The Lenne saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana ‘Lennei’) is an outstanding flowering multi-trunk tree with a broad, pyramidal shape. The cultivar “Lennei’ is best known for its spectacular cup-shaped flowers with thick petals deep pink on the outside and creamy white on the inside. The flowers appear very early in the spring and can be affected by frost. Egg-shaped leaves are alternately placed on the branches and undulate at the edges. The habit is that of a stiff broad shrub. Originated before 1850 in Italy and named after German botanist Peter Joseph Lenné. Lenne magnolia was introduced to North America after 1900.
MP #497. Magnolia x soulangeana Soulange-Bodin ‘Lennei’
Marquand Park Specimen Label and Coordinates: MP #497.
Common name: Lenne Magnolia (type specimen names Saucer Magnolia, Comon Magnolia, Lily Tree, Chinese Magnolia)
Scientific Name (family and order): Magnolia x soulangeana Soulange-Bodin “Lennei’ (Magnoliaceae, Magnoliales
Species Origin: This type plant is a hybrid between two Chinese species: Magnolia denudata and Magnolia liliiflora which originated in the garden of EtienneSoulange-Bodin, a French army officer, at Fromont, France from seeds borne by M. denudata and fertilized by pollen of M. liliifora; the hybrid first flowered in 1826 and is the first Magnolia garden-formed hybrid.
New Jersey Status: No USDA reference
Habit: Usually a distinctly upright multistemmed shrub in youth becoming a low branched tree with wide spreading branches forming a pyramidal to rounded outline at maturity; 20 – 30’ high with a variable spread, about as wide as high; trunk bole diameter 6”;
Habitat: Zones 4 – 9.
Trunk/Stem: Bark is gray and smooth with grayish lenticels and characteristic Sapsucker (woodpecker) damage.
Leaves: Deciduous, Simple, Alternate. Leaves are elliptic to obovate, entire, , 3 – 8” long and 4 ¼” wide, tapered at the base with rounded with a short sharp point (mucronate); leaf blade is dark green above and paler green finely pubescent below. Leaves are dark green and larger than the type specimen.
Flowers: Perfect. Flowers open from cylindrical buds. Flowers variable from goblet to cup or saucer shaped, 10” across with 9 white to pink or deep purple to pink tepals; the tepals have a deep pink flush at their base which fades to a pale streak at the tip; they emerge in spring to early summer before and with the leaves. The 6 inner tepals spread more or less widely; the 3 outer tepals are the smallest. Flowers appear later than the type specimen.
Fruits and seeds: The fruit is a cylindrical aggregate of follicles, 4” long, asymmetric, green ripening to pink. Late summer early autumn few fruits produced.