Big Leaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla)


This native Magnolia is one of our favorites.    We rescued it about three years ago.   We had never seen a Big Leaf Magnolia bloom-so you can image how excited we were to see this absolutely beautiful large white bloom.    Another common name is “Large Leaved Cucumber Tree” and it can grow to 40 feet tall.    It blooms in May and like full sun to part shade with medium water in loamy soils.   It may take 12 or more years before it blooms for the first time.    But do not be discouraged because our tree get almost no direct sun and we do not give it any extra water and it has done remarkably well for us.   The leaves are oblong and can reach up to 30 inches long.  The leaves are green on top and silver gray on the underneath side.   The flowers are white and will later develop into a cone shape seed pod which matures in late summer.   It will then release individual red coated seeds that are suspended on slender threads.


The Cherokee would use an infusion of bark for stomach ache or cramps.  They would also use the infusion for treatment of diarrhea.  A hot infusion of the bark was used to treat sinus problems and to treat toothache.  The Cherokee also used the wood for building material.


As you can see the Big Leaf Magnolia will make a stunning addition to any garden.   It is not evergreen like it cousin the Southern Magnolia and will shed it leaves after the first frost.




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