The saucer magnolia is one of the most dramatic deciduous trees when in bloom. The flower buds are large and goblet shaped and cover the bare limbs before the leaves emerge in spring. The fragrant flowers vary in color from pink to white and are composed of six waxy petals that form a saucer when fully opened. The tree has broad green leaves during the summer and can reach as high as 20 feet. The height and shape depends on the variety you choose.
Prefers rich soil with plenty of organic material and proper drainage. Prune after flowering but before buds develop to maintain shape. Plant in a protected area to delay blooming. I like to plant them in an evergreen courtyard setting to display the blooms and to add green as a backdrop when it is leafless during the winter. Morning sun is ideal although it will grow in full sun and will bloom earlier which leaves the flowers subject to frost damage.
This is a wonderful understory tree and looks especially lovely when planted in groups. It is one of the earliest flowering trees to bloom and for me is the first sign of spring! You can also wrap the bare limbs in Christmas lights for an awesome display or install outdoor lighting under them to illuminate their pleasing form!