Magnolia macrophylla - Bigleaf Magnolia
Family: Magnoliaceae

Hear the scientific name

Magnolia macrophylla, Bigleaf Magnolia is valued for its large leaves that lend a tropical appearance in temperate climates.

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  form Form

-deciduous tree

-40-60' x 30'

-rounded, straight, single trunk

-rapid growth

foliage Foliage

-bright green and smooth on the upper surface, light gray downy beneath, particularly along the large midrib and principal veins

-oblong or pear-shaped, 12-32" long x 7-12" wide

-leaves lobed at the base

-the large leaves give the tree a coarse texture and present an interesting litter problem in the autumn


-fragrant, 14" wide, 9 creamy-white petals, each marked with a purplish spot near the base

-begin flowering when as young as 7 yrs. from seed


-generally rounded, hairy, bright rose color when ripe

-each of the parts of the fruit contains a red flattened seed suspended by a thin thread or filament

-2-3" long red/pinkish fruit


-stout, pubescent at first, finally glabrous; noticeably wide-spreading branches, forming a broad, rounded top

-wood has a disagreeable smell when cut

-branchlets brittle, yellow-green the first season, and plainly marked with leaf scars

trunk Trunk

-smooth silvery-gray , straight trunk up to 12-16' in diameter

-wood is hard but rather weak and light, close-grained, limited commercial use

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-partial shade in rich, uniformly moist, slightly acidic soils with good drainage


-zones 5 to 8


-native to Southern Pennsylvania to Northern Georgia and Alabama to Kentucky and Arkansas

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-provides a "tropical look" in a temperate climate


-not particularly tolerant of adverse conditions

-relatively short-lived, most individuals live no more than 40 yrs.


-specimen, shade, may work as a patio tree

-not suitable in most landscapes except as a specimen tree where there is plenty of room and no soil compaction


-coarse when bare and in leaf

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-only Magnolia tripetela


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