Plant of the Week: Big leaf Magnolia, Ashe Magnolia
(Magnolia ashei or Magnolia macrophylla subsp. ashei)
Type: Small Tree (Zones 6-9).
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Part Shade (Mine is in part-sun but it can be planted as an under story tree)
Moisture/Soil: Average moisture. Sheltered locations help protect the leaves from fraying.
Blooms: Giant white flowers w/ pink accent (6″-10″ wide) late spring to early summer (mine just finished blooming). Also has red burrs after flowering.
Leaves: GIANT Green leaves (up to 24″ long). Have a unique prehistoric look.
Size: Height & Width: 10′-15′ (In tends to grow more upright in sunny locations and wider in shady spots.)
Additional Info: I purchased mine at the Scott Arboretum Plant Sale 4 years ago. It has grown about 18″ since then. I think it is very unique and interesting. It has grown sideways as much as upright (looking for the sun). When people visit the garden they always comment on the giant leaves.
Pros: Unique specimen plant. Beautiful leaves. It flowers at a younger age than its larger cousin.
Cons: Fairly slow growing. Not for a windy location.
Origin: Native to the Florida panhandle (it is very rare in nature). Its bigger cousin Magnolia macrophylla is native to the the SE US (Carolinas through Florida).
- If you are looking for a larger tree I recommend the Magnolia Macrophylla which can grow 50′ tall and wide (and has leaves up to 3′ long). This tree has the largest leaves of any native tree in the eastern US. There is one down the street from me that must be at least 50 years old and it is fabulous!
*The Plant of the Week is based on plants that do well in my 7a/6b garden in SE Pennsylvania.