Magnolias are beautiful flowering plants. There are about 210 different varieties and species.
Originally from Southeast Asia and North America, they have now been naturalized in almost every continent. They come in many different sizes and several bloom colors and shapes.
Magnolias typically bloom from April to June. These plants are the main contributor to the happy pollinating life of bees.
We love these beautiful trees, so we gathered a list of 16 gorgeous and popular varieties to share with you here.
Types Of Magnolias That You Will Love In Your Garden
Let's dive right into the list of gorgeous Magnolias.
1. Southern Magnolia
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is probably the most iconic of all the magnolia trees.
This plant grows quite tall, 40-80 ft, and its canopy grows out as large as 40-50 feet. It features deep green shiny leaves that are evergreen in nature (though they do drop in cold weather).
This magnolia grows outdoors in zones 7-9 and takes a full sun location.
You can order your own Southern Magnolia. This small starter tree will be shipped to your door in time for spring planting. It will be between 8-12" tall. But no worries, these trees grow quickly!
2. Chinese Magnolia
Chinese Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) is a popular and beautifully spreading tree.
It blooms with a profusion of white and pink flowers in early to mid-spring. These blooms are not only gorgeous but exceedingly fragrant.
The blooms come out on bare branches in early spring, followed by the leaves. This tree grows in zones 6-9 and prefers full to partial sun.
Chinese Magnolia likes moist, well-drained soil and is a major attractor of birds and butterflies.
3. Star Magnolia
Star Magnolia (Magnolia stelleta) is a late-blooming Magnolia tree that saves you from the worry of a late frost. This slower-growing tree gets about 10-20 feet tall and its canopy spreads from 8-15 feet.
It will grow in zones 4-8 ft, is adaptable as a shrub, and fairly low-maintenance. These look particularly beautiful planted in a row where they bloom in magnificence.
This magnolia comes in 1-2 ft tall in gallon containers with soilless media and a 9-month slow-release fertilizer.
Deciduous plants bought dormant during the winter are guaranteed to leaf out in the spring under the same conditions.
4. Sweetbay Magnolia
Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) is a beautiful dense shade tree that blooms with a profusion of creamy white blooms.
These blooms typically appear in the late spring to early summer.
This is one of the most pest-resistant of the magnolia trees. It can tolerate very moist soils and can even survive a bout with standing water.
It gets 30-50 feet tall, the canopy reaches 20-25 ft, and does well in zones 5-10. Plant in full sun for best growth and blooming.
5. Kobus Magnolia
The Kobus Magnolia (Magnolia Kobus) s a small to medium deciduous tree or large shrub that is native to forest areas in Japan.
This magnolia typically grows slowly to as much as 25-30’ over time with a similar to slightly larger spread.
It has late winter to early spring blooms of fragrant, often pink-tinged, white flowers which open in March before the foliage emerges. It's best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.
Kobus Magnolia doesn't tolerate extremes of wet or dry very well. This tree will do best in zones 5-8.
6. Yulan Magnolia
Yulan Magnolia (Magnalio denudata) is is a small deciduous tree that typically grows 30-40’ tall with a rounded spreading crown.
It is also sometimes grown as a large shrub. Flowers bloom before the leaves emerge.Flowers give way to cone-like fruits that mature to red in late summer, releasing individual red coated seeds suspended on slender threads at maturity.
This species has been grown in Chinese gardens for at least 1000 years. This plant grows in zones 6-9 and likes full sun to partial shade.
7. Jane Magnolia Lilliflora
Jane Magnolia (Magnolia Lilliflora) is a lovely small magnolia tree. It grows 8-12 feet tall and blooms with purple, pink, and white flowers. The blooms appear in early spring.
By the fall they can look quite ragged. This tree likes full sun and can take as many as 4-5 years to bloom. So don't give up on it if blooms fail to appear. This one is good for zones 4-8.
8. Anise Magnolia
The Anise Magnolia (Magnolia salicifolia) is also known as the willow-leaved magnolia. It's a medium-sized deciduous tree that blooms with white flowers in the early spring. It has a lemony or anise flavor with greyish bark.
The blooms appear in the spring before the leaves appear, therefore it's susceptible to late frosts. It grows in zones 6-9, likes a moist well-drained soil, and prefers full to partial sun.
9. Bigleaf Magnolia
Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) has huge leaves that range from 12 to as much as 36 inches long.
Its creamy white flowers average 8-10 inches across. Bigleaf magnolia can be grown in full sun or part shade. It prefers well-drained sand or loam and slightly alkaline to acidic soil.
This tree is moderately tolerant of drought. The Bigleaf Magnolia is susceptible to ice and wind damage, and its large leaves damage easily and decompose slowly, creating a litter problem.
It's not the most attractive in a small garden setting but is great in larger yards or as a specimen tree.
10. Loebner Magnolia
Loebner Magnolia (Magnolia loebneri) is a hybrid magnolia. This cross between a Star Magnolia and a Kobus Magnolia is hardy and has beautiful white and pinkish flowers.
It's deciduous, grows 20-30 feet, spreads as wide, and it likes full sunny locations. It's a great sidewalk or specimen plant.
Plant this magnolia is zones 6-9. It's tolerant of all soils except sandy ones. It does well in moderately moist soils for moisture but doesn't tolerate drought well.
11. Umbrella Magnolia
Umbrella Magnolia (Magnolia tripetala) also known simply as Umbrella Tree is an understory tree native to rich moist woods, ravines, slopes, and along streams in the Appalachian Mountains.
You can find this tree from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Blue Ridge Mountains into South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.
It grows from 30-45' tall. The flowers on this plant don't smell as nice as many magnolias, but it will tolerate almost full shade, so is a great tree to fill in some space in a wooded area at the edge of your lawn.
12. Saucer Magnolia
Saucer magnolia (Magnolia × soulangeana) is a hybrid magnolia in the Chinese magnolia family.
It's a small, low-branched tree with large saucer type flowers in shades of pink and white. It's medium to fast-growing and has decent pollution tolerance, so it is good for sidewalk or median plantings.
Saucer magnolia likes moist, deep, acid soil and full sun. For height, it grows to 20'–30' tall; it's spread is 25'. This tree will grow in zones 4-9.
13. Felix Magnolia
Felix Magnolia (Magnolia x 'JURmag2' PPAF) is an award-winning magnolia hybrid variety. It's moderate in growth, reaching from 16-22' tall with a spread of 5-7 feet. It loves full sun and moderately moist soil.
It will need more water during high-heat seasons. It's best known for its stunning purple flowers, which bloom in early spring and are beautifully fragrant.
14. Leonard Messel Magnolia
Leonard Messel Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel') is a deciduous shrub with a multi-stemmed habit. Its beautiful deep pink buds open to pale lilac-pink flowers at an early age.
The petals are similar to those of the Star Magnolia. Use this tree for a single specimen and accent plant in your garden. It loves full sun and is a slow-growing shrub.
At maturity, it reaches 10 to 15 feet in height and 12 feet in width as a shrub. If grown as a tree it will go to 20 feet high and 25 feet wide. Plant this magnolia in zones 4-9 in full sun.
This plant is fully rooted in the soil and can be planted immediately upon arrival, weather permitting.
Planting and how-to-care instructions will arrive with the shipment. The plant will be dormant (no leaves) late Fall through Winter. This is normal. It will leaf out in Spring.
15. Yellow Bird Magnolia
Yellow Bird Magnolia (Magnolia acuminata) is a gorgeous specimen plant. The later blooming extends the range of this elegant yellow flowering magnolia further north than other magnolias.
Blooms are a vivid canary yellow and retain upright blossom shape and color for a period of 2 to 3 weeks. This tree is a stand-out when blooming against needled evergreens or darker buildings.
It is deciduous in nature. The Yellow Bird Magnolia likes full sun and has rapid growth to 40 feet tall and about 25 feet wide. It flourishes in zones 5-9.
16. Black Tulip Magnolia
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Black Tulip Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana 'Jurmag1' PPAF) is one of the most dramatic hybrid Magnolia trees. It has the same cup-like flowers as the Chinese magnolia but in a reach deep purple color.
It works well trimmed as a hedge or can be grown as a small tree. It's an excellent backdrop to azaleas and rhododendrons.
Black Tulip Magnolia likes full sun and regular watering. This specimen works in zones 5-9.
Sixteen Beautiful Magnolias
We don't know about you, but we've found a few we'd like to plant in our own gardens. It's wonderful to see so many varieties of magnolias all in one location, isn't it?
Each one is more beautiful than the next, and it gets us excited for spring. If you enjoyed this plant list, please check out a few of our others here at GardenTabs.com below: