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: Flowers emerge 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 quickly kill the buds.
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 the Yulan Magnolia (Magnolia denudata) with the Lily Magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora) in 1820 and was highly impressed with the resulting progeny’s first flowering in 1826.