The Jury Magnolia legacy

Magnolia ‘Honey Tulip’ – photo: Tikorangi The Jury Garden

Magnolia ‘Honey Tulip’ – photo: Tikorangi The Jury Garden

“The Jury Magnolia legacy – first published in the Rhododendrons, Camellias and Magnolias 2017 Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Yearbook”, writes Abbie Jury enthusiastically in her Tikorangi The Jury Garden newsletter. Her most recent news post of this newsletter is all about this magnolia legacy. She describes how back in 1973 Mark and herself were impoverished university students. “His father, Felix, gave us the cheque he had received from Os Blumhardt for the right to release Magnolia ‘Serene’. It was for NZ$ 150 and that was the only money Felix ever received for any plant he bred. At the same time, Duncan and Davies released his Magnolia ‘Iolanthe’ but, despite being the powerhouse nursery of the southern hemisphere, paying breeders for their plants was never part of their operation.”
Ranking the stars
Step by step she unveils the Jury breeding story, highlighting a number of new varieties from Tikorangi The Jury Garden, and ranking them as follows:
Apollo (probably liliiflora nigra hybrid x ‘Lanarth’, bred by Felix Jury) Released 1990
Athene (lennei alba x ‘Mark Jury’, bred by Felix Jury) 1988
Atlas (lennei x ‘Mark Jury’, bred by Felix Jury) 1989
Black Tulip (‘Vulcan’ x, bred by Mark Jury) 1998
Burgundy Star (liliiflora nigra x ‘Vulcan’, bred by Mark Jury) 2006
Fairy Magnolia Blush (M. laevifolia x foggii hybrid, bred by Mark Jury) 2008
Fairy Magnolia Cream (M. laevifolia x foggii hybrid, bred by Mark Jury) 2013
Fairy Magnolia white (M. laevifolia x doltsopa, bred by Mark Jury) 2013
Felix Jury (‘Atlas’ x ‘Vulcan’, bred by Mark Jury) 2000
Honey Tulip (‘Yellow Bird’ x ‘Iolanthe’, bred by Mark Jury) 2013
Iolanthe (lennei x ‘Mark Jury’, bred by Felix Jury) 1970s
Lotus (lennei alba x ‘Mark Jury’, bred by Felix Jury) 1988
Milky Way (lennei alba x ‘Mark Jury’, bred by Felix Jury) 1988
Serene (liliflora x ‘Mark Jury’, bred by Felix Jury) 1970s
Vulcan (liliiflora hybrid x ‘Lanarth’, bred by Felix Jury) 1989
Best yellow Magnolia so far
Mark Jury’s latest release which Abbie describes, is ‘Honey Tulip’ (pictured). “His best yellow cultivar so far. Again the flower shows excellent heavy texture in the petals, unlike the softer texture we see in the American yellow varieties we grow here. The form is different with a solid cup and the colour does not fade out as the season progresses. We are also pleased with the generous bud set we see on the plants here and it does not look as if it will ever get as large as some of the yellows. It is still early days – ask us in another twenty years how we rate it.”
The ultimate goal would be to get to a pure yellow cup and saucer bloom of ‘Iolanthe’ or ‘Felix Jury’ size and splendour, along with the performance characteristics of those two cultivars but that is still a long way off and may not be attained in Mark’s lifetime. The pure red magnolia is closer. The deciduous magnolia programme is ongoing here.
Doubts about the future
However, about the future of that breeding programme, Abbie Jury is a kind of doubtful. “There is a long way to go yet, although really what Mark would like is for one of our children to come home and take it into the next generation. With all three of our human offspring living overseas, this is one aspect of the breeding programme that is not looking hopeful.”
[read Abbie Jury full article on the site of the nursery]