Magnolia × soulangeana 'Alexandrina'
Common Name: saucer magnolia 
Type: Tree
Family: Magnoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Purple-pink with white interiors
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Clay Soil


Best grown in moist, acidic, organically rich, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Generally intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet). Site in locations protected from strong winds, but avoid southern exposures close to houses where the buds may be induced to open too early in spring. Plants appreciate consistent and regular moisture throughout the year. Best sited in a protected location because early spring frosts can damage flowers.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Magnolia × soulangeana, commonly known as saucer magnolia, is a deciduous hybrid magnolia (M. denudata × M. liliiflora). It is the most commonly grown deciduous magnolia. It is a broad shrub or small tree that typically rises to 20-25’ tall with a rounded crown. It is often grown in a multi-trunked shrubby form. It typically matures over time to 20-30’ tall and as wide. Fragrant flowers (to 8” across) bloom in early spring (late March to mid-April in St. Louis) before the foliage emerges. Flowers are pink with white interiors. Sparse numbers of additional flowers may bloom sporadically later in spring on new growth, but the later flowers are usually less vigorous and less colorful than those of the primary bloom. Saucer magnolia is perhaps the most popular deciduous magnolia in cultivation today, with a large number of hybrid cultivars now available in commerce featuring flowers in various shades of white, pink, rose, purple, magenta and burgundy.

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

Hybrid designation honors Chevalier Etienne Soulange-Bodin (1774-1846), Director of the French Royal Institute, who crossed this hybrid in the early 1800s.

‘Alexandrina’ has purple pink with white interiors and rarely produces fruit. Large medium green leaves (to 4-8” long) are oblong. Foliage turns greenish-yellow in fall. ‘Alexandrina’ was introduced in France around 1831.


No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf spot and canker can be troublesome. Watch for scale. Late spring frosts may damage flowers.


Beautiful specimen flowering shrub or small tree for the landscape.