Magnolia grandiflora L.

Bull Bay

Evergreen broad-crowned tree to about 15 m tall. Young growth covered with brown hair and branchlets with chambered pith. Leaves obovate to elliptic, mostly 15-22 cm long, 8-12 cm wide, blunt-tipped, tapered to the base, rusty brown below, extremely tough. Leaf stalks 1-2.5 cm long. Flowers large, creamy greenish-white, 20-30 cm wide, strongly lemon-scented; segments 9-12 or more; late spring to early summer. Fruit in a cluster about 6-10 cm long; seed red, flattened, about 1 cm long with thread-like attachment.

SE North America

A tree that grows naturally in moist woods on coastal plains and is tolerant of heat, wind and drought.

Evergreen tree; leaves rusty-haired below; flowers large, creamy white and strongly lemon-scented. Magnolia virginiana L. (which is known to hybridise with M. grandiflora) is a large evergreen shrub or small tree occasionally available: like M. grandiflora it has branchlets with chambered pith but it has much smaller leaves with long stipular scars on the leaf stalks while M. grandiflora has no scars. Magnolia delavayi Franchet, another evergreen tree or shrub, but from China, has long stipule scars on the stalks of the large leaves.

NSW: Sydney (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Palace Garden). VIC: Ballarat Botanical Gardens; Brighton (Anzac Hostel, 13 m tall in 1992); Burnley (The University of Melbourne, Burnley Campus); Caulfield Park; Daylesford (Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens); Malvern Gardens; Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Oak Lawn); St Kilda (All Saints Church, Chapel St, 2 trees); Oaklands Junction ('Woodlands' Homestead; 3 trees probably planted 1843-45 by William Pomeroy Greene); Scotsburn (Mt Boninyong homestead, ptd 1844-45); Sunshine (HV McKay Memorial Gardens); Walhalla

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Magnoliaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map

Magnolia grandiflora 'Cairo'

Leaves extremely shiny with the edges and midrib almost translucent. Fruit cones colouring red when exposed to the sun. The original tree was still growing at 2808 Washington St, Cairo, Illinois, usa in 1993.

Magnolia grandiflora 'Exmouth'

('Lanceolata', 'Exoniensis') Habit narrow and upright, almost fastigiate, leaves narrow, less rusty below than in typical form. Raised Exmouth, Devonshire, England in the 18th century by Sir John Colliton; flowers said to be extremely large with 18 segments appearing very early. Plants grown under this name in Australia are probably a different but meritorious compact clone with dark leaves, rusty below and flowering when young.

Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem'

Habit small, compact, narrow and columnar with small leaves that have a dense covering of rusty hairs below. Seedling raised at Steed's Nursery by Warren Steed, the seed collected in Candor, North Carolina. Selected in 1952 and named in 1966.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Magnolianae
order      Magnoliales
family       Magnoliaceae
genus        Magnolia L.