Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 02, 2011

From: windham, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Propagation, Trees
Title: Propagating a Magnolia tree from a twig cutting in New Hampshire.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a twig cutting from a rare magnolia tree I found on a farm in central New Hampshire. The tree seems to be at least one hundred years old. It was in full bloom in late August and I was told by the owner that it blooms 3 to 4 times every season. It was twice the size of any magnolia I have seen in New England an the leaves and bark were very dark for a magnolia. The leaves were also about three times the size of the common saucer magnolias in this area. I would like to know if it is possible to propagate fro a cutting. I put my cutting in water for the last ten weeks. It has not sprouted any roots yet but it does seem to be sending something out from where the leaves eminate from.

ANSWER:

Generating plants from cuttings is a widely used method of plant propagation, but often involves more than merely sticking a twig in a jar of water. I’m including several links to sites about plant propagation to acquaint you with the various methods used, and to familiarize  you with the terminology.

   mastergardenproducts.com    

   North Carolina State University

   Washington State University Cooperative Extension

   Virginia Cooperative Extension       (note the caveat about rooting plants in water)

This link to southernliving.com  contains some good information about Magnolias in general.  Of particular interest is a list of large-leafed magnolias.

     Cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminatamore info      

     Bigleaf magnolia (M. macrophylla)

     Umbrella magnolia (M. tripetala)

     Fraser magnolia (M. fraseri)

      Ashe magnolia (M. ashei)

These are medium-size trees with huge leaves and large flowers that appear after the leaves unfurl.  This may help you identify the Magnolia you are working with.

Another source of help is the Rockingham County Office of the University of New Hampshire Coopererative Extension.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Help with plant identification.
September 01, 2008 - We need help identifying a perennial in our backyard, which we assume is a native/wildflower, but might not be. It has yellow flowers with 5/6 petals (delicatea, starlike/about 1-1.5 inches across) a...
view the full question and answer

Seed pod of Proboscidea louisianica (Deveil's claw) in New Mexico
August 30, 2014 - I found the most amazing seed pods of the devil's claw right here in Albuquerque. I thought it was a wood skeleton of a pterodactyl (flying dinosaur, I believe), but heard it's a devil's claw. Ok...
view the full question and answer

What is the weed of Cortez from Shreveport, LA
November 13, 2009 - I am trying to locate the weed of Cortez. I live in northern Louisiana. Can you please let me know if you have ever heard of this? I was told that is a very rare large red flower that blooms in the sp...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 12, 2008 - We are trying to identify a plant that looks a lot like elephant ear, but has round leaves not heart shaped. It is growing in a wet area that gets good morning sun. It is not a native. It returns e...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
July 05, 2010 - I came across a vine while hiking in Orange County, CA. It didn't have flowers on it but has 3 or 4 inch spiny pods. What is it? The vine itself looks similar to a Morning Glory vine.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.