Magnolias – A Touch of Southern Charm for the Western Landscape
Magnolias make spectacular specimen trees. Their glossy
leaves and glorious displays of large, fragrant flowers
make them a favorite in the western landscape. Magnolias
can also serve as a dense screen, windbreak or street tree
(with lower limbs removed).
Magnolias thrive in a variety of climates throughout
the West. Grown as trees or tall shrubs they may be
deciduous or evergreen. Its ease of growth and carefree
nature make the magnolia ideal for the low-maintenance
landscape. All magnolias prefer fertile, well-drained areas
and most favor slightly acidic soil.
Magnolias perform best if planted to avoid hot dry windy
locations; transplanting is most successful in fall and spring.
'M. soulangeana' – Valued most for its early display of
large pink and white flowers before the leaves expand,
the Saucer Magnolia is an excellent ornamental shrub or
small, low-branched tree with wide spreading branches.
This deciduous tree will grow 20 to 30 feet tall and wide.
M. soulangeana 'Alexandrina' – This variety of
M. soulangeana is noteworthy for its compelling pinkpurple
buds, which open to a large white flower.
'M. stellata' – The 'Star Magnolia' is ideal for a small
garden with alkaline soil. This variety is slow growing to
10´ and produces fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers
from March to April.
M. grandiflora 'Little Gem' – This beautiful evergreen
is a slow-growing cultivar with half-size leaves and large
flowers that make it unique among magnolia cultivars.
'Little Gem' produces flowers often and at a comparatively
young age, at only 1 to 2 years old. Perfect for small
landscapes, this compact upright tree grows to 20´ and
blooms constantly throughout summer and into fall.
M. grandiflora 'Majestic Beauty' – Growing to 50´ tall
this majestic evergreen tree is the most luxuriant of the
Southern Magnolias. The exceptionally long shiny leaves
and large flowers to 12" across make this a striking
specimen tree. The lower branches often bend to the
ground forming a pyramidal crown.
M. grandiflora 'D.D. Blanchard' – A striking tree for
any landscape, this evergreen magnolia has a compact
and pyramidal growth habit. The leaves on 'D.D.
Blanchard' are unique with shiny green tops like other
magnolias but the backs are a rusty almost orange
color. Like most Southern Magnolias, the flowers are
creamy white fragrant globes.
M. grandiflora 'Edith Bogue' – This shapely vigorous
tree is one of the cold-hardiest selections of M.
grandiflora. Up to 35´ in height, this elegant evergreen
rates as one of the best Southern Magnolias for the
Pacific Northwest. The bold, glossy foliage looks good all
year and highly fragrant, creamy white flowers to 8" wide
bloom late spring through midsummer.
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