Content Detail

This hybrid magnolia has excellent hardiness and a beautiful display of white flowers.

  • Family (English) Magnolia
  • Family (botanic) Magnoliaceae
  • Planting site Residential and parks
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet), Small tree (15-25 feet)
  • Mature height 20-30 feet
  • Mature width 20-40 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil
  • Season of interest early spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, White
  • Shape or form Round
  • Growth rate Slow
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations Intolerant of pollution
  • Wildlife Insect pollinators
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

This is of hybrid origin.  It is a cross between Magnolia kobus and Magnolia stellata.

Bark color and texture:

Young bark is smooth and silvery gray, becoming slightly roughened with age.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Simple leaves are arranged alternately on the stem and grow 4 to 6 inches long with an entire margin.  Little to no fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Flowers are solitary with 6 to 12 white or pinkish petals.  They are mildly fragrant.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The fruit is a pickle-shaped structure (aggregate) that matures from green to pink, then red.  When mature the structure splits open to reveal seeds.

Plant care:

Plant only in Spring.  Pick a sheltered location to avoid damage from strong winds and plant in full sun for best flowering potential. Magnolias are shallow-rooted and benefit with a layer of mulch to moderate soil temperature fluctuation and conserve moisture. Prune after flowering.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Potential problems include magnolia scale, verticillium wilt, and chlorosis in high pH soils.  Flowers are susceptible to frost damage.

Ballerina Loebner’s magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri ‘Ballerina’):

This cultivar grows 15 to 20 feet high and wide with a rounded form. It blooms early to mid-April and its flowers have numerous pure white petals that are pale pink at the base.  Zones 4-8.

Leonard Messel Loebner’s magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’):

This cultivar grows 25 to 30 feet high and 30-35 feet wide with a rounded form. It blooms in early to mid-April and its flowers have dark purple  buds that open with a white interior.  Zone 4-8

Merrill Loebner’s  magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill):

This cultivar grows 25 to 30 feet high and 30 to 35 feet wide with a  rounded form and blooms early to mid-April.  It is a fast growing tree with many strap-like petaled white flowers.  Zone 4-8

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