Pond Landscape

Magnolia Tree

Magnolia Society

Alabama Growth Study – From Here

  • University of Alabama arborists conducted a 17-year study of southern magnolia growth from 1983 to 2000. The fastest growing cultivars were “Margaret Davis” (Magnolia grandiflora “Margaret Davis”) and “Smith Fogle” (Magnolia grandifloria “Smith Fogle”). The slowest growing cultivars were “Little Gem” (Magnolia grandiflora “Little Gem”) and “Majestic Beauty (Magnolia grandifloria “Majestic Beauty”).
  • Fast growing trees grow more than 24 inches a year. “Samuel Sommer” (Magnolia grandiflora “Samuel Sommer”) is a fast-growing cultivar that has bronze and green leaves up to 14 inches wide, and grows from 30 to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide. The widely-planted “Claudia Wannamaker” (Magnolia grandiflora “Claudia Wannamaker”) is a fast grower with a broad pyramid form.

Magnolia grandiflora ‘Majestic Beauty’: ‘Majestic Beauty’ Southern Magnolia1


This is a rather large cultivar of Southern Magnolia with profuse flowering. Capable of growing at a moderate rate to a height of 50 feet with a 20 to 25-foot spread, this Southern Magnolia forms an open canopy displaying a coarse habit and is probably best suited for large properties. Leaves are large and dark shiny dark green making this a striking specimen tree. The lower branches often bend to the ground forming a pyramidal crown.

Figure 1.  

Middle-aged Magnolia grandiflora ‘Majestic Beauty’: ‘Majestic Beauty’ Southern Magnolia

Magnolia grandiflora ‘Samuel Sommer’: ‘Samuel Sommer’ Southern Magnolia1


This medium-sized cultivar of Southern Magnolia is evergreen with its huge, beautiful, saucer-shaped, fragrant flowers clearly a foot across. The species has been selected as the state tree of Mississippi. Capable of growing at a moderate rate to a height of 35 to 40 feet with a 30-foot spread, this cultivar forms an upright oval type crown which spreads with age.

Middle-aged Magnolia grandiflora ‘Samuel Sommer’: ‘Samuel Sommer’ Southern Magnolia

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