Magnolia grandiflora: Southern Magnolia
Latin name: Magnolia grandiflora
Common name: Southern Magnolia
Flowers: White, 8-12” diameter6,15, Showy and fragrant12, bloom April- June or late spring10,12
Fruit or cones: 3-5” long cone that mature late summer to early fall12,13
Height & Width: 60-80’ tall with a width of 30-50’ 6,10,13,15,19
Wetland indicator category**: FAC, FACU17
Texture: Smooth, leathery evergreen leaves10,12
Growth rate: Slow to medium6,13
Light: Full sun or part shade6,10,12
Moisture: Prefers medium to moist soil and occasionally tolerates wet soil10,19. Intolerant of soil extremes12
Soil*: Rich, porous, acid soils pH 5.5- 6.5 and well drained10,19
Origin: Southeastern United States12,16
Ecosystem benefits: Provides food and wildlife for birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds19
Features: Magnolias grow very large and full. They are covered in attractive dark green leaves and extremely fragrant, large white flowers12,13,15. The shiny leaves are glossy dark green with pale-green to gray-brown undersides which add beautiful color and texture to any landscape12.
Siting: Plants prefer to be in full sun or partly shaded areas with medium to moist soil10,12. Generally they are intolerant of extreme dry or wet soil, so moist well-drained soil is best13. Magnolias are great for hedges, border accents, and shade trees6,10. These trees do best if sited in a protected location away from direct wind as strong winds can damage its lustrous 4- inch leaves12.
Care: Plant so root flare is visible at soil surface14. At planting, water the root ball daily with two gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter for two weeks, every other day for two months and then weekly until established. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the trunk14. Maintain moist soil and remove dead growth. Do not prune lower limbs and leaves as it can result in stress, cause suckers, and make the tree susceptible to disease6,10.
Pests: Plants are relatively pest resistant if cultural preferences are met6,12.
This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on (3/3/2019):
- USDA SC Invasive Plant Species Web site at http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml
- SC Exotic Plant Pest Council Web site at http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/
Author: Andrew Crawford
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- University of Florida, IFAS Extension. (2011). Southern trees fact sheet. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/department_envhort-trees
- USDA. Plant profile. (n/d).Retrieved from http://plants.usda.gov/java/
- USDA. Plant wetland indicator status. (n/d). Retrieved from http://plants.usda.gov/wetland.html
- Vincent, E., Environmental horticulturist Clemson University, personal communication.
- Clemson Extension. Carolina Yards Plant Database. Retrieved from https://www.clemson.edu/extension/carolinayards/plant-database/index.html
- Add additional sources starting here
*Soil pH is determined using a professional soil test. Contact your Clemson University County Extension service for assistance www.clemson.edu/extension/. Click on “local offices”.
**2012 Plant Wetland Indicator categories (quantitative derived) http://plants.usda.gov/wetinfo.html
|Indicator Code||Indicator Status||Comment|
|OBL||Obligate Wetland||Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands|
|FACW||Facultative Wetland||Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands|
|FAC||Facultative||Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte|
|FACU||Facultative Upland||Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands|
|UPL||Obligate Upland||Rarely is a hydrophyte, almost always in uplands|