Magnolia × soulangeana
Common name: 
Saucer Magnolia
mag-NO-li-a su-lan-ge-A-na
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous tree/shrub, 10-15(20)ft [3-4.5(6) m], multistemmed, upright when young, at maturity a low-branched tree with wide spreading branches. Bark is gray and usually smooth. Leaves alternate, simple, 8-15 cm long, half as wide, obovate to broad-oblong, apex narrow and abruptly short-pointed, dark green above and pubescent below.   Flowers appear before leaves, solitary, perfect, bell-shaped, 13-25 cm diameter, and usually 9 petals, white to pink to purplish (outside petals often purplish).  Fruit cluster cylindric, to 10 cm long, asymmetric, seeds red.
  • Sun.  3-5 years to flower.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (4) 5  May survive in Zone 4 but often the flower buds are killed in winter or the blooms damaged by spring frost (Snyder, 2000).  Caution: senescent petals falling onto sidewalks and stairs can create a slippery surface, especially in the rain.
  • A hybrid of M. denudata by M. liliiflora, first developed in France in about 1826.   Now many cultivars, some of those grown by Oregon's wholesale nurseries include:
    • ‘Alexandrina’  -  flowers large, rose-purple outside and pure white inside, blooms in midseason, before leaves emerge; more than one clone offered under this name, vary some in color.
    • ‘Coates’  -  upright shrub, rapid grower, becoming rounded, to about 25 ft (8 m) tall, large flowers, light pink on the outside, white inside, Zone 5.
    • ‘Lennei’  -  very upright shrub, than oval to flat in outline, flowers deep pink (some say dark purplish), white inside.
    • ‘Rustica Rubra’  -  vigorous, more tree-like than many other cultivars, to 25 ft (8 m), large rose-red flowers, over 5 inches (13 cm) wide, inside white; blooms somewhat past midseason.
    • ‘Speciosa’  -  upright, usually a multi-stemmed, spreading tree, flowers are white with purplish flush at the base, outer petals (tepals) slightly reflexed; blooms late
  • soulangeana: after Etienne Soulange-Bodin, Director of France's Royal Inst. Hort., who raised the original seedling.
  • Corvallis: west side of Central Park
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: several in front of the Memorial Union.


Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flowers


  • flowering branch

    flowering branch

  • flower, before and at opening

    flower, before and at opening

  • single flower

    single flower

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leaves


  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison

  • immature and mature fruit

    immature and mature fruit

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • dormant buds

    dormant buds