The Southern magnolia tree is a splendid, broad-leaved evergreen, native to the southeastern United States. The magnolia has flamboyant, large flowers and attractive, waxy, tropical-looking leaves, both of which add distinction to the garden landscape. It is a handsome, low-branching tree, reaching heights of 60 to 80 feet. It displays wooly young buds and eight-inch-long, thick, shiny leaves. The huge, solitary blooms are white and exude a lovely fragrance. Its fruit is three to four inches long and conelike, revealing red seeds when opened.
How to grow: Plant container-grown or balled-and-burlapped plants in spring. The soil should be fertile, deep, well-drained, and slightly acidic. This tree tolerates high soil moisture but should be protected from wind. Avoid transplanting once it is situated. It can be pruned after flowering, if needed. Pests are not a particular problem.
Uses: Southern magnolia is used in the South as a specimen tree, but it does have a good deal of leaf litter. It is best used where it has ample room to develop without having to cut off the lower limbs.
Scientific name: Magnolia grandiflora
Want more information? Try these:
- Fruit Trees. These memorable trees allow sunlight to trickle through to nourish the fruit, and can adorn many a yard.
- Flowering Trees. Standing along, these trees make a strong visual impact. With strong leaves and vivid flowers, they're interesting all year long.
- Shade Trees. Towering overhead, shade trees can complement even the biggest house, and define the amount of sunlight that reaches your yard.