Botanical Name: Magnolia macrophylla var. ashei
Common Name: Ashe Magnolia
Notable Feature: Found on bluffs and in lowland, sandy areas of Florida’s panhandle, Ashe magnolia is another member of the Bigleaf Clan of magnolias, however it is a smaller version of Magnolia macrophylla, shorter in stature with smaller leaves and flowers. Its claim to attention is its ability to flower on trees that are less than 3 feet high.
Habit: An understory shrub or small, stout tree that will reach 15 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 6-9.
Foliage: Apple green above and a pubescent white beneath helps create a beautiful, two-toned effect with each passing breeze. The deciduous leaves are 12 to 24” long and 6 to 12“ across with auriculate bases.
Flower: The sweetly fragrant, creamy white, saucer-shaped blossoms are 10 to12” wide. Each flower has purple blotches at the base of each of the 6 petal-like tepals.
Fruit: The attractive, cone-shaped fruit is covered with a fine pubescence. Turns a bright pink to orange-red in late summer to early autumn. The bright red seeds are attached to the cone by slender threads.
Interesting Fact: Named in 1928 for its discoverer, William Willard Ashe (1872-1932), a pioneer forester of the United States Forest Service.