Landscape Significance

This tree is valued for many features: beautiful, fragrant flowers; dark lustrous leaves; striking fruit and overall size and stature.  The fruit fall in November and December and is attractive to wildlife.

The Southern magnolia requires a lot of space, and should be reserved for large properties.

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
This photo was taken at Trident Technical College, N. Charleston, SC.

The southern magnolia is one of the most striking and characteristic trees of the deep South. It has large, leathery evergreen leaves and large white showy flowers that appear in the spring. It is densely pyramidal, symmetrical and low-branching when young.

The Southern magnolia will grow 60 to 80 feet tall and 30 to 50 feet wide. This tree is mostly problem-free. Scales may infest leaves and twigs. In humid climates, leaves may develop leaf spots.

Identifying characteristics

Leaves are large (5 to 10 inches long, 3 to 4 inches wide) and usually dark, lustrous green on the upper side.  The lower side may be light green, fuzzy reddish-brown or even silvery. The flower is creamy white, large (8 to 12 inch diameter), solitary and very fragrant. The fuzzy, brown cone-like fruit is 3 to 8 inches long. The bright red-orange seeds are exposed September through November. The bark is smooth and silvery-gray.

More information about magnolias is available at the Clemson Home & Garden Informaton Center: Clemson HGIC - Southern Magnolia