Magnolia Trees and Shrubs With Their Flowers and Leaves (Pictures)

Magnolias are gorgeous pink, purple, yellow, or white blooming trees or shrubs. Magnolia trees and shrubs have thick leathery leaves and huge blooms, which bloom early in the spring. Depending on their growing zone, magnolias may be deciduous or evergreen. Some magnolia species may be huge trees, but others might be tiny trees or bushes with a shrubby growth. Magnolia’s gorgeous dazzling blooms add color and fragrance to garden landscapes, whatever variety grows in your yard.

The most frequent magnolia species may be identified in this article. The different types of magnolia can be identified by descriptions of their thick glossy leaves and gorgeous blooms. You can also use pictures of magnolia trees and shrubs to help you pick out the perfect tree for your yard.

Magnolia Tree Facts

Magnolia is a genus of flowering shrubs or trees in the Magnoliaceae family that may be used to enhance any garden’s design. Magnolia may be a multi-stemmed shrub or a solitary trunk tree. The fragrant blossoms, glossy, leathery leaves, and cone-like fruits distinguish the lovely landscape tree.

Most zones may be grown in magnolia fruit and seeds, which number 125 species. Magnolia occurs in the United States in eight different species. Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata), and Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) are the most popular magnolias types.

Magnolia trees prefer full sun or partial shade, and most cultivars do. As long as the soil is well-draining, Magnolia trees and shrubs adapt to a variety of soils and thrive. Water the soil each spring to keep it moist and fertilize your magnolia plants.

Types of Magnolia Trees

Depending on the type of tree or shrub, Magnolia thrives in a wide range of environments. In warm regions with winters that don’t drop below freezing,evergreen magnolias are ideal. In colder temperatures, deciduous magnolia trees flourish and can withstand frost. Evergreen and deciduous magnolia trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Evergreen Magnolia Trees

  • Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
  • White champaca (Magnolia x alba)
  • Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
  • Scented pearl magnolia (Magnolia laevifolia)

Deciduous Magnolia Trees

  • Star magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
  • Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana)
  • Loebner magnolia (Magnolia × loebneri)
  • Cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata)

In colder climates, some evergreen magnolia types develop as deciduous trees.

Magnolia Flowers

Magnolia blooms are star-shaped or bowl-shaped, similar to tulips, and may grow up to 12″ (30 cm) in diameter. White or pink are the most popular magnolia bloom colors. Magnolia trees, on the other hand, may produce purple, green, or yellow blooms. Each magnolia variety has its own bloom that is useful for identifying trees.

Magnolia Leaves

The top surface of magnolia leaves is glossy, green, and leathery. The edges are smooth. On woody stems, the leaves of magnolia trees have a simple alternate pattern. Magnolia leaves range in length from 5 to 8 inches (12 to 20 cm) and in width. Magnolia leaves have smooth borders in all colors.

Magnolia Tree Identification 

Magnolia trees’ large aromatic flowers are the easiest way to identify them. The flowers of individual magnolia types vary greatly. The long, stretched leaves with a smooth, glossy surface of magnolia trees are another way to identify them. The fruit of Magnolia trees, which resembles tiny cones with crimson seeds, is also identifier.

Magnolia identification can be aided by examining the bark. The aromatic chemicals in Magnolia bark make it thin and smooth. Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) bark

Types of Magnolia Trees (With Pictures) – Identification Guide

Now, let’s take a look at the most popular magnolia trees and see what they have in common.

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Southern magnolia is a lovely ornamental tree with magnolia leaves and brilliant white fragrant flowers. With a rounded or pyramidal crown up to 50 feet (15 meters) wide, this magnificent magnolia grows up to 80 feet (24 meters) tall. The glossy dark green leaves may grow up to 10″ (25 cm) long and are evergreen. Southern magnolia trees, sometimes known as bull bay, are well-known for their late spring blooms.

Cup-shaped white magnolia blossoms reach a height of 12 inches (30 cm). Southern magnolia blooms have a lemony fragrance when they’re in bloom. In USDA zones 6 through 10, this magnolia is a fast-growing evergreen tree.

Little Gem Magnolia Tree (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’)

Southern magnolia ‘Little Gem’ is a dwarf evergreen tree with white cup-shaped blooms and glossy pointed green leaves that grows between 15 and 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) tall. For tiny gardens, this huge shrubby magnolia bush-like tree is ideal.

The Southern magnolia variety “Little Gem” is a small cultivar. As a result, the dwarf tree with its bushy branches has the same aspects as the full-size tree. The Little Gem is noteworthy for its bright evergreen leaves and white scented blooms that lasts throughout the year.

Teddy Bear Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Southern Charm’)

The ‘Teddy Bear’ magnolia is a dwarf evergreen bushy shrub with tiny glossy green leathery leaves and gorgeous white blooms. It has a conical growth habit. The magnolia cultivar known as the Southern Charm has a moderate growth rate and grows to be around 20 feet (6 meters) tall.

The Teddy Bear magnolia has exquisite white flowers in a cup shape, much like the Southern magnolia species tree. As a specimen plant, the Southern Charm magnolia bush thrives. As an evergreen privacy screen, you can also plant rows of dwarf trees.

Pots or containers are also suitable for growing this cultivar. The brown fuzzy underside of the lanceolate leaves gives the common name “Teddy Bear.”

Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)

Depending on the cultivar, star magnolia has tiny white, star-shaped blossoms and ovate leaves. The Magnolia stellata has an oval crown and grows to be 6 feet (2 meters) tall. The glossy deep green leaves become golden yellow in the fall when the leaves change color.

One of the first flowers to appear in the spring is the star magnolia. Long, thin white petals create the individual showy blooms. The blooms, which are just 4” (10 cm) across, are smaller than those of other magnolia types. Magnolia stellata thrives in zones 4 through 9 and is one of the toughest magnolia bushes.

Royal Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’)

The lovely Star is a huge magnolia bush or small tree with spectacular double white blooms that emit a powerful fragrance. The dwarf, compact Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’ shrub grows between 10 and 15 feet (3 and 4.5 meters) tall. glossy green, ovate leaves characterize the hardy magnolia.

When the magnolia tree ‘Royal Star’ blooms in the spring, it is beautiful. A pile of star-shaped double flowers erupts from the dwarf tree. Before the leaves emerge, the flowers shade the naked branches. Before the leaves fall in the autumn, the foliage becomes yellow. In USDA zones 4 through 9, Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’ is appropriate.

Loebner Magnolia (Magnolia × loebneri)

With pinkish-white flowers, narrowly elliptic leaves, and crimson cone-like fruits, the star-shaped blooms of Loebner magnolia have strap-like pink petals. This hardy magnolia has a height of 20 feet (6 meters) and grows slowly. The shrubby tree with multiple stems thrives in shrub borders or as a specimen tree, and has a compact, spherical growth.

The starry flowers of the Magnolia loebneri are its most striking feature. Long pink, lilac, or whitish-pink strap-like petals make up the flowers. The magnolia petals are curled at the end and spread out from the core.

Magnolia × loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’

The magnolia has deciduous leaves and fragrant star-like pale pink blooms that grow on a compact hybrid cultivar named after Leonard Messel. This magnolia variety reaches heights of 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters). ‘Leonard Messel’ varieties are ideal for little gardens or as a specimen tree, and are commonly cultivated as multi-stemmed trees or huge shrubs.

Pink and white hues are used in the strappy petals. During the spring, the blossoms bloom in profusion, adding throw and fragrant to gardens.

Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) has gorgeous lanceolate or elliptical leaves and fragrant white cup-shaped blooms. The magnolia has a rounded to pyramidal crown and grows between 10 and 35 feet (3 and 10 meters) depending on the climate. Cup blooms produce a fragrant scent and are 2″ to 3″ (5 – 7.5 cm) in diameter. Swamp magnolia, laurel magnolia, and beaver tree are all terms for the same plant.

In southern states, Sweetbay magnolia is an evergreen tree; in colder climes, it is a deciduous magnolia bush. The decorative beauty of the quick-growing tree attracts attention, and it brightens garden settings. Sweetbay magnolia bushes make excellent foundation plantings, shrub borders, and container plants when cared for correctly. This magnolia is commonly seen as a specimen tree in warmer climates.

Cucumber Magnolia Tree (Magnolia acuminata)

The cucumber tree bears tulip-like fragrant blooms and glossy green, ovate shaped leaves. It is a hardy indigenous tree with pointed tip leaves. The deciduous leaves of the cucumber magnolia grow in a pyramidal shape and reach heights of 40 to 70 feet (12 to 21 meters).

The oblong to oval magnolia leaves, which may reach 10″ (25 cm) in length, have a smooth border with a pointed tip. The cucumber tree, unlike other magnolias, does not produce bright blooms. Green or yellow blooms with a tulip shape grow on little plants. The flowers on this tall magnolia are difficult to see due to the thick foliage.

The exceptional fall color of magnolias isn’t often noted. The Magnolia acuminata, on the other hand, is an outlier since its leaves stay golden yellow until they fall. The cucumber-shaped fruits that appear in the fall give the cucumber magnolia tree its popular name. In zones 4 through 8, cucumber trees are common in parks and open public spaces, and they are hardy there.

Jane Magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora x Magnolia stellata)

Jane magnolia produces showy, cup-shaped fragrant flowers that are pink-purple and white. Its purple buds open to pink petals on the exterior and white on the interior. Tulip blooms can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) wide. 6-inch (15-cm) long, ovate brilliant green leaves make up the tree’s foliage. Between 10 and 15 feet (3 and 4.5 meters) tall, the compact Jane magnolia bush grows.

Magnolia jane has magnificent tulip-like blooms that are pink and purple. The exterior of the huge blossoms is purple-pink, while the interior is white. The Little Girl Series comprises of hybrids between the Magnolia liliiflora and Magnolia stellata called the Jane magnolia.

Susan Magnolia (left) and Ann Magnolia (right) share flowers.

Black Lily Magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’)

The black lily magnolia is a big multi-stemmed shrub or small tree with dark pink tulip-shaped blooms. The rounded growth, lush, glossy leaves, and deep pink-purple flowers distinguish the magnolia bush. The open tulip blooms of the pink showy magnolia appear on upright woody branches.

In early spring, black lily magnolia flowers. The shrub will bloom all throughout the summer under the right circumstances, giving your garden a lovely pink and mauve hue. Between 8 and 12 feet (2.4 to 3.6 meters) tall, the Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’ cultivar grows. As a specimen plant for spring blooms, grow this dwarf tree in your backyards. USDA zones 5 through 9 are ideal for this magnolia.

Magnolia ‘Butterflies’

Butterflies magnolia is a deciduous compact hybrid plant with yellow cup-shaped blooms and oblong-elliptic dark green leaves with pointed tips that is popular among gardeners. A strong lemon fragrance comes from the showy canary-yellow magnolia blooms. Due to the tremendous number of blossoms when in bloom, the magnolia tree appears like a yellow bouquet of gorgeous blooms.

The cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminata) and Yulan magnolia (Magnolia denudata) are crossed to create Magnolia ‘Butterflies. The magnolia tree, which grows to be 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) tall, has pyramidal growth. The yellow butterfly magnolia tree, like most deciduous magnolias, grows best in zones 5 through 9. The magnolia variety “Butterflies” is widely recognized as the best example of a yellow-flowering tree.

Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana)

The saucer magnolia or Japanese magnolia is one of the most popular deciduous flowering trees. Its flowers range in color from pink to purple and white. Magnolia soulangeana, also known as the saucer magnolia, has beautiful purple, white, and pink flowers. Flowers develop into fragrant spherical blooms with two tones as the buds expand.

The glossy green leaves turn golden brown and fall in the autumn. The large bicolored blooms of this magnolia species are admired. Saucer magnolia is a 15–20 foot (4.5–6 m) tall shrub or small tree with a rounded, spreading crown that grows between 15 and 20 feet (4.5 and 6 m).

The Chinese magnolia and tulip magnolia are two names for saucer magnolias. The saucer magnolia is one of the most simple deciduous magnolias to cultivate. Wind and alkaline soils are tolerant to saucer magnolia cultivars. As a specimen tree or multi-trunked big shrub, grow these magnolia trees. ‘Grace McDade’ features enormous cup-shaped blooms 14″ (35 cm) across, and ‘Jurmag1’ features dark magnolia blooms.

The smallest of the saucer magnolias suitable for small gardens is the Magnolia soulangeana ‘Lilliputian.’ Magnolia soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’ is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with huge fragrant cup-shaped crimson flowers that may grow up to 30 feet tall (9 meters).

Magnolia soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’ has a beautiful flower

Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ (Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Black Tulip’)

The magnolia cultivar known as the ‘Black Tulip’ has cup-shaped dark blooms that range from purple-burgundy to black. Dark purple or deep burgundy magnolia blooms create a goblet-shaped bouquet. The large tulip-like blooms are up to 6 inches (15 cm) across. The obovate magnolia leaves are up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and are obovate in shape. Magnolia blooms from spring to summer under the right conditions. The trees may bloom again in mid-summer if the summer is cool and wet.

Between 15 and 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) tall, magnolias known as “Black Tulip” are huge shrubs or trees. This upright magnolia tree has a spreading crown up to 10 feet (3 meters) wide with a rounded top. A solitary trunk specimen tree of ‘Black Tulip Magnolia’ magnolias might be grown or pruned to create a flowering hedge plant.

Magnolia Betty (Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’ x Magnolia stellata ‘Rosea’)

The magnolia shrub is known for its pink-purple blooms with white interiors, and it grows in tiny, compact gardens. The spectacular pink-purple blooms of the shrubby magnolia bloom late in the season. The petals are white inside the cup-shaped flowers, which contrasts with the dark exteriors. Magnolia ‘Betty’ is a hardy tree that grows between 10 and 15 feet (3 and 4.5 meters) in USDA zones 4 through 8.

Magnolia champaca 

The Magnolia champaca is a tall tree with gently scented yellow or cream-colored flowers and beautifully smooth leaves with clean margins. This 50-foot-tall (15-meter-tall) magnolia has a narrow crown. Yellow jade orchid tree, joy perfume tree, and Himalayan champaca are some of the common names for Magnolia champaca. Summer and early autumn are the peak times for champaca magnolia blossoming.

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