Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata

Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata

This specimen was planted in 1947 by Gerald Viscount Clifden. Emergency action was required in 1987 when it was discovered that the roots were badly waterlogged. The National Trust installed new drainage pipes and the tree was severely pruned. Fortunately it has recovered and gives a splendid floral display in front of the cottage every springtime.

Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata
 
Distinguishing Features
The flowers are pink to rose-purple (up to 25 cm long) and are borne on thickly felted stalks before the leaves. Mollicomata is Latin for softly hairy, a feature of the underside of the leaves. 
 
Season of Interest
The subspecies mollicomata flowers in the spring, usually later than the species, often escaping the worst frosts. The leaves are shed in autumn and the plant is quite hardy.
 
Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata has a natural range in the mountainous Yunnan province of south west China bordering Myanmar and India. It was introduced into the UK in 1924 at Caerhays in Cornwall by plant collector George Forrest for the owner J C Williams.