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Magnolia kobus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA MAGNOLIALES MAGNOLIACEAE

Scientific Name: Magnolia kobus
Species Authority: DC.
Common Name(s):
English Kobushi Magnolia, Northern Japanese Magnolia
Synonym(s):
Buergeria obovata Siebold & Zucc.
Magnolia pseudokobus S.Abe & Akasawa
Yulania kobus (DC.) Spach
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-09-19
Assessor(s): Khela, S.
Reviewer(s): Oldfield, S.
Justification:
There is insufficient data on the population, any declines or threats to this species to assess its extinction risk. Therefore, it is assessed as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Magnolia kobus is distributed throughout Japan. This species has been recorded at an elevation of approximately 350 m asl in the Unobe river valley near Rokugo, central Hokkaido. It may also occur in China and South Korea but there is some uncertainty about this. A study on the stem bark of Magnolia kobus was based on specimens collected in Jinju, Kyungnam in Korea (Yang et al. 2006). It is not known from Shikoku and Cheju Island in South Korea.
Countries:
Native:
Japan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is insufficient population information for Magnolia kobus.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Magnolia kobus is a small to tall deciduous broadleaf tree which has a slow growth rate but can reach 8-15 metres in height and up to 10 metres in spread. It grows mainly in thickets and deciduous broadleaved secondary forests at elevations of approximately sea level to 1,700 m asl and has a wide variation in the size of flowers and leaves. It blooms in early spring (March), bearing fragrant flowers with hints of pale pink about 10 cm in diameter. The flowers are produced before the leaves, as with most members of the Magnolia subgenus Yulania. The high variability in floral scent chemistry may be due to the importance of visual cues in the reproductive biology of M. kobus which flowers in early spring, resulting in decreased selection for specific floral scent profiles. Alternatively, different scent compounds or chemical profiles may be equally effective in attracting pollinators (Azuma 2001).


Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Kobushi magnolia is used in architecture and landscaping as it is a flowering tree requiring low maintenance. It is a famous and valuable decorative plant in Japan. Young buds of M. kobus are important ingredients in the Chinese medicine 'Shin-I' which is used as a sedative or analgesic. In Japan 'Shin-I' is taken internally for the treatment of headaches or colds (Seo et al. 2008). The chemical components found in this species are known to have anti-oxidative and antibacterial properties.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The direct threats to this species are unknown however it is presumed to be in decline due to urban development. It is unknown if this species was subject to logging for firewood in the past.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In cultivation the Kobushi magnolia prefers full sun to partial shade, rich, well-drained soil, and is tolerant of acidic soils but prefers alkaline soils. It can be propagated easily either by seed or by cuttings.

Citation: Khela, S. 2014. Magnolia kobus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 October 2014.
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