So, I went to buy a magnolia today. It’s harder than you’d think it purchase a magnolia. All I knew is that I wanted one that would grow very, very large, like the magnolias on the campus of Wake Forest, which were my first introduction to the plants.
Well, it turns out that there are all kinds of cultivars and most of them are pretty small, so that they better fit in urban yards. The guy at Bates was showing me two cultivars, Edith Bogue and Bracken’s Brown Beauty. The Bracken’s Brown Beauty supposedly gets a little bigger but the Edith Bogue was cheaper and looked more like the magnolias of my memory.
I asked if they didn’t just have magnolia grandiflora “no fancy name, just the plain old tree” and he said no AND that he wasn’t actually sure if any commercial nurseries in the area could get you a plain old magnolia. He suspected, no matter what they tell you, that they’re all some sort of cultivar that’s been bred to be more winter-hearty than the regular old magnolia usually is.
Well, I’ll be damned.
The Edith Bogue is supposed to get about 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. That doesn’t seem that extravagantly monstrous. But it was too big to fit in my car, so it’s being delivered on Monday. And it’s probably about ten feet tall now, so if it gets three times that high, that’ll be nice.