The Umbrella Magnolia is a deciduous tree that has spectacularly large, obovate leaves. The leaves are in huge clusters at the branch tips. The spreading midribs of the leaves resemble the ribs of an umbrella, hence the unusual common name for this tree. It is a small or medium sized understory tree that is native to the rich forests of the eastern United States. Grows in woodlands, along streams, in ravines and on slopes. It is nowhere common but rather, it occurs as scattered individuals in the forest. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental tree in gardens. Hardy in zones 5-9.
Growing Instructions for the Umbrella Magnolia
The seeds need to be planted when received or stored in a refrigerator until they are planted. The seeds have a period of dormancy and need to be cold stratified to break their dormancy. The seeds are stored in a refrigerator so they have already been stratified. 1. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat. 2. Soak the seed in water for several hours. 3. Fill a pot with potting soil. Use a pot that has drainage holes in the base. 4. Sow the seeds on the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil. 5. Water the container and leave it to drain. 6. Put the pot in a warm, sunny area. 7. Water the pot regularly so that the soil is moist but not wet. 8. The seedlings can be transplanted when they are a few inches tall.