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Magnolia grandiflora

Previously known as:

  • Magnolia angustifolia
  • Magnolia elliptica
  • Magnolia foetida
Phonetic Spelling
mag-NO-lee-ah gran-dih-FLOR-ah
Description

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. 

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

Fire Risk: This plant has a medium flammability rating. 

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

Profile Video:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Kay Parris'
    semi-dwarf, 19'-30' tall
  • 'Little Gem'
    semi-dwarf but can still get 30'
  • 'Teddy Bear'
    semi-dwarf, leave resemble teddy bear ears
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#birds#shade tree#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#showy#cut flowers#salt tolerant#playground#seeds#wet sites#winter cover#small mammals#cpp#fire#medium flammability#deer resistant#children's garden#pollinator plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Kay Parris'
    semi-dwarf, 19'-30' tall
  • 'Little Gem'
    semi-dwarf but can still get 30'
  • 'Teddy Bear'
    semi-dwarf, leave resemble teddy bear ears
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#birds#shade tree#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#showy#cut flowers#salt tolerant#playground#seeds#wet sites#winter cover#small mammals#cpp#fire#medium flammability#deer resistant#children's garden#pollinator plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Magnolia
    Species:
    grandiflora
    Family:
    Magnoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It was traditionally used medicinally to treat circulatory system disorders.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It provides winter and severe weather cover.  Its seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    The Southern magnolia is moderately resistant to deer damage, and is highly salt tolerant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    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 Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Follicle
    Fruit Description:
    The flowers 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.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    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.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    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.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Patchy
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark is brown to grey and smooth when young. As the tree ages, close plates or scales develop.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Salt
    Urban Conditions
    Wet Soil