8 Popular Types of Magnolia Trees and Shrubs

8 Popular Types of Magnolia Trees and Shrubs

Magnolia trees and shrubs are renowned for their exquisite beauty and captivating fragrance. With a wide array of species and cultivars available, there’s a magnolia to suit every landscape and climate. Let’s delve into eight popular types of magnolia trees and shrubs.

1. Anise Magnolia (Magnolia salicifolia)

The Anise Magnolia, also known as Magnolia salicifolia, features leaves resembling those of a willow tree or shrub. While not as broad as typical magnolia leaves, they are wider than those of a willow. This deciduous tree, which can become evergreen in warmer climates, offers a unique aesthetic to any garden.

2. Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla)

As its name suggests, the Bigleaf Magnolia boasts leaves as long as 32 inches. This deciduous tree is known for its large, showy foliage. With proper pruning, it can be shaped into a small tree or a large shrub, adding a touch of grandeur to any landscape.

3. Ashe’s Magnolia (Magnolia ashei)

Ashe’s Magnolia, or Magnolia ashei, is characterized by its enormous glossy leaves, which can grow up to two feet long. With proper care and pruning, it can be cultivated as a small tree or a large shrub. This variety of magnolia is particularly prized for its lush foliage and striking appearance.

4. Cucumber Tree (Magnolia acuminata)

The Cucumber Tree Magnolia gets its name from the resemblance of its fruits to the vegetable. Despite its large glossy leaves and expansive growth habit, this magnolia is surprisingly cold-hardy. Its unique appearance and resilience make it a popular choice for gardens in cooler climates.

5. Lily Magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora)

The Lily Magnolia, or Magnolia liliiflora, is one of the smallest varieties of magnolia. This shrub produces an abundance of mildly fragrant pink or reddish-purple lily-shaped flowers in early spring, adding a burst of color to the landscape. Popular cultivars like ‘Nigra’ are prized for their richly colored blossoms.

6. Kobus Magnolia (Magnolia kubos)

Known for its slow growth and enormous dark-green leaves, the Kobus Magnolia is a favorite among gardeners. Fragrant pink-tinged white flowers bloom before the leaves emerge, creating a stunning visual display. This magnolia is often planted as a specimen tree for its early-season blossoms.

7. Loebner Magnolia (Magnolia × loebneri)

The Loebner Magnolia is a hybrid of Kobus and star magnolias, resulting in a small tree with multiple stems. Fragrant star-shaped pink and white flowers bloom before the leaves appear, heralding the arrival of spring. With proper pruning, it can be trained into a central leader for a more traditional tree shape.

8. Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)

A hybrid of the lily and Yulan magnolias, the Saucer Magnolia can be grown as a small tree or a large shrub with multiple stems. It produces white blossoms with pink interiors in early April, before the leaves emerge. With numerous cultivars available, you can choose from a variety of bloom colors, including shades of purple.

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