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MAGNOLIA grandiflora

Image of Magnolia grandiflora

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Magnoliaceae

Botanical Name

MAGNOLIA grandiflora

Plant Common Name

Southern Magnolia

General Description

Southern magnolia is a beautiful, large broadleaf evergreen tree native to the Southeast United States. The huge, waxy, fragrant white flowers debut in early to late spring (depending on climate) and continue sporadically into fall. The glossy, leathery, dark green leaves - often with contrasting gray or brown undersides - are big and bold. Large cone-like fruits with fleshy red seeds are ornamental in fall. This magnolia drops its oldest leaves in mid-spring, just before new stem and foliage growth commences. Don't be alarmed when all the foliage seems to fold downward this time of year (it's not drought stress, but the tree naturally shedding oldest leaf petioles).

Southern magnolia likes sun or light shade and moist, well-drained soil. It may need protection from winter winds in the colder parts of its hardiness zone. Mulch the soil under the branches to protect the shallow, expansive root system and avoid planting other garden plants under large established trees. Use the southern magnolia as a shade tree or specimen plant. Choose any of the many cultivars that mature with narrower or shorter mature habits based on the size of your property. Many cultivars have been selected for compactness, hardiness, habit, leaf color, and other characteristics.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    11 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    20'-80' / 6.1m - 24.4m

  • Width

    10'-60' / 3.0m - 18.3m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No