Mountain Magnolia - Magnolia kobus, also known as the Kobushi Magnolia, is a species of Magnolia native to the mountainous regions of Japan.
It is a beautiful, deciduous, small tree or large shrub which grows very slowly. In Europe they usually remain smaller than in its native environs, where they can reach 8m (25 in) in height with a slightly larger spread.
Young trees do not flower and may need as much as 25 years before reaching best flowering maturity.
The Japanese Mountain Magnolia trees are appreciated for their late winter to early spring bloom . In March, before the foliage emerges, as by most magnolias, the buds of the Mountain Magnolia shed their furry coats and burst into bloom on the bare branches, announcing the arrival of spring. The white flowers with a hints of pink have a delicate fragrance.
The summer foliage of the Kobushi magnolia is dark green, new stems are green with small brown spots while the trunk is gray-brown.
After flowering, orange-red seeds form in pods 5 to 15cm (2 to 6 in) long, that split open in late summer to late autumn, to the delight of the birds.
The Kobushi magnolia prefers full sun to partial shade, though on southern exposures in full sun the buds may be induced to open too early in late winter.
The species name comes from the Japanese word "kobushi" meaning fist, since to flower bud looks like a small fist.
Among magnolias, this species is one of the earliest to bloom in spring.
The Mountain magnolia is closely related to Magnolia stellata, the Star Magnolia, though larger.
While magnolias were well known and widely used by ancient cultures in Asia and the Americas, Europeans first discovered them while exploring the Americas.
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