Magnolia macrophylla, commonly called bigleaf magnolia, is noted for its huge, oblong-obovate leaves, to 30 inches long which are the largest simple leaves of any tree indigenous to North America. Leaves are green above and silvery-gray below. This unusual tree is rarely found in the wild, being limited mainly to a few rich wooded areas in river valleys and ravines in the southeastern United States. It is a pyramidal tree that develops a spreading rounded crown with age, typically growing 30-40’ tall. Fragrant, open, cup-shaped flowers to 8" to 12" wide bloom in May to June. Flowers are white with rose-purple at the petal bases. Although quite large, the flowers are often located far off the ground and are not always easy to see close up. Flowers give way to spherical cone-like fruits which mature to red in late summer, releasing individual red coated seeds suspended on slender threads at maturity.
It is best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Generally intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet). Intolerant of most urban pollutants. Best sited in locations protected from strong winds which may shred the large leaves. May take 12 or more years before first blooms appear.No serious insect or disease problems.
This is a beautiful specimen flowering tree for lawns or sheltered gardens. Give it a plave of honor!
We also have gallon sizes of Magnolia ashei.