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Magnolia kobus

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
mag-NO-lee-ah KOE-bus
Description

One of the earliest magnolias to flower in spring, but does not flower well when young.  Best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. It is tolerant of high pH, the cold, and most soils.  Generally intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet). Intolerant of most urban pollutants. It is easy to propagate from cuttings and is relatively pest free. Best sited in a location protected from high winds, but generally avoid southern exposures in full sun where the buds may be induced to open too early in late winter. Among magnolias, this species is one of the earliest to bloom in spring. Propagate from cuttings.

As a tree, it is deciduous and pyramidal when young, maturing to a spreading, dense, conical or domed form that grows up to 49" tall. It is noted for its late winter to early spring bloom of goblet-shaped to cup-shaped, fragrant, often pink-tinged, white flowers (each to 4” across) which open in March or April before the foliage emerges. It may take up to 30 years for the tree to reach full flowering potentials from the seed. Leaves are attractive throughout the growing season, but produce little fall color (mediocre yellowish-brown). Trees flower poorly when young, and may need as much as 25 years before reaching best flowering status. Red seeds form in pods (to 3” long) that split open in fall, and are attractive to birds. Kobus Magnolia is similar to star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) except larger.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Petals have a faint purple line at the outside base
  • Flower has 6-9 spatulate-obovate petal segments
  • Large creamy blooms appear on naked branches in the early spring
  • Bruised stems have foetid, pungeant odor
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Wada's Memory
Wada's Memory
Tags:
#red#white#deciduous#white flowers#shrub#pink flowers#red flowers#tree#spring flowers#pest resistant#spreading#easy to propagate#cold tolerant#spring interest#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Wada's Memory
Wada's Memory
Tags:
#red#white#deciduous#white flowers#shrub#pink flowers#red flowers#tree#spring flowers#pest resistant#spreading#easy to propagate#cold tolerant#spring interest#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Magnolia
    Species:
    kobus
    Family:
    Magnoliaceae
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Korea and Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Seeds attract birds.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 25 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 25 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Dense
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • 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 pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Follicle
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are a cone-like aggregation of follicles.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are creamy white and often stained wine-red or pink. They have a 4" long diameter, are fragrant, and usually have 6 segments. Segments are spatulate to obovate, and are 3" long and 1" wide. Buds are pubescent, silky gray, and have an acute apex.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, aromatic, simple, oblong-elliptic to obovate, entire, acute, cuneate, glabrous dark green above, light green and pubescent underneath. They grow up to 7.5" long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Stems are slender, green, are splashed with brownish splotches, are spotted with vertical grayish lenticels, and have a strong pungeant foetid odor when bruised.
  • Landscape:
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Insect Pests