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Little Gem Magnolia

Scientific Name

Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem'

Origin

Native to the southeastern U. S. from North Carolina to Florida and westward to coastal Texas.  

Habitat

This large leaved evergreen is also known as the Southern or Large Flowered Magnolia.  It is best grown in moist organically rich, well drained soils in full sun to partial shade.  

Growth Nature

Magnolia grandiflora  generally grows to a height of 15 to 60 ft. with a spread of 7 to 15 ft.  “Little Gem” trends a bit smaller, topping out at around 20 ft.   Is a slow growing tree or shrub, usually not reaching a mature height until about 20 years old.  Flowering will begin at about 4 years old.  Prefers acid soil.  Root system is wide spreading, reaching up to 4 times the distance of the drip line.

Points of Interest

  • Also known as the Southern Magnolia.  “Little Gem” is a particular cultivar of the Southern Magnolia that tends to be a little smaller or more compact.

  • The Genus name is in honor of French Botanist, Pierre Magnol who lived between 1638 to 1715.  The species name is Latin meaning “large flowers”.  

  • These magnolias are highly attractive to birds and other animals. 

  • Often grown as an ornamental or screening plant.     

  • Difficult to transplant due to wide spreading nature of roots.

  • Resistant to most pests and diseases.