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13 Different Types of Magnolia Trees (With Pictures)


In the United States, the magnolia tree is a symbol of the South, but you can find these amazing plants worldwide, and there are several varieties. If you were thinking about getting one of these for your home but would like to learn more about the different varieties before choosing, you’ve come to the right place. We’re about to look at several different varieties to help you learn more about each one. We’ll provide you with a short description and an image of each one to help you make an informed purchase.

divider 1 The 13 Different Types Of Magnolia Trees

1. Anise Magnolia

Anise Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay

Zone: 6-9
Native to: Japan
Height: 30 feet30 feet

The Anise Magnolia is a medium-sized tree with white scented flowers that bloom in the early spring. The leaves’ flowers will appear on the branches before the leaves unfurl, and they attract many birds and butterflies. The Anise Magnolia makes a great spring flower, but you need to protect it from strong winds.

2. Ashe Magnolia

Zone: 5-8
Native to: United States
Height: 60 feet

The Ashes Magnolia tree is a smaller tree with a round top. It has a fragrant white flower that can be up to 6 inches across, but it’s quite rare, and you can only find them in six counties in Florida. However, it is becoming more popular as a park plant because of its large flowers. Another fantastic feature of this variety is that it can start growing flowers in as little as three years after you plant it.

3. Bigleaf Magnolia

Zone: 5-8
Native to: The United States and Mexico
Height: 40 feet

The Bigleaf Magnolia gets its name from the huge leaves that it grows. The leaves can grow so large that it can be difficult to plan a proper landscape where the leaves don’t hide the view of other plants. The leaves have a paintbrush shape, and the tree can grow more than 30 feet tall. It has white flowers that can be located so high that they are difficult to see.

4. Cucumbertree Magnolia

Zone: 5-8
Native to: The United States
Height: 80 feet

The Cucumbertree Magnolia is a Kentucky native that many people like to use as a shade tree. You can find it all over the eastern United States, and it can grow as tall as 80 feet. It produces yellow and green flowers about 3 inches across and mixed in with the foliage, and its leaves are smaller than many other varieties.

Related Read: 10 Types of Trees in Kentucky (With Pictures)

5. Kobus Magnolia

Kobus Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay

Zone: 5-8
Native to: China
Height: 25-50 feet

The Kobus Magnolia is an attractive tree that looks even better during the winter due to its rounded shape. It prefers open areas and fields where it can grow unobstructed. While it can grow taller than most trees, it reaches about 25 feet tall. While they are popular in the United States, they are not native and originally come from Southern China.

6. Lily Magnolia

Lily Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay

Zone: 7-10
Native to: China
Height: 8-12 feet

The Lily Magnolia is one of the smaller varieties and usually doesn’t get much larger than a shrub or bush. It gets its name from the pink or purple flowers it produces that look like lilies, and once the flowers fall off, dark green leaves will appear. It enjoys plenty of sunshine, and the roots can be sensitive, so it can be challenging to transplant.

7. Loebner Magnolia

Zone: 5-9
Native to: Unknown
Height: 20-30 feet

The Loebner Magnolia is a mix of the Kobus Magnolia variety we just mentioned and the Star Magnolia that we’ll look at soon. It tends to grow cup-shaped flowers in late winter and early spring, and it can grow to about 25 feet tall. It has multiple stems, but you can use pruning to create a central leader for more control over the shape and size of your tree.

8. Saucer Magnolia

Saucer Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay

Zone: 4-9
Native to: Unknown
Height: 20-25 feet

The Saucer Magnolia is a mix of the Lily Mongolia and Yulan Magnolia plants. It’s a smaller low branch tree that resembles a bush. It grows at a medium speed and prefers a sunny environment. It’s popular because it produces fragrant purple flowers in early spring without requiring a large area on your property.

9. Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay

Zone: 7-9
Native to: United States
Height: 60-80 feet

The Southern Magnolia is one of the most popular varieties of magnolia in the United States. These trees can get quite large and produce plenty of shade. The flowers are large, white, and fragrant, and it prefers to live in full sun or partial shade to make the most flowers and grow at the fastest rate.

10. Star Magnolia

Star Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay

Zone: 4-8
Native to: Japan
Height: 15-20 feet

The Star Magnolia is another small tree or shrub in the magnolia family. It gets its name from the large white star-shaped flowers it produces in late winter, and early spring, usually before other plants have produced buds. Since it produces the flower so early, it can be helpful to plant them in a sheltered area that might protect them from frost, so the flowers do not get damaged.

11.  Sweetbay Magnolia

Zone: 5-10
Native to: United States
Height: 10-35 feet

The Sweetbay Magnolia has shiny dark green leaves with a silver underside that appears frosted. The white flowers have a lemon scent. This tree is a good choice to plant near a patio or picnic table. It grows quite quickly and enjoys acidic, moist soil in full sunlight. Usually grows to form a column shape and produces a fruit that attracts local wildlife.

12.  Umbrella Magnolia

Umbrella Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay

Zone: 5-8
Native to: United States
Height: 15-30 feet

The Umbrella Magnolia is another variety that produces large, white, aromatic flowers. It has simple leaves that can reach 24 inches long, and the flowers will be 6 to 10 inches across. It enjoys sunlight but does very well in shady areas, so it can be a great choice for someone without too much sunshine.

13.  Yulan Magnolia

Yulan Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay

Zone: 5-8
Native to: China
Height: 30-40 feet

The Yulan Magnolia is an early flowering tree that prefers when you plant it in direct sunlight. It likes moist soil with plenty of organic material so it can get the nutrients, and the tree will become more open as it ages. It’s also quite hardy and can live in many different soil types, from clay to sand.

Related Read: 43 Common Types of Flowers in the US (with Pictures)

divider 4 Summary

As you can see, there is quite a variety of magnolia trees and shrubs. If you live in the United States, native breeds like the Sweetbay Magnolia, Southern Magnolia, and Cucumbertree Magnolia make great choices because farmers already know that they grow well here. Checking with the planting zone map will also help you narrow down the list of possibilities.

Related Read: 36 Different Types of Lotus Flowers

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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