Main

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