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Magnolia zenii

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
mag-NO-lee-ah zen-ee-eye
Description

Zen magnolia is a deciduous small tree in the Magnoliaceae (magnoila) family.  It is native to the forests of China but has become rare in its native habitat.

It has upright growth reaching 15 to 25 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide.  This gray barked specimen is the earliest flowering magnolia with relatively small but very fragrant blooms appearing in the mid-to-late winter from February to March.  Dark green leaves are pale green on the underside, and winter buds are covered with silky hairs.   Late winter frosts can damage the flower buds.

Use this petite tree as a specimen for a patio or courtyard planting.  It is at home in a lawn planting or as a part of an Asian themed garden.  Its winter flowers and beautiful bark make it a good choice to add interest in a winter garden. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pink Parchment'
'Pink Parchment'
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#full sun tolerant#fragrant flowers#specimen#white flowers#winter interest#flowering tree#large flowers#winter flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pink Parchment'
'Pink Parchment'
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#full sun tolerant#fragrant flowers#specimen#white flowers#winter interest#flowering tree#large flowers#winter flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Magnolia
    Species:
    zenii
    Family:
    Magnoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Terminal pink buds open white with the undersurface of the nine tepals marked with a band of purple-pink along the midrib of each tepal. Up to 4 inches wide and fragrant. Blooms Febuary to March and appear before leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Up to 8-inch long elliptical dark green leaves with entire margins are pale green on the underside with curly hairs along the veins and midrib. Yellow-brown fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth gray bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    No scales, covered in hair
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Purple brown to gray with lenticles, very hairy buds
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Patio
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Small Tree
    Specimen