Magnolia 'Butterflies'
Common Name: magnolia
Type: Tree
Family: Magnoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Air Pollution


Best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Best sited in areas protected from high wind. Somewhat tolerant of urban conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘Butterflies’ is a deciduous hybrid magnolia resulting from a cross between M. acuminata (seed parent) and M. denudata (pollen parent). It is noted for its non-fading yellow flowers, late vegetative growth, compact pyramidal form and hardiness to both heat and cold. It typically grows as an upright, pyramidal tree to 18-20’ tall with a single trunk. It also grows as a multi-stemmed shrub. Upright, tulip-like, yellow flowers (to 4-5” across) bloom in late winter to early spring (late March in St. Louis). Each flower has 10-16 tepals. Flowers have a light lemon oil aroma. Flowers typically cover the tree with a profuse bloom for about 7-9 days. Foliage does not begin to emerge until the tepals have fallen. Dark green leaves (to 8” long) are oblong-elliptic with cuspidate tips. Foliage remains attractive throughout the growing season, but produces little fall color (gray-brown). Plant flowers are rarely pollinated by insects, and accordingly fruit is rarely produced. When it does appear, fruits are reddish-green at maturity. U. S. Plant Patent PP7,456 issued February 26, 1991. Genus name honors Pierre Magnol, French botanist (1638-1715).


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Ornamental magnolia for lawns, foundations or woodland margins.