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Magnolia fraseri is often confused with:
Magnolia tripetala Magnolia tripetala
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Tilia americana Tilia americana
Robinia pseudoacacia Robinia pseudoacacia
Quercus nigra Form

Magnolia fraseri

Phonetic Spelling
mag-NO-lee-ah frah-SER-ee
Description

Magnolia fraseri, or Fraser Magnolia, is a small flowering tree, 30 to 40 feet high (sometimes reaching 70 feet), with a trunk diameter of 1 to 1 1/2 feet. Often branched near the base, it has an open crown of spreading branches, large leaves, and very large flowers. It prefers moist, cool and fertile soils of mesic sites and is found mostly on the lower third of mountainous slopes and gorges. In North Carolina, it is typically found in rich coves and slopes of the Appalachian Mountains at elevations of 2000 to 4000 feet. Many Fraser Magnolias can be seen while driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and is fairly common in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is usually less hardy than other magnolia species.

This species of tree is named for John Fraser (1750-1811), a Scottish botanist who introduced many North American plants to Europe.  This tree grows best on rich, moist, well-drained soil. Of scattered distribution, it is planted as an ornamental for the large flowers and coarse foliage.  The leaves are long, more than 12 inches, and in the fall, turn quickly from green, to yellow, then brown. These trees usually have more than one trunk and, like most other Magnolias, the bark of the Fraser Magnolia is somewhat smooth, but covered with warty lenticels. It is an important food source for wildlife and the fruit attract birds.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known insect or disease issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fragrant flowers#tree#flowering tree#fast growing#NC native#Braham Arboretum#food source summer#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#Piedmont Mountains FACU#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fragrant flowers#tree#flowering tree#fast growing#NC native#Braham Arboretum#food source summer#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#Piedmont Mountains FACU#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Magnolia
    Species:
    fraseri
    Family:
    Magnoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wood is light, weak, and easily worked. Used for lumber or pulpwood, but usually in places where there are no alternatives.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    West Virginia to Texas
    Distribution:
    Found in a relatively small strip of the eastern US along the Appalachian Mountains from West Virginia south to the northern tip of Georgia.
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruit attracts birds and small mammals. The fruit is eaten by wildlife, helping disperse the seeds.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Orange
    Pink
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is cucumber-shaped, oblong, 4 to 5 inches long, cone-like aggregate of fleshy seeded follicles. Once mature, the red drupe-like seeds are contained in a carpal, or cell. It displays from July to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Wheel
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Ten to twelve inch, sweetly fragrant, creamy white to pale yellow, perfect flowers (that is, stamen and pistal are in the same flower). Bloom from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Subulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Ten to twelve inch long leaves are oblong, narrow at the lower end with ear-like lobes at the base (auriculate).
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    Bark is smooth and grayish brown with some warty lenticels.
  • Stem:
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Only 1 terminal bud, larger than side buds
    Stem Description:
    Branched near the base. Terminal winter buds are smooth, purple, and 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Flower stalks stout, up to 1 1/2 inches long, glaucous.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds