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Southern Magnolia

Magnolia grandiflora

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Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) at Fossil Creek Tree Farm

Southern Magnolia flowers

Southern Magnolia flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) at Fossil Creek Tree Farm

Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) at Fossil Creek Tree Farm

Southern Magnolia fruit

Southern Magnolia fruit

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  60 feet

Spread:  45 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Bull Bay

Description:

This beautiful tree makes a great accent, smothered in showy and fragrant white cup-shaped flowers in spring through summer; large, glossy leaves with brown undersides as the name implies; has a neat, upright habit of growth

Ornamental Features

Southern Magnolia is smothered in stunning fragrant white cup-shaped flowers held atop the branches from mid spring to early summer. It has attractive dark green foliage with brown undersides. The large glossy pointy leaves are highly ornamental and turn coppery-bronze in fall. The fruits are showy red pods displayed from early to late fall.

Landscape Attributes

Southern Magnolia is an evergreen tree with a shapely oval form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds and squirrels to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Southern Magnolia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Southern Magnolia will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 45 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Shade 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features