Felix Jury made several attempts to import Lanarth to New Zealand. This form is distinct from the others and has the best proportions (tepal width, length and overlap) of all the clones I have seen, including ‘Elizabeth Holman’, ‘Werrington’ and an excellent seedling growing at Lanhydrock, Cornwall.
This is the clone commercialized in New Zealand by Duncan and Davies since the early 1980s and exported under the name ‘Lanarth’. There are one or two other seedlings that were raised in NZ but not commercialized, and there are several clones in the UK that have been raised from seedlings of the original ‘Lanarth’ clone at Lanarth in Cornwall. The actual pedigree of the clone Felix had is up for discussion.
Although classed as a subspecies of M. campbellii, the “Lanarth Group” is possibly worth raising to a species status as it is at the extreme east of the range, and regarding the wild population, this reference was found:Â
In Rhododendron with Magnolias and Camellias in 1987-8 Peter Wharton wrote about The purple Lanarth magnolia in the wild:
“From my conversation with Dr. Pei, I was able to ascertain that this unique population appears to be still intact, although he did mention that some logging was occurring at lower elevations. There appears to be some slight colour variation in the wild from shades of cyclamen purple and dark lilac purple to light mauve. He also commented that the wild trees had a distinctive upright habit and occurred in small groups amongst open sub-alpine coniferous forest.”