November 22, 2017

Shine a Light

Magnolia 'Yellow Lantern'

Janine Pineo Photo | Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’

Magnolia 'Yellow Lantern'

Janine Pineo Photo | Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern’

Like the soft glow of a beacon is Magnolia ‘Yellow Lantern.’ With its creamy yellow tulip-shaped flowers, this hybrid of M. acuminata var. subcordata and M. x soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’ creates a striking display in the spring garden. This magnolia is hardy to Zone 4 and can reach 30 feet in height at maturity. The large 6- to 8-inch blossoms, which are fragrant, emerge as the new leaves do. The tree will grow best in moist but well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. It can tolerate some shade but prefers full sun. It is also recommended that southern exposures be avoided next to houses to keep buds and foliage from appearing too soon, making them vulnerable to a sudden drop in temperature. This specimen is at the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden at the University of Maine campus in Orono.