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Plant of the month, March 2023

Since 1928, this tree graces our south lawn, an annual marvel with its spectacular display.

Plant of the month for January is Magnolia campbellii subsp. mollicomata

When she is in flower she is hard to ignore. Situated, in perfect perspective to the house, half way down our south lawn. She dominates the vista (all year round but especially in spring).

Trewithen article mollicomata and seat 1

From winter with the flower buds cloaked in their little furry jackets, or their technical name “perules”, to spring when the baby pink tepals (another technical term) emerge growing, spreading to a huge “Cup and saucer” style flower. The tree, a national champion, has hundreds of these cabbage sized flowers covering the whole tree.

Native from SE Tibet to Yunnan in China she was introduced in 1924 by George Forrest. Ours was planted as an 18inch seedling in 1928.

Sunlight shining through grasses at the Trewithen Estate in Cornwall

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