|Reaching high up in the air, full of flowers |
This magnolia can be grown as a shrub or a small tree. We acquired it to celebrate the birth of our daughter Lily in 2003, and it was just a little thing at the time. But it grew by leaps and bounds (always staying well ahead of Lily herself!), showing off its creamy yellow flowers reliably every year. It does seem to get caught blooming during the first hot spell most springs, which reduces the length of time it shows off those flowers. But when they're on full display, it's quite a sight. In October 2011, 'Elizabeth' was one of the trees hardest hit by the freak Halloween snowstorm: it had not yet dropped its large leaves, so the heavy load of snow snapped the main leader and several large branches, which really messed up the natural grace of the tree for a year or two. But by now, it has outgrown that damage, and is taller than ever. Even through its setback, it never did stop blooming – I hope that our Lily will show the same resilience in the ups and downs of life!
||yellow (mid spring)
|Second season in our garden, and still a small tree ||
|Intricate internals |
|quickly developing in the brief life span of the flowers |
We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.
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Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Mark Sperber||Dec 29, 2005||This is the tree that my mother, Evamaria Sperber, was famous for. She hybridized it many years ago at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Eve passed away on April 17, 2005 and I am proud that this beautiful legacy remains for people to remember her. You may contact me if you would like any information on her or photos, background on her work, etc. by emailing me at raymarkcd at aol dot com|
Thanks, Mark. Your mother sure left behind a beauty - I can't think of a nicer thing to be remembered for.
|Jacqueline Jordan||Apr 30, 2008||The Elizabeth is one of my favorite magnolias. It is absolutely gorgeous! Another favorite of mine which is quite rare is the magnolia "Eva Maria" hybridized by, and named for, the hybridizer of the "Elizabeth" Evamaria Sperber. |
|Laura King||Jun 18, 2009||I am pleased to discover the Elizabeth Magnolia is a legacy tree for hybridizer Evamaria Sperber and her family. This tree was planted in 2009 on Portland's Walk of the Heroines in Portland, Oregon in honor of my mother, Maxine E. McCloskey, who passed away April 14, 2006. Our family had the choice of several trees and now I know for sure we selected the right tree to honor my mother and her lifes work and passion of protecting whales and their marine habitat. The dedication was last night and it is serendipitous to read Mark Sperber's comments today.|
|Dawn||May 16, 2010||We also bought this tree for our daughter, Elisabeth. This is our 3rd or 4th season but we have not had any blooms for the last two years (the first year it came with only 1 or 2 blooms). We get lots of leaves that look they are going to but but they open to nothing inside. Any suggestions or ideas on how to get blooms?|
I wonder if winter or early-spring freezes are killing the flower buds on your tree. The fat and fuzzy flower buds are clearly distinguishable from the leaf buds.
|Lizi||May 01, 2010||Hi, I'm from Wales, UK and have an Elizabeth in my Garden - it's blossoming now for the second season and looks lovely - can you tell me how I should feed it?|
It shouldn't need much in the way of fertilization. I toss some pelleted organic fertilizer at its base once a year, and it does fine. It would probably do just about as well without any extra nutrition. Pretty, isn't she?
|Lizi||May 05, 2010||Hi Rob
Many thanks for the advice, yes she is a lovely tree, everyone who passes asks what type she is as they've never seen yellow blossom! Still quite a rare breed.|
|paul manhart||Oct 12, 2011||i planted an elizabeth magnolia to celebrate the birth of my first of four grandaughters at my sons house five years ago. it must have been grafted onto a royal star magnolia as it flowered profusely first with white flowers about four feet tall then a few weeks later the top four feet flowered with the beautiful yelllow flowers. we have cut away the white star magnolia part andnow the tree looks great at about eight feet and growing rapidly.|
|Martha||Oct 16, 2014||My Elizabeth only bloomed the first year sparingly. I live in Maine and have other Magnolia trees, but it has been about ten years and no blooms can you help me? |
Does it produce flower buds in late fall? If yes, then the problem is likely bud damage in winter or as they start to swell in early spring. If there are no flower buds, the only reason for its reluctance to bloom I can think of is insufficient sunlight.
|Lynda||Apr 25, 2017||Help! I have a beautiful, mature 'Elizabeth' magnolia that I planted about 12 years ago. It truly is a neighborhood showstopper. Last August, I pruned some of the lower branches and it immediately began to drop some leaves. It is now Spring and, although she is covered with the buds that were present last year, no blooms for the first time ever and no leaf buds yet. Is there any hope for my beautiful tree?|
'Elizabeth' is among the later magnolias to bloom in my experience. If other magnolias in your area have already bloomed or leafed out, I'm afraid your prized specimen may have perished. By the time we left our Pennsylvania home last year, our 'Elizabeth' was also in decline, and it was about the same age as yours...
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June 13, 2013