A tree known for its beautiful flowers and elegant size, the southern magnolia is a delight to see and care for, as they are naturally adaptable and thrive in an urban setting.
This tree is eligible for a $100 Tree Rebate.
More detail: Southern Magnolia’s Tree of the Month.
Simple and broadly ovate, with smooth margins; dark green, stiff and leathery, and often scurfy underneath with yellow-brown pubescence
Large, showy, lemon citronella-scented flowers are white and fragrant, with 6 to 12 petals with a waxy texture
Fleshy, rose-colored, conelike fruit
Stout, thick, appearing grey-brown
Young bark is dark gray and smooth but becomes furrowed and scaly as the tree matures
Pyramid-shaped, usually with a narrow crown
Can grow up to 90 feet in height
Native to the southeastern United States, from Virginia south to central Florida, and then west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma
The leaves change little, but the flowers begin dropping their bright seeds throughout the fall, leading to a vibrant red color on the tree.
Grows best on rich, loamy, moist soils along streams and near swamps
Quite tolerant of shade, but grows best in full sun
Pests and Diseases
There are a number of fungi that attack the southern magnolia, including species of Cladosporium, Colletotrichum and Septoria that cause leaf spots but these seldom result in any significant damage. Heavy infestations of magnolia scale can kill branches or entire trees. A variety of other pests including tuliptree aphid, striped mealybug and spider mite feed on the magnolia.
Magnolia grandiflora is the state tree of Mississippi and the state flower of Mississippi and Louisiana.
In many urban areas where other species do poorly, this magnolia can grow because of its resistance to damage from sulfur dioxide.
President Andrew Jackson planted a southern magnolia on the White House grounds that stands to this day.