Creating new magnolias is a long term project. New Zealand magnolia breeder Mark Jury made the cross that has now led to the appearance of this impressive new variety way back in 1996. And it looks as if the wait has been worthwhile.
Unlike most spring flowering magnolias, Fairy Magnolia® Blush (‘MicJur01’) is an evergreen variety, in the group that until recently was classified in a separate genus, Michelia. Plants eventually reach about 9ft/2.7m high and about 8ft/2.4m across, with neat, dark green, lustrous foliage. It makes an attractive plant even when not flowering.
From March to May, rich, honey-colored buds open to reveal blush pink fragrant flowers with attractive veining. And they open all along the branches, not just at the tips – that was one of the features that distinguished Michelia from the tip-flowering Magnolia.
Fairy Magnolia® Blush is happy in full sun or partial shade and in any moist but well-drained soil. It makes a fine small garden or container-grown specimen, or an attractive fragrant hedge. It can be trained to a trellis and would be happy on a west wall near a door where the prettily patterned flowers and their attractive fragrance can be appreciated. It even makes a colourful flowering standard.
Fairy Magnolia® Blush is the result of a cross between the white flowered Chinese Magnolia laevifolia (formerly Michelia yunnanensis) and the pink flowered Magnolia ‘Mixed Up Miss’, a hybrid between M. figo and M. doltsopa. Both parents are very fragrant, as is Fairy Magnolia® Blush.
Magnolia Fairy Magnolia® Blush is available from Crocus.
For more information on Mark Jury’s magnolia breeding, check out his website and his Facebook page.