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TREES & Plants

Magnolia hybrids

Magnolias are among the most beautiful and popular landscape plants. A number of hybrid magnolias have been developed to provide a wider range of sizes, shapes and floral characteristics.  Some of the more common hybrids and their cultivars are presented here.

Botanical name: 
Magnolia x loebneri, Magnolia acuminata, Magnolia lilliflora
All Common Names: 
Hybrid magnolia, Loebner magnolia, little girl hybrid magnolias, yellow flowered hybrid magnolias
Family (English): 
Magnolia
Family (Botanic): 
Magnoliaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Growth Rate: 
  • Medium
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • White
  • Yellow
Size Range: 
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet)
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Pyramidal
  • Round
  • Upright
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Patio/sidewalk
Time of Year: 
  • Mid spring
More Information: 

Size & Form

Varies by hybrid from 8 to 25 feet high.  
Magnolias can be multi-stemmed or single trunk. Many of the smaller sized magnolias are shrub-like.

Tree & Plant Care

Spring plant only.
Pick a sheltered location to avoid damage from strong winds, full sun for best flowering potential.
Select late-blooming varieties to avoid frost damage to flowers.
Magnolias are shallow-rooted and benefit with a layer of mulch to moderate soil temperature fluctuation and conserve moisture.
Prune after flowering.

Disease, pests, and problems

Magnolia scale, Verticillium wilt, chlorosis in high pH soils.

Attracts birds & butterflies

The seed of a magnolia is high in fat and attracts many migrating birds.

Bark color and texture 

Most magnolia hybrids have smooth gray bark.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple leaves arranged alternately on the stem.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Flowers are solitary and vary in shape and color, depending upon the variety.

Magnolias flowers do not produce nectar. They are typically pollinated by beetles.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

The fruit is a pickle-shaped structure (aggregate) that matures from green to pink, then red.  When mature the structure splits open to reveal seeds.

Hybrids and Cultivars

Ann (Magnolia 'Ann'):  8 to 10 feet high and wide; upright shrubby form; blooms in mid-April.  Large shrub to small tree with an open habit; erect, tapered buds open to red-purple flowers. One of the little girl series.  Zone 4-8

Ballerina Loebner's Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri 'Ballerina'):  15 to 20 feet high and wide; rounded form; blooms early to mid-April.  Flowers have numerous pue white petals that are pale pink at the base.  zone 4-8.

Betty (Magnolia 'Betty'): 10 to 15 feet high and 8-12 feet wide; upright, shrubby form; blooms in mid-April.  Large shrub to small tree; new leaf growth emerges copper-red changing to medium green; flowers are deep purple-red with white interior.  Zone 4-8.

Butterflies (Magnolia 'Butterflies'): 18 to 20 feet high and 12 to 18 feet wide; upright, pyramidal form; blooms in late May.  Small tree with deep yellow flowers that appear before the leaves.  Zone 5-7

Elizabeth (Magnolia 'Elizabeth'):  30 to 50 feet high and 20 to 35 feet wide; upright, pyramidal form; blooms in mid-May.  Vigorous large tree with primrose yellow flowers; blooms at an early age.  Zone 4-8

Galaxy (Magnolia x 'Galaxy'): 20 to 25 feet high and 12 to 15 fett wide; rounded to pyramidal form. Small tree with pink flowers in late April. Green leaves turn a coppery bronze in fall.  Zone 4-8.

Goldfinch (Magnolia 'Goldfinch'):  35 to 40 feet high and 30 to 40 feet wide; upright, pyramidal form; blooms in early May.  Mid-size tree with light yellow flowers before the leaves emerge.  Zone 4-8

Gold Star (Magnolia 'Gold Star'):   20 to 25 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide; broad, pyramidal form; blooms early May.  Small, multi-stemmed tree with star shaped, yellow flowers.  New leaves emerge bronze-colored.  Zone 4-8

Jane (Magnolia 'Jane'):  8 to 10 feet high and wide; upright, shrubby form; blooms in mid-May.  Cup shaped flowers are reddish purple outside and white inside. One of little girl series.  Zone 4-8

Leonard Messel Loebner Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel'):  25 to 30 feet high and 30-35 feet wide; rounded form; blooms in early to mid-April.  Dark purple flower buds open with a white interior.  Zone 4-8

Loebner's Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri):  25 to 30 feet high and 30 to 35 feet wide; rounded form; blooms in early to mid-April.  Hybrid magnolia with excellent hardiness and beautiful display of white flowers.  Zone 4-8

Merrill Loebner Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri 'Merrill): 25 to 30 feet high and 30 to 35 feet wide; rounded form; blooms early to mid-April.  Fast growing tree with many strap-like petaled white flowers.  Zone 4-8

Ricki (Magnolia 'Ricki'): 8 to 10 feet high and wide; upright form; deep purple buds produce fragrant,  strap-like white petals with fushia shading; opens before the leaves. One of little girl series. Zone 4-8