Nine out of 10 people who hear the word “magnolia” in the Southeast think of images of luxuriously large, creamy white flowers floating atop dark green and brown fuzzy-backed leaves; they may even close their eyes as they recall humid air heavy with rich perfume. That image is of the infamous Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora, Zones 7–9), a stately summer-blooming native tree. But that tenth person will think of perfect cuplike blooms in delicious shades of pink smothering smooth gray, bare branches set against a blue sky. Ahhh, yes! Those are deciduous, early spring-blooming saucer magnolias (M. × soulangeana, Zones 4–9). Along with star magnolias (M. stellata, Zones 4–8), and ‘Jane’ magnolias (M. ‘Jane’, Zones 4–8), these are just a few of the most popular deciduous Asian magnolias planted in the Southeast.
Brown-out can put a damper on an early magnolia display
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