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Evergreen or deciduous trees and shrubs make up this genus of Magnoliaceae. Taking the genus all through it is a most ornamental one, many of the species and hybrids being among the most showy of outdoor flowering plants.

The genus is widely distributed, for while the headquarters is found in Japan, China, and the Himalayas, a goodly number come from the United States. For the majority, it is advisable to select a position sheltered from the north and east, for several flower very early, and though frost does not injure the mature wood, a sunny morning after a frosty night plays havoc with the flowers.

When planting Magnolias, a mixture of peat, leaf mould, and loam should be given, and care should be taken not to injure the roots, as they are very sensitive to injury. September, March, and April are the most appropriate months to plant. Propagation is effected by means of seeds, layers, or grafts.

Magnolia acunziniata, the Cucumber Tree, was introduced from the United States in 1736. It forms a large tree, with handsome, oval, acuminate leaves, which turn to a pretty brown in autumn. The flowers are yellowish, and are followed by curious fruits 3 inches long, which, when ripe, are rose coloured.

Magnolia conspicica is the Yulan, from China and Japan, introduced in 1789; it is one of the most ornamental, and is suitable for small gardens. It forms a small tree or large bush, and bears handsome, waxy white, fragrant blossoms in great profusion in March and April. In the north it should have wall room.

Magnolia Fraseri is a handsome blossomed plant from the United States. The deciduous leaves are large and ornamental, the flowers buff and 6 or 8 inches across. The blooming period is June and July.

Magnolia grandiflora.

Magnolia Lennei is a hybrid between Magnolia conspicua and Magnolia obovata; the flowers are large and cup shaped, reddish purple on the outside, light within.

Magnolia obovata is a Chinese plant which farms a dense shrub 8 feet high and 10 feet through. The leaves are small and deciduous, the flowers purple without, whitish within. The blossoms appear in April.

Magnolia parvi flora - This is one of the newer sorts, having been introduced from Japan about twelve years ago. It forms a small bush with deciduous leaves and lovely white flowers, 3 inches across, with red anthers.

Magnolia Soulangeana, a hybrid between Magnolia conspicua and Magnolia obovata.

Magnolia stellata.

Magnolia tripetala, the Umbrella Tree or Elk Wood of the United States, forms a good sized tree, with large, deciduous leaves and white flowers.

Magnolia Watsoni is somewhat like Magnolia parviflora, but has larger leaves and flowers. It is from Japan.