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Botanical Name: Magnolia x soulangeana

Common Name: Saucer Magnolia
Origin: Garden Origin
Locations: CSE, KN

Notable Feature: A deciduous tree noted for its ease of cultivation as well as its early spring flowers, making it one of the most commonly grown magnolias in horticulture today.   

Habit: A deciduous, small tree or broad shrub reaching 20 to 25 feet tall with a rounded crown and often grown in a multi-trunked shrubby form.  Bark is light gray, mottled, and smooth.

Flower: Emerge dramatically on bare limbs in early spring.  The saucer-shaped blossoms (4 to 8” in diameter) are pink with white interiors and are a perfect (bisexual) flower.  Since it blooms so early in the year, hard freezes or winter winds may kill the buds outright.

Fruit: A cone-like aggregate of follicles, 2 to 3” long is produced in late summer. The brown fruits split open to expose the orange, interior seeds. They are ornamentally insignificant and rarely produced.

Foliage: Oval-shaped leaves are dark green and shiny, and are arranged alternately on the tree twigs.  Fall color is a yellowish brown.

Interesting Fact: This hybrid was first bred by French plantsman Etienne Soulange-Bodin (1774-1846).  He crossed Magnolia denudata with Magnolia liliiflora in 1820 and was highly impressed with the resulting progeny’s first flowering in 1826.

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