Scientific Name:

Magnolia macrophylla

Common Name:

Bigleaf Magnolia

Scientific Name Pronounciation:

mag-NO-lee-uh mak-roh-FIL-uh

Plant Type:


Plant Hardiness Zones:


Plant Hardiness Zone(s):

Usual Size:

30-60 ft. H (occasionally taller) X 20-30 ft. W


8-14 inches wide; creamy white with 6-9 petals (or tepals); inner 3 petals may have a purple stain near base; blooms in late spring after leaves appear; fragrant

Bloom Time Notes:



Deciduous; oblong, widest near pointed tip; very large, at 12-36 inches long and 7-12 inches wide; "eared" or lobed at base; alternate, simple, borne in pseudo-whorls; bright green and smooth above, light gray and downy below; on 2-4-inch stalks; large, woolly, light green terminal buds.


Rounded, egg-shaped, rose-colored, about 3 inches long which contains fleshy seeds.


Birds love the fleshy seeds.

Natural Habitat:

Understory tree of rich wooded ravines in isolated populations.


Layering in early spring or by seed; to propagate by seed, harvest the fruit in the fall after the seeds have swollen and are bright red; fleshy seed covering should be removed by rubbing it off under running water; best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe; plagued by poor seed set and low seed viability.

Bloom Time:

Sun or Shade:

Companion Plants:

Cultural Notes:

Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) is best used in large landscape situations, not for smaller subdivision lots; performs best in loose, moist, well-drained, neutral to acidic soil; part sun to partial shade; protect from strong winds to avoid torn leaves, although some sources indicate success with plantings in full sun for a dramatic specimen tree (especially when a tropical effect is desired such as near a swimming pool!).


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