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Loebner's magnolia

Spring flowers of Loebner's magnolia.

This hybrid magnolia has excellent hardiness and a beautiful display of white flowers. 

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

Botanical name:

Magnolia loebneri

All common names:

Loebner's magnolia, Loebner magnolia

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Patio/sidewalk,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • medium tree (25-40 feet),
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)

Mature Height:

20-30 feet

Mature Width:

20-40 feet

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Alkaline soil

Acid Soils:

  • Tolerant

Alkaline Soils:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Intolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Intolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Intolerant

Planting Considerations:

  • Intolerant of pollution

Ornamental Interest:

  • Spring blossoms,
  • Fragrant flowers,
  • Showy fruit,
  • Showy flowers,
  • Attractive bark

Seasons of Interest:

  • early spring

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Round

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

Transplants Well:

  • Yes


  • Insect pollinators

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

Spring plant only.  Pick a sheltered location to avoid damage from strong winds, full sun for best flowering potential.
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

Potential problems include magnolia scale, Verticillium wilt, chlorosis in high pH soils.  Flowers are susceptible to frost damage.

Native geographic location and habitat

Of hybrid origin; a cross between Magnolia kobus and Magnolia stellata.

Bark color and texture 

Young bark is smooth and silvery gray, becoming slightly roughened with age.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple leaves arranged alternately on the stem; 4 to 6 inches long with an entire margin.  Little to no fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Flowers are solitary with 6 to 12 white or pinkish petals.  They are mildly fragrant.

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.

Cultivars and their differences

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 pure white petals that are pale pink at the base.  Zones 4-8.

Leonard Messel Loebner's 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

Merrill Loebner's  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

Location of Magnolia loebneri (Loebner's magnolia) at the Arboretum