The University of Mississippi
Landscape Services Department

Saucer Magnolia a.k.a. Japanese Magnolia


Small low-branched tree with large, saucer-shaped flowers. Early-spring blossoms are pinkish-purple outside, white inside. Medium fast-growing, good pollution tolerance. Likes moist, deep, acid soil and full sun. Grows to 20' to 30', 25' spread. (zones 4-9).

Saucer magnolia is a deciduous hybrid magnolia (M. denudata x M. liliiflora). It is a small tree typically growing to 20-25’ tall with a rounded crown. It is often grown in a multi-trunked shrubby form. Fragrant saucer-shaped flowers (5-10” wide), typically with 9 petals, appear in early spring before the foliage (March in St. Louis). Flowers are usually white, flushed with purple on the outside. Sparse numbers of additional flowers may bloom sporadically in summer.

Flowers give way to cone-like fruits that ripen to red in late summer, releasing individual coated, red seeds suspended on slender threads at maturity. Fruits are often absent on this hybrid. Oblong to obovate, medium green leaves (to 3-6” long). Foliage turns yellow to brown in fall.



 


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