Black Tulip™ Saucer Magnolia
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Saucer Magnolias are the showboats of Spring, and Black Tulip™ Saucer Magnolia is one of the most exciting of them all. While the flowers aren't truly black, they are among the darkest you'll find in a Magnolia -- a deep, rich, velvety plum-red. The blooms adorn the bare branches in early spring and look like goblets filled to the brim with Merlot. Cheers! Black Tulip™ grows moderately fast and becomes a medium-sized ornamental Tree. Make it a front-yard specimen, or include it in the mixed borders surrounding your home. If you can give it a light-colored background, so much the better! The flowers will really pop!
New Zealand nurserman Mark Jury developed Black Tulip™ Saucer Magnolia in 1986. The mother plant was the voluptuous, vivid pink-flowering form named Vulcan, and the baby daddy was a soft pink stunner called Iolanthe. The new Tree stood out for its large, thick, dark petals. It was also noteworthy for its precocious blossoms (some Magnolias take many years to reach flowering age) and for its extended bloom time. Black Tulip™ wasn't introduced to the United States until 2003, but gardeners found it to be worth the wait -- it was an immediate hit. Black Tulip™is destined to become a classic.
Black Tulip™ Saucer Magnolia flowers give off a gentle perfume, making the delightful display even sweeter. Plant it near an entrance or a walkway, so that passersby will appreciate the fragrance. A bench placed beneath its branches would also be a nice touch!
How to Grow
Give your Black Tulip™ Magnolia a sunny spot in a well-drained site, and it will be happy. A rich, organic, slightly acid soil will result in the best growth. Like most Magnolia Trees, Black Tulip™ dislikes both very wet and very dry conditions, so plant it a couple of inches above grade to improve drainage, and supply it with regular water, especially during the first year or two of establishment. A generous layer of mulch will help in regulation soil moisture levels as well as evening out root zone temperatures. Black Tulip™ requires little pruning.
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