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Magnolia grandiflora

Common Name(s):
Large tree magnolia, Large tree magnolia, Southern magnolia
Alta, Bracken's Brown Beauty, Claudia Wannamaker, DD Blanchard, Edith Bogue, Kay Parris (semi-dwarf), Little Gem (semi-dwarf), Teddy Bear (semi-dwarf)
Native Plants, Trees

Magnolia grandiflora is a broadleaf evergreen tree that is noted for its attractive dark green leaves and its large, extremely fragrant flowers. It typically grows to 60-80’ tall with a pyramidal to rounded crown. This is a magnificent tree of the South. It is native to moist wooded areas in the southeastern United States from North Carolina to Florida and Texas.  This tree is highly salt tolerant.

The bark is brown to grey and smooth when young.  As the tree ages, close plates or scales develop.

Its dense shade and shallow roots make it difficult to grow anything underneath. 

Regions:  Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

     Bloom: Spring      Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Fall

Wildlife Value:  The Southern magnolia is moderately resistant to deer damage.  It provides winter and severe weather cover.  Its seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:   The leaves are difficult to manage, dropping in both fall and spring.

40-80 ft.
The Magnolia grandiflora has fragrant creamy white flowers (to 8-12” diameter) usually have six petals. The flowers bloom in late spring, with sparse continued flowering throughout the summer. They give way to spherical cone-like fruiting clusters (to 3-5” long) that mature in late summer to early fall, releasing individual rose-red coated seeds suspended on slender threads at maturity.
The Magnolia grandiflora is best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Part shade may be best. It is generally intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet). It is also intolerant of many urban pollutants. Trees will become quite large over time and should be planted in areas where they can expand. It should be planted where lowest branches can grow to the ground.
Dense, conical shape; symmetrical
Moist soil
8 in. waxy white fragrant flowers from summer to early fall; bright red seeds
30-40 ft.
Growth Rate:
Slow to moderate
The Southern Magnolia has alternate, simple, leathery evergreen ovate to elliptic leaves (to 10” long). They are glossy dark green above and variable pale green to gray-brown beneath. It has felt-like fuzz on back of its leaves.
cpp, wet sites, birds, fragrant, showy, wildlife, wet, salt tolerant, deer resistant, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 509

Magnolia grandiflora Magnolia grandiflora
Photo by Arthur Chapman, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0
Magnolia grandiflora M. grandiflora 'Little Gem'
Photo by Littlegemtrees, CC BY-ND-2.0
Magnolia grandiflora M. grandiflora 'Little Gem' seed pod