June 23, 2017

‘Queen’ Elizabeth

Magnolia x. 'Elizabeth'

Janine Pineo Photo | Magnolia x. 'Elizabeth'

Magnolia x. 'Elizabeth'

Janine Pineo Photo | Magnolia x. 'Elizabeth'

A magnolia is a magnificent tree in full bloom and Magnolia x. ‘Elizabeth’ is the perfect example why. With pale yellow flowers several inches wide and a delicate scent, this deciduous tree puts on a regal show in the spring. As its names indicates, ‘Elizabeth’ is a hybrid, a cross between cucumber tree, M. acuminata, and Yulan magnolia, M. denudata. The hybrid was born in 1956 and 21 years later was patented by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It was the first yellow magnolia to be widely available, hardy for Zones 5 to 8, growing 20 to 35 feet tall in that slow, stately way magnolias grow. Its shape is the pyramidal form that fills out with those rich magnolia leaves, which then turn golden yellow in fall. It doesn’t much care for extremes – too wet or dry – but will develop nicely in full sun or part shade planted in organically rich soil that is well-drained. The flowers are mostly sterile, typical of a hybrid, but the occasional red fruit will appear. These photos were taken May 12, 2012, at the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamental Trial Garden in Orono.