Magnolia x soulangiana 'Alexandrina'
Surely one of the all time best deciduous magnolias is Magnolia x soulangiana 'Alexandrina'. (see picture right) Beautiful large tulip shaped flowers on bare branches in late winter to spring and attractive foliage in summer. Commonly called the 'Saucer Magnolia' this is a hybrid between M.denudata and M.liliiflora and with that linage it should be good.
One of the most popular of the smaller deciduous magnolias, the flowers are a nice light purple color with white to pink flushed interiors, waxy and holding well.
As a stand alone specimen the Alexander Magnolia looks fantastic, and in the garden border, toward the rear it holds it place with grace and charm.
This is a naturally low branching tree, it spreads widely from the base as a natural growth habit.
Little care is required once established. If you live in an area with a temperate to cool climate all you really need to grow Magnolia x soulangiana 'Alexandrina' is a humus rich soil, and a position with some protection from afternoon sun if possible.
Although these wonderful magnolias can reach 20ft (4m) the usual is 10 - 12 ft. If grown in containers, even less.
Best planted in an area where it does not receive frost in spring, as this can damage the flowers.
Mulch well and keep the soil moist in summer. You do not really need to prune these, but if you want to prune to shape do so in winter. Heavy frosts and freezes can kill the flower buds. Grows well in USDA zones 4 - 9.
- Height - To 20ft (similar spread)
- Aspect - Full sun to part shade. More shade in warmer areas
- Well drained soil, slightly acidic but not that fussy
- Mulch well in summer to retain moisture and again in fall to retain warmth in winter.
- Pruning generally not required.
Over the years Magnolia x soulangeana have been used to produce many cultivars. All are great garden worth trees, included are :
- Magnolia x soulangeana 'Lennei'
- Magnolia x soulangiana 'Verbanica'
- Magnolia x soulangiana ‘Felix'
- Magnolia x soulangeana 'Black Tulip'
- Magnolia x soulangeana 'Rustica Rubra'