Magnolia grandiflora

Southern Magnolia; Bull Bay

About This Plant

Sun. Magnolia’s white, fragrant flowers and perfect upright posture earn it an outsize role in Southern horticulture. Even the leaves are smooth and glossy, with velvety red texture underneath. Magnolia is fast-growing and makes a nice shade tree in the right setting. On their own, magnolias attain a pyramidal shape and a fairly large size; big specimens can be seen along the Riverwalk and in deep soils around the Olmos Basin. However, the enormous, shallow root system requires deep, moist alluvial soils — magnolia can’t thrive as easily in dry, rocky sites like northern Bexar County.

Origins: Southeastern U.S.


The shade of a magnolia is so dense that it’s difficult to grow anything underneath; take this as an opportunity to mulch deeply around it. Fallen leaves are slow to decompose.

A beautiful native tree, well-suited to deep coastal and riparian soils. Not recommended for thin hill country soils.

Min. Height: 40'

Max Height: 80 feet'

Min. Width: 20'

Max Width: 40 feet'

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