Daring Deciduous Magnolias


It’s been a restless night as I listened to rain and sleet against my bedroom window, wondering when the Upstate will finally turn the corner on winter and early-blooming trees and shrubs can flower without harm from freezing temperatures and ice. Despite the cold season’s relentless grip, I know we are inching towards spring. In addition to ‘Okame’ cherry and forsythia, deciduous magnolias offer testament that time is marching on.


I have to admit I don’t know much about this group of plants, but there are many beautiful, mature specimens in nearby neighborhoods that catch my eye each year. So, as I headed out for errands yesterday, I grabbed my camera to capture a few favorites before the next wave of bitter cold arrived.


I particularly like the deciduous magnolias with saucer flowers. Called tulip trees because of the shape of their blooms, they flower before their leaf buds open. Though early blooms often fall victim to late freezes, a good season will quickly soothe past disappointments.


Like many evergreen magnolias, most deciduous species like fertile, well-drained, slightly-acidic soil, and full sun to partial shade.

4 thoughts on “Daring Deciduous Magnolias

  1. pbmgarden

    Beautiful photos. Love saucer magnolias and have been watching one in my neighborhood beginning to open. It’s as you say. Some years they don’t make it before they just turn brown, but oh how wonderful they are in the years when the weather is cooperative. Hope the sleet won’t cause problems for you. We escaped it here though it had been forecast.

  2. Pauline

    Your found quite a few trees with beautiful blossom and don’t they look pretty! We just have our native Blackthorn out at the moment it will be a few more weeks before Magnolias grace our streets.

  3. Johnnie Ruth Sturgeon

    Nice photos. Our daffodils had been blooming for nearly 2 weeks, saucer Magnolia and plum trees in bloom….Monday, brought sleet and hard freeze. Not typical Louisiana weather.

  4. gardeninacity

    I think I like the white star magnolias the best. We had a small magnolia in our back garden but it succumbed to a bad case of scale and various other problems.


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