Magnolia 'Galaxy'
Common Name: magnolia
Type: Tree
Family: Magnoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: Rose-pink to reddish-purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant

Culture

Best grown in organically rich, neutral to slightly acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Appreciates a root-zone mulch to help retain soil moisture. Also appreciates a location protected from strong winds, but avoid warm southern exposures which may promote premature bud opening in spring. Fleshy root system is easily damaged during transplanting, so it is best to select a landscape location carefully and leave this magnolia undisturbed once planted. Prune as needed immediately after flowering. Usually requires little pruning other than removal of dead or damaged branches.

Site in areas protected from strong winds to prevent damage to the leaves.

Noteworthy Characteristics

The genus Magnolia consists of about 100 species (plus numerous additional hybrids and cultivars) of deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs. Most plants feature large simple leaves and showy, sometimes fragrant flowers (yellow, white, pink or purple) which bloom in early spring before or while the leaves are emerging or in late spring to summer when trees are fully leaved.

Genus name honors Pierre Magnol, French botanist (1638-1715).

'Galaxy' is a hybrid magnolia (M. liliiflora ‘Nigra’ x M. sprengeri ‘Diva’ which was crossed by the U.S. National Arboretum in 1963 and subsequently introduced into commerce by them in 1980. This is a large, narrow-pyramidal, deciduous single trunk tree with ascending branching. It typically matures over time to 20-30' (infrequently to 40’) tall. Fragrant rose-pink to reddish-purple flowers (each to 6-12” across) bloom in late April to early June. Each flower features up to 12 showy petal-like tepals. Large, ovate, medium green leaves (each to 9" long) appear in whorl-like clusters at the branchlet tips.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Potential disease problems include leaf spots, anthracnose, canker, dieback and powdery mildew. Potential insect problems include weevils, snails, scale, and thrips.

‘Galaxy’ blooms late enough in spring (2-3 weeks after early blooming magnolias) that its flowers are unlikely to suffer any significant frost damage. Watersprout development on lower branches is a potential problem.

Garden Uses

Excellent specimen or accent for sunny areas in the landscape where spring flowers can be appreciated. Small shade tree.