Among the many spring-flowering trees that grace Rogue Valley gardens, there’s one that stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of glorious, over-the-top showiness. Lavish displays, huge flowers, intoxicating fragrance - Deciduous Magnolias have it all!
In general, deciduous Magnolias are relatively slow-growing, small to medium-sized trees; ranging in height from 10’ to 25’. Their flowers are a perfect palette of springtime colors: clear white, canary yellow, soft pink, and even a rich purple-red. They bloom from early spring into summer, depending upon variety, and all varieties are deliciously fragrant.
Deciduous Magnolias prefer full sun to part shade, and will grow well in most soils – including clay – but they do need good drainage (plant them on a mound in clay soils). They prefer soils that are rich in organic material, and will benefit from having some compost or a good soil amendment worked into the soil at planting time. One note of caution: Magnolia roots are tender and fleshy. Take extra care when you’re planting them to not injure the roots, and handle them as little as possible during the planting process.
Here's a ‘who’s who’ of the deciduous Magnolia varieties we currently carry here at Shooting Star, arranged by height at maturity.
To 15’ tall:
*Ann: Flowers 3-4” across – reddish purple outside contrasting with pale pinkish-white inside. 10-12’ tall and wide.
*Betty (right): Flowers up to 8” across, reddish-purple outside with a white interior. To 15’ tall and wide.
Leonard Messel: Petals are rosy-purple outside and creamy white inside, flowers 4-6” across. 10-15- tall by 4-6’ wide.
Royal Star (left): Lovely clear white, star-shaped flowers up to 6” across. 10-15’ tall by 10-12’ wide.
*Susan: Flowers 4-6” across, deep red-purple inside and out. 12-15’ tall by 15’ wide.
Vulcan: Huge (10-12” across) magenta-pink flowers. 10-15’ tall and wide.
* Note: Ann, Betty, and Susan are all part of the Little Girl series of Magnolias (a cross between M. stellata and M. liliiflora). They are all compact in stature, and all bloom several weeks later than most other deciduous Magnolias.
Black Tulip (right): Large (up to 6” across) rich purple-black, tulip-shaped flowers. 15-20’ by 6-10’.
Waterlily: Pinkish in bud opening to 5” wide white flowers with lots and lots of petals. 15-20’ by 8-15’.
Over 20’ tall:
Butterflies (left): One of the best yellow-flowered Magnolias. Canary-yellow flowers, 4-5” across. 25-30’ by 10-15’.
Galaxy: Rose-purple flowers up to 10” across. Pyramidal shape – 30-40’ by 20-25’ at maturity.
Rustica Rubra: Saucer-shaped flowers measure 5” across when fully open; rosy-pink outside and white inside. 20-25’ tall and wide.
Wada’s Memory: 7” semi-double white flowers smell like orange blossoms. Strongly pyramidal, 25-30’ tall by 12-20’ wide.