Share

Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
Name:    
Family:    

Magnolia macrophylla (Bigleaf magnolia)
Fannon, Carolyn

Magnolia macrophylla

Magnolia macrophylla Michx.

Bigleaf magnolia

Magnoliaceae (Magnolia Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: MAMA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The tree with the largest flowers and the largest leaves of all native North American species (except for tropical palms) and a broad, rounded crown of stout, spreading branches. Big-leaf magnolia is a round-headed giant reaching 30-40 ft. in height. Flowers are creamy-white, 8-14 in. across, solitary and fragrant, followed by egg-shaped, rose-colored fruits. Deciduous leaves are extremely large, up to 1 ft. wide and 3 ft. long.

Planted as an ornamental north to Massachusetts. However, in windy places the giant leaves become torn and unsightly. The queenliest of all the deciduous magnolias was named by the French naturalist and explorer Andre Michaux (1746-1802), who discovered this rare local tree near Charlotte, North Carolina in 1789.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , DC , GA , KY , LA , MD , MS , NC , OH , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: Interrupted distribution from w. FL to LA, n. to VA, KY & AR
Native Habitat: Bottomland woods, rich wooded slopes, alluvial woods, piedmont

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Rich, acid soils.
Conditions Comments: Protection from wind helps to preserve the huge leaves.

Propagation

Description: Fresh seed sown in fall; stratified seed; semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer
Seed Collection: When ripe, the seeds are bright red, fleshy, oily, soft on the outside and stony on the inside. Gather when ripe. Clean and store in moist sand or sphagnum moss in refrigerator. Cold, moist storage also serves at stratification.
Seed Treatment: Stored seed must be kept moist and cool which will also serve as stratification. Stratify at least 60 days.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Campbell Family Nursery - Harmony, NC

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Bibliography

Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Magnolia macrophylla in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Magnolia macrophylla in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Magnolia macrophylla

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2013-10-25
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back