Plant & Flower Identification

Types Of Magnolia Trees In California – 8 Common Species

Magnolia is one of the most beautiful plantations in the world, leaving a strong impression on the admirers’ minds with its white and fragrant flowers.

This tree is very popular in the United States, especially in California, but do you know about 8 common types of magnolia trees in California?

Maybe the answer is no, right? Let’s find out about these species and admire their beauty through my description.

A Brief Introduction To The Magnolia Tree

types of magnolia trees in california

The magnolia plant is native to North America. It can be an evergreen or deciduous tree, depending on the magnolia species you choose to plant.

Although native to North America, you can see a wide range of trees almost everywhere in the United States.

A typical magnolia is 15 feet tall, and this height could reach more than 80 feet under optimal conditions.

Based on the USDA Hardiness map, it can live in zones 4 to 9, which means many varieties of magnolia trees can tolerate different harsh environments, from frost to drought.

Its glossy leaves are alternate with the smooth margins, so you don’t need to worry about injuries when accidentally touching them.

Regarding the flowers, their shapes bear a strong resemblance to the tiny cup. So many people call them cuplike flowers.

They are located at the tip of a branch with three sepals where 6 to 12 petals are arranged in four series.

There are also stamens spirally arranged on the blossoms. They are fragrant and often give off pleasant scents that attract many birds and bees.

These flowers will produce seeds and bear fruits when the blooming season comes. Magnolia seeds are usually reddish and hang pendulously by slender threads.

What Are The Types Of Magnolia Trees In California? 

different kinds of magnolia trees

The southern magnolia is the most famous and gorgeous species, followed by the little gem southern magnolia and D.D moonglow type. You can also encounter pink and anise magnolia in this state.

Below are 8 different types of magnolia trees that you should pay close attention to.

Southern Magnolia

Southern magnolia, or magnolia grandiflora, is a shade tree well-known for its coat of white flowers. You will have a chance to adore this stunning smooth white from late spring to mid – summer.

After that, flowers and leaves start to fall and welcome the coming of cold winters.

Besides the gorgeous display of blossoms, a southern magnolia also features lush foliage with a rust-colored underside. All contribute to the attractiveness of this plant.

This species is easy to grow, as it requires low maintenance. It’s able to handle the full sun, cold temperatures, drought, and other unfavorable conditions.

Little Gem Southern Magnolia

The little gem southern magnolia is lower than the southern magnolia trees. Its height is only above 10 feet.

That’s why it is commonly planted to decorate the garden landscape, while the southern magnolia is grown for shade.

This evergreen tree also bears white blossoms that create various dots on the greenery background of oval leaves. Its fragrance is charming and can even entice humans apart from birds and insects.

Its foliage develops in great density, acting as a narrow and compact canopy on your roof to protect your house from external damage and harsh weather.

However, it is particularly prone to fungal diseases and pests.

D.D. Moonglow Magnolia

Another type of deciduous magnolia that won’t let you down is the D.D. Moonglow species.

They seem to be a hybrid of the above magnolia tree kinds, with creamy-white flowers from late spring to early fall, coupled with a dense array of leathery leaves.

Planting this tree in your house will provide a lot of shade for your backyard or front yard. This is such a perfect thing, especially in the summer when the temperature could reach about 40 degrees Celsius.

You might not waste much effort to plant it. Just dig a hole in the soil and drop a seed into it. Then, cover the hole carefully before watering it regularly.

The seed will reach the seedling’s size within a few months and develop into a big tree after years.

Pink Magnolia

The pink magnolia is an absolute must in every garden thanks to its graceful beauty that can make every space look gorgeous. As its name suggests, this type has pink flowers.

Unlike the above species of magnolias with pure white blossoms, this plant really stands out, showing the pink-tinted color in the stamens while other parts of the blossoms are covered with the same white color.

Besides the beauty, the pink magnolia is one of the most fragrant types in the magnolia family. This scent could last up to eight weeks once the flower buds have opened.

D.D. Blanchard Magnolia

The D.D. Blanchard magnolia is well-known for its dark green leaves that seem mysterious when you look at it.

However, this dark green background is dotted with pure white blossoms, creating a perfect contrast for your garden.

This plant also attracts many birds to make a cage on the branches. So you want to live closer to nature and be awakened by the sound of birds every morning; D.D.

Blanchard Magnolia is an ideal option for you.

The contrast between dark green leaves and white flowers also benefits your eyes. After several tiring hours of work, looking at the tree and enjoying the view is the best relaxation therapy.

Belle Sweetbay Magnolia

Like the D.D Blanchard species, the Belle Sweetbay magnolia has dark green trees, but their undersides display a silver color that resembles frosted glass.

The changing color of its bark throughout its lifetime is very interesting. In the first years of development, its bark is green and smooth.

Reaching maturity, it will turn light brown or gray, and the bark surface becomes rough.

In late summer, the tree will bear fruits. The bright scarlet-red fruits and creamy blossoms all create color harmony and brighten the surroundings.

Anise Magnolia

The anise magnolia is native to Japan, which is quite different from other types because the majority of magnolia plants have their origins in the United States.

Its elliptical leaves look like those of a shrub or willow tree, but they are wider than willow foliage.

This species also produces white flowers and strappy petals when the blooming comes, often before the leaves unfurl in the spring.

So you can witness the white flowers in early spring. Its caring is straightforward. Ensure its constant exposure to the full sun, at least 6 hours of sunlight, and keep watering it regularly.

Ashe’s Magnolia

This magnolia tree is very special because its name was given in honor of William Williard Ashe of the United States Forest Service. That’s why it is grown in large numbers in the military areas.

It is not as tall as the northern magnolia, looking like a small tree or a large shrub, depending on how you prune it. Its blossoms are creamy white on the background of green leaves.

What Are The Tips On Growing Magnolia Trees In California?

magnolia tree southern california

Following are various tips on growing magnolia trees:

  • Most magnolia plants favor full sunlight, and the best duration should range from 6 to 8 hours daily. On some summer days when the temperatures are too high, you can move them to partial shade.
  • The tree grows best in well-drained and wet soil with slight acidity. The pH level should be between 6 to 7.5.
  • You always ensure that the soil’s drainage is good for the roots. Magnolia, except for the poorly drained types, can thrive well in any kind of ground, such as clay, dry, or loam soils.
  • Magnolia is fairly drought-resistant, yet it still needs enough water to develop. It is advisable to check the weather forecast in your area before gauging the tree’s water needs.
  • You can feed your plant with organic compost or natural mulch, like clay or coconut mulch.
  • Fertilizing your magnolia tree with a proper amount is highly recommended. Remember not to over-fertilize it because toxic components can hinder its growth and cause much harm to consumers’ health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Magnolia Trees Native To California?

Magnolias are not native to California but are grown in large numbers in this state.

The reason is that the environmental conditions of California, including weather, temperatures, soils, and bodies of water, greatly facilitate these immigrants’ growth.

You can find many magnolias amid the Central California cloud forest or in a sheltered valley in the Himalayan mountain.

When Do Magnolia Trees Typically Bloom In California?

Most magnolia trees that are grown in California begin to bloom in March or April. A great example is the Saucer magnolia, which is hardy in zones five through eight.

This species is apt to bloom twice per year, once in spring and the other around July.

Where Do Magnolia Trees Grow Best?

As presented above, the majority of magnolias love moist, well-drained soils, although they can develop in nearly all terrains, from loam to clay soils.

The Bottom Line

This article has offered comprehensive insights into eight common types of magnolia trees in California that are worth your consideration.

Southern magnolia is considered the most favored and renowned here.

If you live in this area, pick one of the above species and follow my caring guidelines to create optimal conditions for its growth.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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