SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: Los Angeles County Arboretum - Arcadia, CA, Palo Alto, CA, Bakersfield, CA, San Luis Obispo, CA and Cal Poly State University Campus - San Luis Obispo, CA
The iconic southern magnolia is widely planted throughout California and is one of the most widely grown ornamental trees on Earth. It is occasional found as a street, park, and garden tree in tropical areas, including Hawaii. It has contrasting sides on its evergreen, stiff, leathery leaves: glossy, dark green above and gray to rust-colored and felted below. Its spectacular, fruit-scented, creamy white flowers are borne individually on the deep-green canopy like huge water lilies. They are among the largest cultivated tree flowers, some reaching a foot in diameter. These flowers evolved prior to butterflies and bees and were originally pollinated by beetles and other ancient insects. Pollinated flowers mature into aggregate cones of small fruits, each splitting to unveil a fleshy, scarlet seed. Little Gem Magnolia has a compact, upright habit and is a smaller version of other commonly used Magnolias. Magnolia grandiflora has a HPWRA (Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 0 (Low Risk), and the Plant Pono link is: https://plantpono.org/pono-plants/magnolia-grandiflora-little-gem/.
Has fragrant Flower.
Native to Southeastern United States.
A Magnolia grandiflora in Sutter Creek is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 80 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 180 inches and a crown spread of 72 feet.
Additional Common Names
SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA, BULL BAY
Erect or Spreading and requires ample growing space.
Oval, Rounded or Umbrella Shape.
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 60 - 80 feet.
Width: 50 - 60 feet.
Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Year.
Longevity Greater than 150 years.
Leaves Elliptic to Broadly Ovate, Glossy Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.
Flowers Showy. Fragrant White. Flowers in Spring, Summer or Fall. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Prolific, Purple or Red Follicle, Very Large (Over 3.00 inches), fruiting in Summer or Fall.
Bark Light Green, Fissured.
Shading Capacity Rated as Dense to Very Dense in Leaf.
Litter Issue is Flowers, Dry Fruit and Leaves.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones 4 - 12 and 14 - 24; H1, H2.
USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 9.
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.
Loam or Sand Texture.
Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.
Salinity Tolerance is Moderate on Coast.
Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.
Pests & Disease Information
Susceptible to Invasive Shot Hole Borer, Aphids, Scales and Spider Mites, Armillaria, Root Rot and Verticillium.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Branch Strength Rated as Medium.
Root Damage Potential Rated as High.
Allergy and Irritant Health Hazard.
Biogenic Emissions considered Moderate.
Fire Resistance is Favorable.
Special Uses & Values
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Magnolia grandiflora Tree Record." 1995-2020. Feb 27, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/magnolia-grandiflora >
SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI