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Magnolia ashei (Ashe's magnolia)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Magnolia ashei

Magnolia ashei Weath.

Ashe's Magnolia, Ashe Magnolia, Deciduous Magnolia

Magnoliaceae (Magnolia Family)

Synonym(s): Magnolia macrophylla ssp. ashei, Magnolia macrophylla var. ashei


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The Ashe magnolia is a small deciduous tree with a broad, round top. It has leaves 2-3 feet long and sometimes a foot wide. They are wider near the tip than at the stem, green on the upper surface and whitish beneath. The blossoms, which grow at the end of stout stems, are fragrant, creamy white, cup-shaped, opening out flat as they mature. Each blossom has 6-8 petals, up to 6 inches long and about half as wide, and pointed at the tip. The pistils form a fleshy, oval, seed-bearing cone which enlarges as it matures, 2-4 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter. The seeds are attached to the cone by slender threads.

This rare species of very local distribution is closely related to Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla), which is taller and has larger leaves and flowers. Named for its discoverer, William Willard Ashe (1872-1932), pioneer forester of the United States Forest Service.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Margin: Entire
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Aggregate , Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 35 feet tall.
Fruit: Cone-like aggregated follicles.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


Native Distribution: FL Panhandle
Native Habitat: Endemic to a few bluffs and bayheads of the FL Panhandle

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Rich, acid soils.
Conditions Comments: Horticulturalists hope this plant will provide a large-flowered magnolia with flowers at a height that allows them to be easily seen. Plants flower when very small.


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

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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