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Saucer MagnoliaMagnolia x soulangeana

  • Saucer Magnolia - Magnolia x soulangeana
  • Saucer Magnolia - Magnolia x soulangeana

The saucer magnolia is a landscape show-stopper. The stunning early spring blossoms have been said to open “like a thousand porcelain goblets,” and lush summertime leaves are dark green and leathery—adding nice contrast to silvery-gray bark. One of the most popular flowering trees in the United States, the saucer magnolia is also widely planted in Europe.

If you’re in search of a specimen tree or shrub to make a splash in your yard, look no further.


Hardiness Zones

The saucer magnolia can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–9. View Map

Tree Type

This tree is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is typically planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.

Mature Size

The saucer magnolia grows to a height of 20–30' and a spread of around 25' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The saucer magnolia grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It has some drought tolerance.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Produces attractive pink and white flowers, appearing as saucers that are 5–10" in diameter.
  • Blooms late February to April, with some blossoms reappearing throughout the summer months and possibly into winter. Color tends to fade with re-emerging flowers.
  • Can be trained to grow as either a shrub, small tree with multiple stems or single-trunk tree.
  • Features thick and soft leaves 3–6" in length with a smooth margin and pointed tip, dark green on top with a fuzzy underside.
  • Yields elongated fruit that is up to 4" long, seldom produced in significant numbers.
  • Has some pollution tolerance.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.
  • Needs seasonal protection in areas with cold winters for the first couple of years.
  • Has thin bark that is easily damaged by lawnmowers, weed cutters, etc.

Wildlife Value

Wildlife use larger branches of the Saucer Magnolia as nesting sites. Seeds are eaten by a variety of birds, and the sprouts of young trees are browsed.

History/Lore

A hybrid cousin of America's magnificent Southern Magnolia, the Saucer Magnolia is actually a large spreading shrub that take its name from its wide, saucer-like flowers. It was first cultivated in 1826.