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In Bloom

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'
 
Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' at San Francisco Botanical Garden by Mona Bourell

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' Photo by Joanne Taylor.

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' at San Francisco Botanical Garden by Joanne Taylor Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' at San Francisco Botanical Garden by David Kruse-Pickler Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' at San Francisco Botanical Garden by Joanne Taylor Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' at San Francisco Botanical Garden by David Kruse-Pickler Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' at San Francisco Botanical Garden by David Kruse-Pickler Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' at San Francisco Botanical Garden by Joanne Taylor
 

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One of the glories of the Botanical Garden in winter are the Asiatic magnolias whose pink or white blossoms against a blue sky are freely visible as their leaves are still in bud stage. Among these is one of the Garden's most prized trees, Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White', whose notable story began over 80 years ago.

In the early 1930s, the first director of the Garden Eric Walther ordered seeds of Magnolia campbellii, which were propagated in the Golden Gate Park Nursery. Those seeds came from G. Ghose and Company, a nursery in Darjeeling, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. M. campbellii in the wild covers a wide range in the Himalayas from eastern Nepal, to the western part of Yunnan Province in China, and south to Myanmar. At elevations from 5000 to 9000 feet, trees reach 150 feet high and flowers vary in size and color. The trees that the Garden received from Ghose seeds reflected those variations in flower shape, size and color. Three of the original seedling trees have been given cultivar names to honor their distinctive characteristics. One of these is M. campbellii 'Strybing White'.

Magnolia campbellii takes 20 years to bloom from seed. In 1939, one of the Ghose seedlings was planted on the hill above the Moon Viewing Garden. When it finally bloomed, its white color and flower shape presented very differently from the usual pink and white colors and cup and saucer shape of M. campbellii. The white flowers were larger, with the upright, cup-like tepals covering the stamens and pistils; but the remaining outer tepals drooped – very un-saucer-like. It was striking enough to warrant a cultivar name, and Eric Walther dubbed it 'Strybing White' in 1961. This is the largest magnolia at the Garden, towering well over 80 feet. The spectacular twelve-inch white blossoms appear from January through March.

We are continually astounded that the relatively mild climate in San Francisco lends itself to successful growing of so many delicate and varied plants from the extreme elevations and conditions of the Himalayas.

Profile
Scientific Name Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'
Family Magnoliaceae
Plant Type Tree
Environment Sun or partial shade; prefers deep, rich, well-drained soil and a location sheltered from wind. Late frosts can damage opening buds.
Bloom February–March; trees flower only after 20 years.
Uses Large tree to 90' tall by 40' wide.
More Info This cultivar differs from the species in having larger, up to 12' white flowers with outer tepals that droop.

To ensure characteristics of 'Strybing White', plants must be grown from cuttings or grafted onto other trees. Young trees will not produce flowers for about 20 years; grafted trees 12-15 years.

Cultivar named in 1961 by Eric Walther.

IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Text by Kathy McNeil and Mona Bourell. Photos by Joanne Taylor and David Kruse-Pickler.

Location

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White' is located in the Temperate Asia Garden (Bed 7D), the Moon Viewing Garden (Bed 53H) and the Rhododendron Garden (Bed 72D).

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Map (Bed Numbers) >>

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Magnolia dawsoniana

Magnolia dawsoniana

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

February

Magnolia laevifolia'Strybing Compact'

Magnolia laevifolia 'Strybing Compact'

March

Aristolochia californica

Aristolochia californica

April

   
Magnolia campbellii

Magnolia campbellii

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Magnolia x veitchii

Magnolia x veitchii

March

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

April

Aesculus californica

Aesculus californica

May

Vaccinium ovatum

Vaccinium ovatum

June

Sambucus racemosa

Sambucus racemosa

July

Sequoia sempervirens

Sequoia sempervirens

August

Asarum caudatum

Asarum caudatum

September

Deppea splendens

Deppea splendens

October

Montanoa spp.

Montanoa spp.

November

Bidens sp.

Bidens sp.

December

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

February

Bomaria spp.

Bomarea spp.

March

Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale

April

Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum

May

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

June

Salvia leucantha

Salvia leucantha

July

Hydrangea seemannii

Hydrangea seemannii

August

Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis

September

Cyathea cooperi

Cyathea cooperi

October

Pinus radiata

Pinus radiata

November

Correa spp.

Correa spp.

December

Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

January

Magnolia x soulangeana

Magnolia x soulangeana

February

Senecio glastifolius

Senecio glastifolius

March

Ribes spp.

Ribes spp.

April

Oxalis oregana

Oxalis oregana

May

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora

June

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae

September

Malvaviscus arboreus

Malvaviscus arboreus

October

Monterey Cypress

Monterey Cypress

November

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens

December

Aloe plicatilis

Aloe plicatilis

January

Banksia seminuda

Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia aethiopica

March

Magnolia laevifolia

Magnolia laevifolia

April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

July

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

August

Brugmansia

Brugmansia

September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

Protea repens

November

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

December

Thujopsis dolabrata

Thujopsis dolabrata

January

Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

February

Rojasianthe superba

Rojasianthe superba

March

Echium spp.

Echium spp.

April

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

May

Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea

June

Felicia amelloides

Felicia amelloides

July

Ceroxylon quindiuense

Ceroxylon quindiuense

August

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

September

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

March

Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

May

Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

June

Pelargonium

Pelargonium

July

Fuchsia paniculata

Fuchsia paniculata

August

Luma apiculata

Luma apiculata

September

Luculia

Luculia

October

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

November

Cycads

Cycad

December

Restionaceae

Restionaceae

January

Hellebores

Hellebores

February

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

March

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

April

Psoralea pinnata

Psoralea pinnata

May

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum

June

Leucadendron argenteum

Leucadendron argenteum

July

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

August

Gunnera tinctoria

Gunnera tinctoria

September

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia

October

Fuchsia boliviana

Fuchsia boliviana

November

Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

December

Magnolia campbelli

Magnolia campbelli

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Camellia

Camellia

March

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

April

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii

May

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

June

Dendromecon harfordii

Dendromecon harfordii

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium purpureum

September

Epilobium canum sp.

Epilobium canum sp.

October

Grevillea spp.

Grevillea spp.

November

Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri

December

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