The Southern Magnolia grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, wide range, clay soils.
The Southern Magnolia is a bottomland tree in its natural habitat throughout the coastal plains of the deep south. Its green leaves brighten the landscape throughout the year and its large white flowers are striking, not only for their beauty but for their rich fragrance. It is the state tree of Mississippi.
Large, creamy white and very fragrant flowers grace this broad leafed evergreen in late spring and early summer. Leaves are shiny green, reddish underneath. Protect from winter winds and sun in northern areas. Grows to 60' to 80', 40' spread. (zones 6-10)
The Southern Magnolia fruits are eaten by squirrels, rabbits, & birds, including wild turkey.
Magnolias are entwined with the history of the south. Perhaps the one reaching back the farthest into time is a Southern Magnolia that still grows in what today is Washington State Park in Washington, Arkansas. According to "Famous and Historic Trees," by Charles E. Randall and Henry Clepper, this tree was planted near an important road junction in 1839 by Gen. Grandison D. Royston. It was near a blacksmith shop where Jim Bowie fashioned his famous knife. Some call it the Jones Magnolia because two unrelated boys were born to Jones families the same year the tree was planted. Both became Colonels in the Confederate army and one, Daniel W. Jones, eventually became Governor of Arkansas. The other, James K. Jones, became a U.S. senator. Both laid claim to being the namesake of the tree and James finally resolved the good-natured debate by purchasing the land the tree stood on and making his home there for over 30 years. Another historic specimen grows on the White House grounds. It was transplanted by President Andrew Jackson from his home in Nashville, Tennessee in memory of his beloved wife, Rachel.
Can withstand some flooding and has moderate drought tolerance.
The leaves are evergreen, 5 to 10 inches long and leathery. They are a lustrous dark green on top with a soft, rusty underside.
Creamy white flowers, solitary and extremely large, sometimes up to 12 inches in diameter.
May through June, with some blossoms throughout the summer months..
The fruit is elongated, 3 to 8 inches long. Attracts birds and has some litter effect.