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Magnolia x soulangiana

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
mag-NO-lee-ah soo-lan-jee-AH-nuh
Description

A hybrid cross between M. denudata and M. liliflora that is grown as a deciduous tree or large shrub. It grows up to 33' tall and is erect and pyramidal to rounded. Prefers consistent and regular moisture in well-drained acidic, loamy, organically-enriched soils in full sun to partial shade. It tolerates pollution and needs a protected site from late frosts.

Has a fleshy root system that requires plenty of room. flowers at early age and appear in late winter before leaves, and has a medium-to-course texture. Fruit ripens in the fall and is not ornamental. It is subject to flower killing by late frosts. Winter pubescent flower buds appear as having just received a haircut. Shape is upright in youth (often multi-trunked), with low wide-spreading branches, and rounded at maturity. Plant late-flowering cultivars to avoid frost damage.  Best to plant in protected location against frost and strong winds, but avoid southern exposures near structures, as buds may be encouraged to open too early.   It makes a great specimen tree, a lawn tree, patio tree, or planted in a park or recreation area. This pant has pest and disease problems.

This tree is mildly resistant to damage by deer and tolerates air pollution.


Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Soft magnolia scale produces honeydew that leads to black sooty mold.   Leaf spot, canker can be troublesome. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Multi-trunked or main branches low on trunk
  • Gigantic cup-shaped flowers before leaves in late winter
  • 9 petal segments are whitish on the inside, and pinkish-purple on the outside
  • Leaves have a sharply pointed apex
  • Bark is smooth and gray, and is fragrant when crushed
  • Winter floral buds appear to have a haircut 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Ann Betty - late-flowering cultivar
  • Ballerina - late-flowering cultivar
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#fragrant flowers#specimen#wildlife plant#tsc#fall interest#patio#park#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#playground#lawn#lawn tree#cpp#large shrub#deer resistant#children's garden#large flowers#wide#fantz#multitrunked#larval host plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Ann Betty - late-flowering cultivar
  • Ballerina - late-flowering cultivar
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#fragrant flowers#specimen#wildlife plant#tsc#fall interest#patio#park#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#playground#lawn#lawn tree#cpp#large shrub#deer resistant#children's garden#large flowers#wide#fantz#multitrunked#larval host plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Magnolia
    Family:
    Magnoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    Is the larval food source for saddleback caterpillars. Magnolia soft scale produces honeydew that bees love.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Fragrance
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 33 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-trunked
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    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:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are a multicelled, cone-like aggregates. They are 2" long. Seeds are red-orange in color and emerge from slits.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are cup-shaped, solitary, slightly fragrant, terminal, erect, cupulate, and 4.7"-10" in diameter. They have 9 perianth segments, are obovate-spatulate, and are concave at the tip. In mid-spring before leaves emerge, showy tepals are white on the inside and pink-purple on the outside, and grow up to 4" long and 3" wide. Buds are silky pubescent, and are less than an inch long.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, entire margins, acute, rotund, entire, obovate to oblong, 3"-6", and the apex is pointed. They are dark green above and velutinous pubescent below. In the fall, leaves turn yellow-brown before abscission.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth, gray, shows sapsucker damage (horizontal rows of 1/4 inch holes)
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are brown and glabrous with gray lenticiels. Large terminal flower buds that are hairy appear on stems one year ahead of bloom.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Pollution