Showy, brilliant magenta 10- to 12-inch flowers of great substance and heavy texture are spectacular in spring. When young, this tree has an erect, open branched form, becomes a more rounded form with age.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. Pruning time: winter.
Plant Vulcan in the front yard, where it will be the talk of the neighborhood. Its potent red flowers are unusual among Magnolia and are so vivid they can be seen at the far end of a deep city lot. Just as beautiful up close, around foundations, patios and porches. Narrow enough to dress up side-yards where it can be viewed from indoors. Super for marking gates and entries, or as a pair in formal shrub or perennial gardens.
This traditional tree of the old South belongs with other regional favorites such as Winter's Fire Ice Angels Camellia, (Camellia x 'Winter's Fire'), Boursault Rhododendron, (Rhododendron catawbiense 'Boursault'), and Blue Moon Kentucky Wisteria, (Wisteria macrostachya 'Blue Moon'). It's a natural with perennial Ann Warner Daylily, (Hemerocallis x 'Ann Warner'), Midknight Blue Agapanthus, (Agapanthus x 'Monmid') and Winter Glow Heartleaf Bergenia, (Bergenia crodifolia 'Winterglut').
There are 35 species in the genus Magnolia named after Pierre Magnol, an 18th century botanist of Montpellier, France. Among the countless hybrids is this group of M. x soulangiana cultivars. All are descended from white flowered Yulan Magnolia, M. denudata from China and red flowered M. lilliflora from Japan. This first cross in 1820 and the subsequent varieties were named for Chevalier Soulange-bodin, who raised the first hybrid in France.
Early breeding of Asian magnolia species began in France because the first imported species arrived there early on. The Jesuit missionaries in China were French and often became amateur botanists, collecting new plants to be sent back to Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Not until later did many of these species become established in British horticultural circles from which our English language texts originate.