Wednesday, November 21, 2007
About 80 species of Magnolia are found in in temperate and tropical Asia, North and South America, of which two are cultivated in Pakistan and these are
1- Magnolia denudata: Deciduous; leaves green on both sides. Anthers with lateral dehiscence. Fruit dehiscing ventrally.
2- Magnolia grandiflora:Evergreen; leaves rusty tomentose below. Anthers with introrse dehiscence. Fruit dehiscing dorsally.
Magnolia denudata is one of the most loved of all Magnolias. Called the "Yulan" or "Jade Lily" by the Chinese, the exquisite lily shape of the blossoms with their pure white petals, has the longest history of cultivation going back to the Tang Dynasty - 618 AD. Its beauty was celebrated on ancient Chinese embroideries, scrolls and porcelains in scenes of the countryside. Its elegant flowers made it a "gift worthy of an emperor." Today old gnarled specimens can be found in Chinese temples and gardens, and elsewhere in China where they are cherished and planted.
Magnolias grow happily in the Himalayas at altitudes of 5-9000 feet, where the nutrients they require from the soil are provided by the snows and heavy rains. It flowers in early spring, its creamy white flowers covering the tree. The coarse foliage is handsome and makes an excellent shade tree. Cultivated in northern part of Pakistan. Oil is extracted from leaves and flowers. The pounded leaves are used for toothache.Habit becomes more open, spreading and horizontal with age.