16 Types Of Magnolia Trees

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Magnolias are a beautiful flowering plant. 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. They typically bloom from April to June. These plants are the main contributor to the happy pollinating life of bees. We love these beautiful plants, so we gathered a list of 16 gorgeous and popular varieties to share with you here.

Magnolia blossom with a man running on the road at the back, 16 Types of Magnolia Trees

Types Of Magnolias That You Will Love In Your Garden

Let’s dive right into the list of gorgeous Magnolias.

1. Southern Magnolia

White Southern Magnolia Flower in Bloom on Tree Atlanta Georgia

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 plant grows in zones 7-9 outdoors 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!

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2. Chinese Magnolia

Close Up of Chinese Magnolia Tree Blossom at Taoist Temple, Xi'an, China

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 and are followed by the leaves. This tree grows in zones 6-9 and prefers full to partial sun. It likes moist, well-drained soil and is a major attractor of birds and butterflies.

3. Star Magnolia

Star Magnolia (M. stellata)
Magnolia stellata. In aRGB color for beautiful prints.

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. Do not transplant into another container, only the ground! We guarantee a successful transplant for 30 days if the included planting instructions are followed with the correct location and water. Deciduous plants bought dormant during the winter are guaranteed to leaf out in the spring under the same conditions.

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4. Sweetbay Magnolia

Sweetbay magnolia flower (Magnolia virginiana). Called Sweetbay, Laurel magnolia, Swampbay, Swamp magnolia, Whitebay and Beaver tree also

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.

This seller cannot ship certain plants and some sizes to California due to restrictions placed by the California Department of Agriculture. The plant may be shipped in smaller bags or semi bare root. 

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5. Kobus Magnolia 

Kobus magnolia White magnolia early spring blossom

The Kobus Magnolia (Magnolia Kobus) s a small to medium deciduous tree or large shrub that is native to forest areas in Japan. It 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. It doesn’t tolerate extremes of wet or dry very well. This tree will do best in zones 5-8.

6. Yulan Magnolia

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

Blooming lily magnolia magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora)

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.

This gorgeous Jane Magnolia can be yours. It comes 8-12″ in a 3″ pot. As a member of the “little girl” group of hybrid magnolias. The Jane Magnolia was developed to be a lovely yet hardy shrub.

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8. Anise Magnolia

Anise Magnolia (Magnolia salicifolia)
Magnolia salicifolia closeup

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 in spring during flowering

Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) has huge leaves that range from 12 to as much as 36 inches long. It’s 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

Leonard Messel loebner magnolia flower (Magnolia x loebneri Leonard Messel)

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. For moisture, it does well in moderately moist soils but doesn’t tolerate drought well.

11. Umbrella Magnolia

Magnolia umbrella (Magnolia tripetala L.),

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, and Kentucky, as well as 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)

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 is a good one for sidewalk or median plantings. It 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.

This is a Saucer Magnolia about 6-12″ in a 3″ pot. The Saucer Magnolia is a landscape show-stopper with early spring blossoms and lush summer time leaves that add a nice contrast to its silvery-gray bark. Planting instructions come with this beautiful garden specimen. Have it shipped directly to your door in time for spring planting.

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13. Felix Magnolia

Purple magnolia flower, Magnolia felix

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

Magnolia tree in blossom. Closeup of beautiful purple flower

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 the Winter months, this is normal. It will leaf out in Spring.

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15. Yellow Bird Magnolia

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.

Grow your own lovely Yellow Bird Magnolia. This Yellow Magnolia tree is 6-12″ in height and in a 3″ pot. Planting instructions are included with every order.

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16. Black Tulip Magnolia

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. It 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:

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