Southern magnolia is a magnificent tree with a name that is somewhat misleading. Although it is most prevalent in the South—and the state tree of Mississippi—its zone 6 planting range means it can grow in many northern areas, even as far north as parts of Maine, Michigan and Washington.  It is one of the most beautiful native trees, evergreen with straight trunk, conical crown, and very fragrant, very large, white flowers. The pyramidal Southern Magnolia does not get extremely large in most of its range. It is usually 50 ft. tall, rarely growing to 100 ft. They have a dense growth of smooth, leathery evergreen leaves that are alternate, 5–10 inches long, shiny on top and rusty below. Fragrant, creamy-white flowers, which discolor easily if bruised, appear on the ends of thick, tough stems all over the tree. They are cup-shaped, about 8 inches across, with 6 thick petals, wider at the tip, where they are cupped. As an ornamental, it is beloved for its year-round foliage and delightful, large, late-spring flowers.

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