Magnolia Study Days

Keep an eye on this space for information about Magnolia Study Days past and present.  Interested in hosting a Magnolia Study Day at a public garden or arboretum near you?  Please get in touch with us for more information.

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  • 26 Jan 2015 8:10 AM | Anonymous

    Gardening Friends of the Big Bend and Magnolia Society International present “Magnificent Magnolias” Saturday, February 14, at the UF-North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) in Quincy, Learn about the many different varieties of magnolias adapted to our area as well as our many beautiful native magnolias. After indoor presentations, magnolia experts will lead a walking tour through a Magnolia Garden containing more than 150 different magnolias, many of which will be in full bloom.

    Members of the Magnolia Family are prized worldwide for their flowers and have become some of the most widely planted trees. Since 2000, Environmental Horticulture Professor Gary Knox has developed a collection of magnolias that is recognized as part of the NAPCC National Collection of Magnolia.

    Sponsored by Gardening Friends of the Big Bend (GFBB) and Magnolia Society International, the February 14 program includes special guest speaker Dr. John Tobe along with NFREC's Gary Knox. Well-known to gardeners in our area, Dr. John Tobe will speak about the various magnolias native to the Gulf Coast and Coastal Plain, and how to incorporate them into our gardens and landscapes. Incidentally, John and his family are the creators of Tobe Botanical Garden in Quitman, Georgia. This beautiful garden features magnolias, many of which were shared with Gary to help create the Magnolia Garden. UF-NFREC’s Gary Knox, new President of Magnolia Society International, will report on the best performing magnolias in the Magnolia Garden at NFREC, based on 15 years of data and observations. Magnolia Society International is a non-profit organization, with more than 700 members world-wide, whose mission is to inform, educate and inspire people, from backyard gardeners to botanists, to learn more about the cultivation and conservation of magnolias.

    Following the presentations and a break, participants will caravan across the street to the Magnolia Garden where Gary Knox and John Tobe will lead a walking tour highlighting the best magnolias.

    Upon returning from the Magnolia Garden Tour, GFBB will host a plant sale featuring several magnolias, as well as other seasonal plants. Proceeds are used by GFBB to support ornamental horticulture research and extension at NFREC.

    What:Magnificent Magnolias!

    When:Saturday, February 14, 2015 (Valentine’s Day) 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EST

    Where:University of Florida/IFAS, North Florida Research and Education Center, off Pat Thomas Highway, SR 267 at 155 Research Road, Quincy, FL. Located just north of I-10 Exit 181, 3 miles south of Quincy.

    Presented by Gardening Friends of the Big Bend, Magnolia Society International and the University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center. 

  • 17 May 2013 4:21 PM | Anonymous

    Moore Farms Botanical Garden

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

    Registration: $10.00 per person

    3.75 ISA credits will be allotted

    Join us for a study day at Moore Farms Botanical Garden that will emphasize cultural needs, hybridization efforts, and favorite Magnolia for this region. The presenters will also provide an overview of Magnolia and highlight recent breeding breakthroughs. Presentations will be given by a trio of the country’s foremost Magnolia experts, Kevin Parris, Greg Paige, and Richard Figlar.

    Here at the garden, we are in the process of creating a large collection of Magnolia grandiflora. Our goal is to have one of every known cultivar, to preserve and display the wonderful diversity found within this species.

    Join us on Friday, June 14th from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM for this enjoyable and educational study day. This event is for professionals only. We encourage other interested parties to visit our website for other class opportunities. Registration is $10.00 and limited to the first 40 participants. All material for the workshop will be supplied as well as lunch and a tour of our beautiful garden. Please notify us of any special dietary restrictions or special needs.

    To find out more information and register, please contact Rebecca Turk, look forward to seeing you here!


    Kevin Parris, Horticulture Instructor and the Arboretum Director at Spartanburg Community College and board member of the Magnolia Society International

    Greg Paige, Bartlett Arboretum and Research Laboratories Curator

    Richard Figlar, Magnolian Grove Arboretum 

    For additional information about our upcoming events, please view our website at

  • 14 Mar 2013 5:43 AM | Anonymous

    On Sunday, April 7, Andew Bunting, curator of the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College and president of the Magnolia Society International, will speak at 1:30 p.m. at the Linwood Arboretum in Linwood, NJ. His topic is “Magnolias for the Home Garden.” The presentation will be given in the Cafetorium of Belhaven Middle School, directly across from the Arboretum, at the intersection of Wabash and Belhaven avenues.

    The Linwood Arboretum, founded in 2009 on the abandoned brownfields site of a former electrical substation is one of the newest public gardens in America and, at roughly one acre, also one of the smallest. But for its size, it contains respectable collections of several genera, including Magnolia, Cercis, and Hamamelis. Embodying many of the ideas espoused by the late J. C. Raulston, founder of the arboretum in Raleigh now named in his memory, the Linwood Arboretum emphasizes uncommon woody plants especially suited to suburban home landscaping.

    Allen Lacy, curator of the Linwood Arboretum, is delighted that Mr. Bunting will initiate the garden year in Linwood. “He is the ideal speaker, for us,” Lacy says, “Not only is he curator of one of the most imaginative arboretums in America, but he has been a supporter of our public garden in Linwood from the very start. He was an observer at our inauguration in 2010, and he is a current member of the Friends of the Linwood Arboretum.”

    Bunting’s lecture is free to the public. For further information, contact Allen Lacy at

  • 02 Feb 2013 4:15 PM | Anonymous

    Building on the success of last year's meeting arranged by Lennarth Jonsson in Alnarp, Magnolia Society member Lennart Soederberg is working with several other magnolia enthusiasts to arrange a Magnolia Study Day in Sweden on May 12, 2013.

    Here is the preliminary program for the day:

    8.30 - 10.30 Meeting begins at J.L. Soederberg’s garden in Krusenberg Ekshagarna (15 km south of Uppsala, close to the conference hotel at Krusenberg Manor).

    11.00 – 11.45 Visit to Vreg Abrami’s magnolia garden in Uppsala

    12.00 – 13.15 Lunch at Harood Tahmasian’s sushi restaurant in Uppsala (with interesting magnolias planted outside).

    13.30 – 15.00 Visit to Vreg Abrami’s magnolia park where Vreg makes a presentation of his visions (10 km south west of Uppsala).

    15.30 Tour through the “Pocket parks” in Enkoeping. (45 km south of Uppsala).

    For more information and to register, please contact J Lennart Soederberg by phone at +46705734591 or by email:

  • 16 Jan 2013 8:12 PM | Anonymous

    Planning to be in Raleigh, North Carolina, this Spring? Join us for a Magnolia Study Day at JC Raulston Arboretum on the NC State University campus on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

    Magnolia Society Board Members Kevin Parris and Aaron Schettler are headlining the show.  Kevin's presentation on  "Recent Interspecific Hybridization Advances in Magnoliaceae: These Ain't Your Mama's Magnolias"  will reveal breeding breakthroughs by Bill Smith, Dennis Ledvina, Tom Ranney -- as well as his own remarkable account of how he created the first hybrid between Magnolia insignis and Magnolia fraseri (pictured, right). 

    Aaron, who is also the grounds manager at nearby Meredith College, will share some of his favorite magnolias for planting in the southeastern United States.

    Following these presentations, you will have the special opportunity to tour the magnolia collections of both JC Raulston Arboretum with Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections -- and Meredith College with Aaron.

    Both the Arboretum and College contain significant magnolia collections, including many rare species and cultivars. Come see them in their prime!

    Please go to the JC Raulston Arboretum website for more information and to register to join us for this Study Day.

  • 20 Jul 2012 11:13 AM | Anonymous

    The Arboretum Wespelaar in Belgium is hosting a Magnolia Study Weekend April 13-14, 2013. This program is open to members of the Magnolia Society International, RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group, and the Belgian Dendrology Society.

    Costs: 60,00 EURO for both days (or 30,00 EURO per day). You must sign up to attend. Deadline to register is April 1, 2013. Please contact Arboretum Wespelaar at

    Arboretum Wespelaar
    Grote Baan 63, B-3150 Haacht-Wespelaar
    Tel.: +32 (0)16 60 86 41

    09:00 - 09:30 Coffee
    09:30 - 10:15 Philippe de Spoelberch – “Arboretum Wespelaar, Herkenrode and its Magnolia selections”
    10:15 - 11:00 John Grimshaw – “New and recent Magnolia introductions”
    11:00 - 11:15 Coffee break
    11:15 - 12:00 Andrew Bunting – “American Magnolia cultivars and U. S. native species”
    12:00 - 12:45 Jim Gardiner – “Magnolia introductions from the UK”
    13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
    14:00 - 14:45 Koen Camelbeke – “Yellow flowering Magnolias: an overview”
    14:45 - 17:45 guided tour of Magnolia collection in Arboretum Wespelaar and Herkenrode

    Arboretum Bokrijk
    Bokrijklaan 1, 3600 Genk
    Tel.: +32 (0)11 22 45 75

    10:00 – 12:30 Jozef Van Meulder - Welcome & guided visit of Magnolia collection in Arboretum Bokrijk
    12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
    13:30 – 17:00 Free visit of Bokrijk Arboretum and/or return back home

  • 16 Jul 2012 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    A Magnolia Study Day was held at Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, USA, on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.  Here was the agenda for the day:

    9:00–9:30 AM Registration, coffee, juice, and pastries. Welcome by Kathy Musial, Curator of LivingCollections, Huntington Botanical Gardens

    9:30–10:30 AM Andrew Bunting, Curator, Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College and President,Magnolia Society International: “Magnolias for Home Gardens”

    10:30–10:45 AM Break

    10:45–11:45 AM Kathy Musial and Tim Thibault, Associate Curator of Woody Plants: discussion/ID of cutspecimens; demonstration of herbarium techniques

    12:00–1:00 PM Lunch

    1:00–2:00 PM Bill McNamara, Director, Quarryhill Botanical Garden: “Chinese Magnolias”

    2:00–4:00 PM Tour of Huntington Magnolia collection

  • 06 May 2012 1:59 PM | Anonymous

    Who would have suspected back in the winter that a Magnolia Study Day planned for May 5th in the Chicago area would have missed the main window of opportunity to see magnolia flowers?  An unusually mild Northern Illinois winter followed by an early spring meant there were few magnolias in bloom by the time we held the Magnolia Study Day at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.

    But that setback didn’t squash the enthusiasm in the room. Study Day participants gathered in the Arboretum’s Sterling Morton Library, designed by noted Chicago architect Harry Weese. The Library holds diverse collections exploring botany, urban forestry, horticulture, forestry and conservation, botanical art, landscape design, natural history, and geology – including 5,000 volumes of rare books dating back to 1482 and 12,000 items in the art collection.

    Participants whetted their appetite with a few glorious illustrations of magnolias, including one by Georg Dionysius Ehret, one of the great botanical artists of the 18th century.  Ehret was friends with Swedish botanist Linnaeus, which meant Ehret was well-placed to capture new species soon after they arrived on the continent from abroad. The flower details in Ehret’s drawings show that he was heavily influenced by Linnaeus’ new system of classifying plants according to the physical similarities between their reproductive parts, rather than how people used plants.

    The main portion of the Study Day program was presented by Kunso Kim, Head of Collections and Curator at The Morton Arboretum, and a member of the Magnolia Society. Prior to coming to The Morton Arboretum, Kunso worked at Norfolk Botanical Garden in Virginia and Chollipo Arboretum in South Korea, where he developed a passion for magnolias. Kunso has participated in several plant explorations in Korea, China, and in the Appalachian and Ozark mountains in the United States. The Morton Arboretum holds significant collections of oaks, elms, maples, crabapples, and magnolias.

    Many people might think it is too cold to grow magnolias in Northern Illinois but in fact our collection has over 60 different types of magnolias, many of which are so unique that Morton Arboretum was selected as one of only 14 institutions in the U.S. to participate in the North American Plant Collections Consortium Magnolia Collection.

    Some of these magnolias are rare botanical taxa, so participants were able to see magnolias not often found in the trade.  Following the indoor slideshow tour, the group stepped outside with Kunso to see some of the magnolias on the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres.  Highlights of the day included M. ashei, M. hypoleuca, M. officinalis var. biloba, M. macrophylla, M. pyramidata, M. sieboldii, M. acuminata var. subcordata, and M. ‘Elizabeth’.

    For the home gardener in the Midwest, The Morton Arboretum’s Plant Clinic offers a list of recommended magnolias hardy to the Northern Illinois climate:

  • 23 Apr 2012 10:54 AM | Anonymous

    On April 21, MSI President Andrew Bunting lectured at an annual magnolia day at Rare Find Nursery in Jackson, New Jersey. This event not only promoted a greater appreciation for Magnolias, but also allowed attendees to shop.

    Magnoliaphile Ron Rabideau was the host. Over the years he has amassed an incredible collection of magnolias, many of which are now available in the Rare Find catalog, both printed and on-line. “Magnolias for the Home ” was a well-received and appropriate talk at this location.

  • 16 Apr 2012 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    On April 14, 2012, the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College and the Magnolia Society International hosted a Magnolia Study Day.

    While the Philadelphia area had been experiencing unseasonably warm weather and many of the magnolias had finished blooming, we were treated to many of the late yellow magnolias still in flower such as 'Lois', 'Judy Zuk' and 'Hattie Carthan', as well as some finishing flowers on 'Spectrum' and a beautiful display on 'Coral Lake'.

    The talk, "Magnolias for the Home Garden" and a related tour showed participants what could be possible in their own gardens.

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