Alphabetical Plant Listing

Magnolia macrophylla (Bigleaf Magnolia)

Bigleaf Magnolia, Large-Leaved Cucumber Tree, Umbrella Tree


Noted for its unique enormous leaves, Magnolia macrophylla (Bigleaf Magnolia) is a magnificent, deciduous tree with a single trunk and a broad, rounded crown. In late spring to early summer, large, fragrant, creamy-white flowers, 8-10 in. across (20-25 cm), adorned with rose-purple at their petal bases, open after the leaves on mature trees (at least 12 years old). The blossoms are followed by egg-shaped fruits which mature to red in late summer and open to reveal red coated seeds suspended on slender threads. Many bird species and small mammals eat the red fleshy seeds. The foliage of huge oblong-obovate leaves, up to 36 in. long (90 cm) and 12 in. wide (30 cm), is green above and silvery-gray underneath. The bark is thin and gray. Bigleaf Magnolia makes a superb shade tree or specimen tree for a large landscape where it can be protected from high winds. 

  • Grows up to 30-40 ft. tall and wide (9-12 m)
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in organically rich, moist, acidic, well-drained soils. Tolerates clay loam soils as well as sandy soils and is moderately tolerant of drought. Does not withstand extreme drought or wetness or pollution. Protection from wind helps to preserve the huge leaves.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant.
  • Low maintenance, this beautiful tree is not subject to serious insect or disease issues. Leaves can create a maintenance issue at leaf drop in fall.
  • Propagate by fresh seed sown in fall, stratified seed, or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer.
  • Native to the Caribbean, Mexico and the southeastern United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 9
Heat Zones 6 – 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Magnolias
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 30' – 40' (9m – 12m)
Spread 30' – 40' (9m – 12m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Ohio, Northeast, Maryland, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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Peter Turner Photography, Nikolay Kurzenko, NazarPro, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 9
Heat Zones 6 – 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Magnolias
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 30' – 40' (9m – 12m)
Spread 30' – 40' (9m – 12m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Ohio, Northeast, Maryland, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Guides with Magnolias

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