Magnolia ashei is classed as a subspecies of Magnolia macrophylla. This is probably the best garden plant of the species as it is the smallest grower. The foliage is generally healthier looking than ssp macrophylla. It occurs naturally in a limited range in northern Florida, where it lives in  canyons and reaches out for the light from among pines and other species.It starts flowering from a young age, sometimes as a 2 year old seedling in the nursery. The flowers are generally a little smaller than the other subspecies and the dark "eye" at the centre can be variable from dark to almost non-existent. As the flowers mature and release their pollen, the stamens are released and almost appear to be able to drop into receptive flowers below that are distinctly funnel shaped at the tip. The tepals also curve over the centre of the flower to give the stamens partial protection from rain. In the autumn the fertilized flowers develop into bright seed ''cones".

(M. soulangeana 'Amabilis' x M. cylindrica)

'Billowing Cloud' was raised from open pollinated seed at Duncan and Davies by Vance Hooper.

Special features: 'Billowing Cloud' develops a rounded habit to about 3m in 10 years. It is very free flowering and the flowers have the distinctive perfume of M. cylindrica.

This is a magnificent tree from Caerhay's Castle in Cornwall. Imported by Peter Cave, this is one of the forms collected from the wild. It has a distinctive coarse textured bark, different to most other magnolias. Beautiful sculpted flowers like porcelain are produced after about 4 years. Foliage is quite hairy on the undersides for M. campbellii.

The habit is quite broad as the upright branches arch outward with age and new shoots come up from the branches to raise the canopy height. 6m in 10 years.


This was introduced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University in Boston. It is derived from Magnolia stellata Waterlily and inherits the characteristic of showing a hint of pink, especially in a cool season. This is a very free flowering plant which makes a rounded to upright bush to 1.2m in 10 years. As with all magnolias may be pruned to limit size if eventually needed. We only have low graft bushes.

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'Cook Splendour' was raised from a seedling at Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust as part of the original plantings, with a number of seedlings planted around the gardens. These seedlings were imported from Hilliers Nursery about 1951 by Douglas Cook when he was planting at Eastwood Hill. He donated a range of Magnolia campbelli seedlings to Pukeiti and these were planted around the gardens.

The original plant of 'Cook Splendour' is growing in the area of the gardens called the Cook Block. Special features: This is the nearest to true M. campbellii we have in NZ since the "Quaker Mason" form is more allied to M. campbellii ssp. mollicomata, or M. x 'Charles Raffill'. 'Cook Splendour began to flower at 25 years of age from seed, but as a grafted plant it will flower 3 to 5 years from planting.

This is a Todd Gresham hybrid with elegant white cup and saucer blooms produced after about 3 years due to the campbellii parentage. An upright then broadly conical tree to about 5m in 10 years.


This is a subspecies of Magnolia macrophylla that grows in the cloud forest at high altitude in eastern Mexico. This variety is less hardy than the other 2 subspecies and is a large grower with handsome foliage. It starts to flower at a young age and reasonable size as can be seen from this flower on a 4 year old seedling. The morning sun has given the normally white flower a slight parchment tone.

This variety was selected at Duncan and Davies in the 1950's or 60's when it layered better than the other forms by setting flower buds on the first year layers. The tree has a rounded canopy with masses of flowers that fill the garden with a spicy sweet perfume. LARGE 1 METRE PLANTS

This variety was selected by John Wills from Trelinoe, the garden he and his wife Fiona have developed over the last forty years or so. It was originally obtained as a seedling of magnolia campbellii and flowered particularly well with a very impressive white flushed pink bloom.

This Magnolia campbellii clone was identified by Ian Baldick and was found growing in a garden near the Waikato town of Pirongia which is in the eastern shadow of a mountain of the same name.




This clone has almost circular tepals which overlap to give a typical but continuous 'saucer" to the newly opened flowers. This plant was added to the collection in 2008 as a one year old plant that had been budded onto M. x 'Rustica' seedling. It has set at least 3 good flower buds to open in spring 2009. It has been added to our breeding program.


In 1950s Bhutan(?) was the source of seed for campbellis into the UK, seedlings sent out from Hilliers. 'Mt Pirongia' was presumably one from this source. These types are distinguished by their drawn tips to the leaves. They tend to flower at an earlier age and are upright in their growth, suggesting a closer relationship to M. ssp. mollicomata. Duncan and Davies original M. campbellii 'Alba' came as a seedling that was planted at Tupare Gardens. Russell Mathews was annoyed that he had a white instead of pink, V.C. Davies was excited and wanted it back. It was layered and propagated from there, but that clone was not a particularly good form. In later years this inferior form was budded and circulated by Duncan and Davies. It has a very upright habit and as a result it took about 6 or 8 years to flower. I know of other gardeners that were disappointed when their Magnolia campbellii seedlings from this era turned out white.






This is a Japanese species and belongs to the "umbrella magnolia" group of species so named because they hold their foliage in whorls or umbrellas at the end of the new seasons growth. This species requires a reasonable amount of shelter to avoid wind damage to the soft growth. The new growth is slightly bronze and the foliage develops to a mat green with visible veins. The flowers are held above the foliage and emit a delicious fruity perfume that will move around the garden a good distance.

The tree grows upright and spreads with age forming a plant 5m or so tall and 3m wide in 10 years.

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This is a sister seedling to 'Cook Splendour' and was also grown at Pukeiti Gardens, Taranaki. A large tree with the largest flowers of any of this series of Magnolia campbelli seedlings at Pukeiti. The frlowers from a distance give the impression of white or palest pink, but up close they are a cool pink with a hint of purple.

It is a strong growing tree and in a sheltered spot you can expect 6 to 8m of growth in 10 years.

This hybrid arose as a rootstock seedling at the Auckland Botanic Gardens and is an interesting combination of the two parent species. Ice white well formed blooms with a deliciously sweet and spicy perfume on a rounded small to medium tree. It flowers so profusely that we had difficulty establishing growth from the first grafts collected. A welcome addition to the range of evergreen magnolias.

This variety was raised by Amos Pickard in Kent, England in the 1960's. The strong textured creamy white blooms are freely produced on this upright to rounded small tree. The growth and blooms themselves strongly suggest a M. denudate or M. x veitchii parentage. Expect about 4 - 5m in 10 years.

This is an elegant plant with an elegant flower. A small tree with an upright habit that eventually forms a teardrop shaped tree with a conical habit. This variety is ideal for a small garden and will grow to about 3m in 10 years.

Just a few big plants left.

This is an Australian hybrid between M. doltsopa and M. laevifolia (yunnanensis) that forms a pyramidal tree with horizontal branches that present the perfumed white blooms very well.

This is a Japanese hybrid derived from M. stellata and M. denudata. The flowers are intermediate in tepal size and held more upright than M. stellata. The blooms are lightly fragrant and the plant is compact and bushy, more upright than stellata and reaching about 3.5m in 10 years.

This is a species from the Eastern United States and was one of the first magnolia species described by botanists. The white or parchment coloured flowers appear in summer after the first leaves have developed. The foliage is large and tropical looking, but on the soft side so it needs shelter from wind.

The illustrated flower was a graft, with flowers normally appearing when the seedlings are 2-3m tall. The trees develop into a rounded canopy about 5m tall in 10 years. We have large specimens for collection only, and 1 - 1.5m seedlings for mail order.

This is a hybrid raised in Japan either by a deliberate or chance hybrid between M. sieboldii and M. obovata in or before the 19th century. It has the best of both parents, a modest sized plant with showy perfumed flowers. The fruity perfume will fill the garden for many metres around the tree.

Duncan and Davies imported this clone from Hilliers in the early 1940's and it was propagated by layering from then until the late 1960's when it appeared to fall from favour. Our plants are grafted and perform well, developing flowers in the first year after planting. M. wieseneri forms a rounded to conical plant to about 4m in 10 years.

This is a stronger growing stellata type due to it's mixed parentage with Magnolia kobus. Well formed white fully double flowers with narrow tepals make this a very attractive large bush or small tree. It will reach 3m tall by 2m wide in about ten years.

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