The Native American Magnolia Landscapes

The Little Gem Dwarf flowering Magnolia tree, Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem,' only grows to 20 feet with small leaves and fragrant white flowers half the size of the Southern giant flowering magnolia bloom. The Little Gem flowering magnolia tree is compact in form and grows more upright than the Southern Magnolia tree. The flowering of the Little Gem magnolia tree begins at an early age, and the blooming period is longer than the Southern Magnolia, as well as being perfect for small landscape gardens.

Magnolia trees are one of the top favorite evergreen shade trees in America and the host of Japanese flowering magnolias include the pink flowered tulip flower shape Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel;' Southern Select Japanese Magnolia Tree 'Magnolia soulaneana;' White Star Magnolia, Magnolia x 'Wada's Memory;' Japanese Star Magnolia Tree, Magnolia stellata; Sunsation flowering cream-yellow magnolia tree (grafted); Sweetbay white star magnolia tree, Magnolia virginiana; and the yellow flowered Yellow Lantern and Yellow Butterfly flowering Magnolia Trees.

The Southern White Flowering Magnolia tree, Magnolia grandiflora, is native to America and is growing from southern Florida to Connecticut. The magnificent evergreen leaf is waxy green with a rusty-red underside. The Southern magnolia tree can grow 50 feet tall as a shade tree, and as a flowering tree with giant white fragrant blooms redefines the term “Evergreen shade tree specimen.” William Bartram, in his famous book, Travels (page 83), recorded seeing the evergreen giant magnolia tree in 1773 in his exploration of Georgia, stating: “Magnolias which grow on this river are the most beautiful and tall that I have anywhere seen.” Bartram described the evergreen head formed a perfect cone with dark green leaves that “seems silvered over with milk-white flowers... so large, as to be distinctly visible at a distance of a mile or more.” As a shade tree, the magnolia is an evergreen and is excellent for planting near houses or parks. Other than the Southern white flowering magnolia tree, Magnolia grandiflora, there are flowering Japanese deciduous magnolia trees that flower with blooms of red, purple, pink, white, and yellow. The fragrant flowering can begin in December during winter warm-ups and can bloom through June, followed by red-seeded cones as tree ornaments.

By Pat Rick