Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill’
Magnolia x loebneri, a hybrid between two white flowered Japanese species, M. kobus and M. stellata, was first crossed by the German horticulturist Max Loebner during the first years of the 20th century. The cultivar ‘Merrill’ was raised from seed sown in 1939 at the Arnold Arboretum in the USA and named in honour of a director of the Arboretum, Elmer Drew Merrill.
‘Merrill’ is a very floriferous cultivar producing, during early spring, copious numbers of 10cm to 15cm wide, fragrant, star-like white flowers. The flowers have 15 or more petals that are blushed with faint pink at the base. ‘Merrill’ will eventually grow into a deciduous large shrub or small tree some 8 metres tall 6 metres width.
Like most of its kin Magnolia ‘Merrill’ should be planted in full sun or light shade in a sheltered spot from the full blast of hot winds. It enjoys humus rich well drained soil and some supplementary watering during dry periods.