Mountain or Fraser Magnolia is an Appalachian Mountain range native and one of the “Umbrella Magnolia” group. The leaves are very large, growing in a whorled pattern and topped by 10” scented creamy white flowers in spring. Red seed cones are showy in the fall, producing bright red seeds which are eaten by wildlife. The attractive bark is smooth and grey. Magnolia fraseri adds a tropical look to the landscape.
'Little Gem' Southern Magnolia is a compact cultivar of our stately native evergreen Magnolia grandiflora. The habit is tight and compact, with large lustrous dark green leaves which have a fuzzy brown indumentum on the undersides. The large white flowers are fragrant and appear intermittently from late May through July. Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' needs to be planted in a sheltered location, with particular protection from the winter winds.
Teddy Bear® ('Southern Charm') Southern Magnolia has a tight pyramidal habit on a compact plant. The dark green lustrous leaves have attractive brown indumentum and are evergreen. Magnolia grandiflora Teddy Bear® produces large fragrant white flowers from June to August. A Head Introductions, Teddy Bear® is an excellent choice for smaller locations. Give it some protection from winter winds when possible. They has thrived in containers in Center City Philadelphia and they are a favorite of theirs for the annual Wintergarden at Dilworth Park.
PRN Preferred: The lustrous green leaves are much rounder in shape, and this compact selection tolerates zone 6 temperatures.
'Chrysanthemiflora' Star Magnolia was selected by K. Wada, a great Magnolia breeder in Japan. It combines deep pink coloration in bud (changing to light pink when fully open) with an amazing number of petals (40 or more). The resemblance to the old fashioned "Football Mum" corsage justifies the name. The cold hardiness is excellent and we agree with Dr. Dirr's opinion that it is the best of the M. stellata "Rosea" selections.
Sweetbay Magnolia has fragrant white flowers starting in June that will bloom for much of the summer. In fall it has showy red fruit with orange seeds. Sweetbay Magnolia have high ecological value for birds, butterflies, moths, beetles. It is also wet site tolerant, and is an important food source for the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly larvae.
Green Mile™ ('MVHH') Sweetbay Magnolia has an unusually tight, upright form, with lustrous dark green semi-evergreen foliage. The extremely fragrant white flowers start appearing in June and continue for much of the summer. They are followed by attractive red fruit with orange seeds in the fall. Green Mile™ Magnolia is a selection by Alex Neubauer of Hidden Hollow Nursery in Tennessee. Wet site tolerant, and the larval host for the Sweetbay Silkmoth and the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. NYBG has planted an allee of them bordering their native meadow.
PRN Preferred: The upright habit makes this a great singlestem tree.
The evergreen foliage of 'Green Shadow' Sweetbay Magnolia forms a tight oval tree with fragrant white flowers in summer. This Magnolia virginiana is a selection of M. virg. var. australis by the great Don Shadow from seedlings from the great Joe McDaniel. It is also wet site tolerant. Formerly named 'Greenbay'.
'Henry Hicks' Sweetbay Magnolia has fragrant white flowers starting in June. It has evergreen foliage since it is an australis selection and is one of the hardiest forms of Magnolia virginiana. It is also wet site tolerant. Another wonderful introduction by Dr. Joe McDaniels of Illinois.
Moonglow® ('Jim Wilson') Sweetbay Magnolia has white fragrant flowers in the summer and is very hardy, has rapid growth, is wet site tolerant and semi-evergreen. Magnolia virginiana Moonglow® is a great introduction by Earl Cully.
'Ned's Northern Belle' Sweetbay Magnolia has larger than normal, fragrant, creamy white flowers that appear in June and July. Evergreen foliage and excellent cold tolerance make 'Ned's Northern Belle' an exceptional Sweetbay Magnolia. Attractive fruit is red with orange seeds in the fall. Found in Ohio at Coles Nurseries by Ned Radler (former home of the Sunburst® Locust).
Black Tulip™ ('Jurmag1') Saucer Magnolia has large cup shaped deep purple-pink flowers in April, before the leaves emerge. The thick, upright petals make the flowers look neat and crisp throughout the bloom period. A showy introduction by Monrovia Nurseries.
'Blushing Belle' comes from the had work of Dennis Ledvina's Magnolia breeding program, with large pink flowers in late spring. It is a cross between M. x 'Yellow Bird' and M. x 'Caerhays Belle' which has the greater hardiness of its yellow parent, and the luminous pink color of its pink parent. The tepals are dark pink on the exterior and pale pink on the interior.
'Cleopatra' Magnolia is a beautiful introduction from New Zealand. The 7" flowers are a complex mix of reddish purple opening to pink in April, with a goblet shape which is similar to Magnolia x 'Genie'. The great Magnolia hybridizer Vance Hooper crossed 'Black Tulip' with 'Sweet Simplicity' to get this compact, reblooming plant. Magnolia x 'Cleopatra' is an excellent choice for a smaller location because of the smaller size and the late summer rebloom.
Magnolia x 'Daybreak' has extremely fragrant large glowing pink cup-shaped flowers in May, on a narrow upright form. Hybridized by Dr. August Kehr, and said to be his favorite of all his many crosses.
PRN Preferred: No other color like this in the Magnolia world. Your eye is drawn to it when it is in bloom.
'Genie' Magnolia is a spectacular color breakthrough in the Magnolia world, with lots of black-red flower buds that open to small cup-shaped rose-purple blooms. The tepals are the same color on both sides, which heightens the color intensity. The flowers are lightly fragrant, and the bloom period is from April to May. This stunning plant is the result of 15 years of hybridizing work in New Zealand.
'Gold Finch' Magnolia is a complex cross from the late Phil Savage of Michigan. The M. acuminata parentage can be seen in its habit (tall and upright) as well as its flower color (light yellow). Magnolia x 'Gold Finch' is very cold hardy, and is a rather early bloomer. The large showy blossoms are tulip or goblet shaped.
'March til Frost' Magnolia has large upright tulip-shaped blooms of a beautiful deep rose-purple color. This introduction from Dr. August Kehr starts blooming in late March and early April, and continues to bloom sporadically throughout the summer into the fall. It was one of Dr. Kehr's favorites, and we have always loved the "surprise package" it makes when the large showy flowers open up in late summer and fall.
PRN Preferred: No other Magnolia comes close to putting out more flowers throughout the growing season. The summer and fall flowers are not washed out. Truly remarkable.
‘Royal Purple’ Magnolia was hybridized by New Zealand Magnolia breeder Peter Cave. Thought to be a sprengeri var. ‘Diva’ seedling, this beautiful fastigiate tree produces large and luscious bright purple flowers. The tepals are a darker purple on the exterior, offset by a paler pinkish purple on the inside. Because of the upright narrow habit, this would be an excellent Magnolia for tighter spaces.
'Sun Spire' Magnolia is another lovely introduction by the late Dr. August Kehr. The flowers are deep yellow and held upright on the branches. Since they appear late in the spring after the danger of frost, the display is consistently showy, like a tower of fat yellow candles. The habit is distinctly upright, making Magnolia x 'Sun Spire' is a great candidate for smaller gardens and tight spots. The parents are M. x 'Woodsman' and and M. x 'Elizabeth'.
Magnolia x brooklynensis 'Judy Zuk' is a spectacular and fitting tribute to the much missed former president of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Judy Zuk. Upward-facing fragrant flowers are a strong yellow, flushing to orange pink at the base. A very beautiful Magnolia coming from BBG's wonderful hybridizing work. M. acuminata is prominent in its ancestry.
PRN Preferred: The combination of yellow flushing to orange is stunning, and this is our favorite deep yellow Magnolia.
Magnolia x brooklynensis 'Yellow Bird' is a late flowering Magnolia with deep yellow fragrant flowers that are seldom damaged by frost. One of Brooklyn Botanical Garden's great introductions, and one of Rick Darke's favorite yellows.
'Wada's Memory' Magnolia was named after Japanese nurseryman K. Wada, when it was discovered in a group of Japanese seedlings grown at the University of Washington Arboretum, Magnolia xkewensis 'Wada's Memory' is covered with narrow-petaled ivory-white 6" flowers in early April, to the degree that the tree is almost completely white when in bloom. The new leaves emerge afterwards in shades of bronze which mature to green in summer. The habit is a tight upright cone, and is one of the most attractive shaped Magnolias we have grown. Go see the amazing specimen at Winterthur Museum in Delaware.
Leatherleaf Mahonia has lemon-yellow fragrant flowers in February and March, blue bird-attracting fruit in summer and is evergreen. Grow more than one shrub together for best fruit production. The upright angular habit adds to its architectural interest all year. Often used asa barrier plants due to it's spiny leaves. Mahonias native to western China and in the same family (Berberaceae) as Barberries and Nandinas and share their characteristic deer resistance. In fact, taxonomists now refer to Mahonia bealei as Berberis bealei (Beale's Barberry). If looking for a native alternative, consider Daphniphyllum macropodum or Myrica pensylvanica.
Japanese Mahonia is often confused with Mahonia bealei, but the foliage is a darker, glossier green, and the texture is finer, with more leaves per stem. According to Michael Dirr, each flower is larger and brighter yellow than M. bealei. It is evergreen, and produces fragrant yellow flower panicles in February and March. Bees and insects benefit from the blooms on warm winter days, and birds love the glaucous blue fruit in early summer. The new taxonomist designation for Mahonia japonica is Berberis japonica.
Emerald Spire® (‘Jefgreen’) Flowering Crabapple came from the breeding work of Dr. David Lane of British Columbia. This is a very tight upright Crabapple which produces fuchsia pink flowers in mid spring. Malus x adstringens Emerald Spire® has large bright green foliage which is disease resistant. Emerald Spire® Crabapple has large bright red fruit in fall, adding another season of beauty. Since Emerald Spire® is slow growing as well as very upright, this is a good candidate for small gardens, narrow spaces and street trees.
Showtime™ (‘Shotizam’) Crabapple comes from the prolific breeding work of Jim Zampini of Lake County Nurseries in Ohio. The fuchsia pink flowers cover the branches in early spring before the bronzy new growth emerges. Malus Showtime™ has an upright oval habit and has shown good to excellent foliar disease resistance. The green summer foliage is followed by red crabapples in the fall, providing important food for Robins, Mockingbirds, and other migrating birds.
Amber Glow™ ('WAH-o8AG') Dawn Redwood is a deciduous conifer which produces showy golden foliage. It emerges with a bronzy color on the new growth, and matures to chartreuse yellow during the summer and orange in the fall before the needles drop. Metasequoia glyptostroboides Amber Glow™ is somewhat more compact than the species, but it still grows to be a beautiful pyramidal tree which grows happily in a wide variety of soils.
Russian Arborvitae is a soft, flat growing evergreen that has plum colored winter foliage. Microbiota decussata's summer color is delicate fern-like green. Great in dry shade, where it spreads extensively. Native to the Sikhote-Alin mountains of far-eastern Russia where it grows above the timberline on bald peaks. It will not tolerate wet conditions. Foliage is bright green in summer changing to bronze-purple in fall and winter.
Celtic Pride® (‘Prides’) Russian Arborvitae is a Proven Winners® introduction. Microbiota decussata is an excellent evergreen groundcover for dry semi-shady locations, and Celtic Pride® shows improved vigor and disease resistance. Microbiotas look like groundcover Junipers, but the foliage is more fern-like and not prickly. An added benefit is the winter color, which is shades of plum and purple. Must have excellent drainage.
The dark green highly aromatic foliage of Northern Bayberry is semi-evergreen. It forms large colonies eventually. Myrica pensylvanica is especially useful in dry, salty sites. Native to northeast where it is primarily found growing along the eastern coast. Gray waxy fruit borne on female plants (dioecious) in late summer and remain through the winter so grouping several plants will increase chance of having a male plant to establish fruit set. Myrica pensylvanica is not sexed. (New name is Morella pensylvanica.)
Per Yale University: "American colonists boiled the berries to extract the sweet-smelling wax coating, which they used to make clean-burning candles. The wax coating on the northern bayberry fruit is indigestible for most birds, but a few species have adapted to be able to eat it, notably the yellow-rumped warbler and tree swallow in North America. As the wax is very energy-rich, this enables the yellow-rumped warbler to spend winter further north in cooler climates than any other American warbler if bayberries are present. The seeds are then dispersed in the birds’ droppings.
Green Gable™ ('NSUHH') Black Gum or Tupelo is a really amazing selection of this native tree. It has the classic brilliant red fall color we know and love, but its habit is a huge departure from regular Nyssas, with an upright pyramidal shape and extremely uniform branching. With its lustrous green foliage in summer, excellent fall color and perfect silhouette in winter, it is clearly the best answer we've seen to the Pear requests people still have. Alex Neubauer of Hidden Hollow Nursery in Tennessee found this exciting native, which is primarily a male form (but probably polygamo-dioecious, which means it will infrequently bear some fruit). Wet site and salt tolerant. 2023 PHS Gold Medal Plant.
PRN Preferred: This tree has a wonderful upright habit and consistantly beautiful fall color.
'Sasaba' Holly Tea Olive has dramatic dark green deeply incised leaves on a compact, shade loving plant. Dr. Michael Dirr calls it "A plant handler's worst nightmare" because the leaves are very stiff and prickly. Of course, that is what makes it a wonderful evergreen for deer country. The insignificant flowers appear in November and are highly, deliciously fragrant. There is a lovely large plant at the Scott Arboretum, home of so many specimen plants. Slow growing, with good cold tolerance.
Sourwood has strands of bell-shaped white flowers in mid to late summer and brilliant red fall foliage. Oxydendrum arboreum is a wonderful tree for honeybees, producing excellent flavored honey. Leaves have a sour taste, hence the common name. This is a multi-season beauty from the Ericaceae. Try planting it with other acid loving plants like Azaleas and Rhododendrons.