Magnolia liliiflora ‘nigra’ 5 litres
They are one of the oldest plant groups still in existence today and date back at least 20 million years with some related plants dating back 95 million years.
Magnolias evolved well before bees did and evolution has formed them so that they encourage pollination by beetles and not bees or moths. This greatly increases their chance of successful pollination. Bees do visit them but normally too late in the year for successful pollination.
We have to buy these in from bigger local growers than us.
This is commonly know as ‘the black lily’ and is a spreading medium-sized deciduous shrub with glossy elliptic leaves to 20cm in length.
Fragrant flowers erect, narrowly tulip-shaped, with oblong, lovely deep reddish-purple tepals 12cm in length, paler within.
Its got quite an unusual looking flower because it is so dark and we normally associate magnolias with white flowers.
Magnolias like acid but moist soil, will tolerate some shade but not all day shade, prefers a sheltered spot, in 15 -2 0 years it may get to 4 m tall and 2.5 m across. You can prune them.
Some fish, blood and bone around the trunk in early Spring will help the buds fatten up nicely.
You can propagate from cutting, but it sounds a bit tricky so maybe do not try this as your starter!