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Magnolia grandiflora - Bull bay

Native to the southern United States of America Magnolia grandiflora is a large, rounded evergreen shrub or tree with dense, glossy dark green, leathery oblong-elliptic leaves, often rusty brown beneath.

The gloriously large creamy cup shaped flowers of up to 25cm across which have a complex lemon citronella scented fragrance appear in late summer and look magnificent against the dark background of the leaves. These are followed by the rose-coloured fruit up to 10cm long and 5cm wide.

It is often recommended for seashore plantings in areas that are windy but have little salt spray. A sheltered positon is preferred to avoid winter damage to the thick foliage, however this species will take any moist, well drained soil, even chalk is tolerated.

FACT: Its common name derives from the leaves being like those of the red bay and its large size.
FACT: The timber of the Magnolia grandiflora is hard and heavy and has been used commercially to make furniture, pallets and veneer.

Plant Profile

Name: Magnolia grandiflora

Common Name: Bull bay

Family: Magnoliaceae

Height: Can grow up to 25/30 metres

Width: Can grow over 8 metres

Demands: Full sun or partial shade, avoid North facing aspects.

Soil: Well drained but moist sand, chalk, clay or loam

Foliage: Evergreen

Flower: Cream

Magnolia grandiflora info sheet

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