Magnolia 'Charles Coates'
Common Name: magnolia 
Type: Tree
Family: Magnoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


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.

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).

'Charles Coates' is a hybrid magnolia (M. sieboldii x M. tripetala) which was discovered growing as a seedling at The Royal Botanic Garden at Kew in 1946-1947 by plant propagator Charles F. Coates. This is a deciduous small tree or large rounded shrub which typically matures over time to 12-16' tall, but may in some cases reach 25' tall. Fragrant flowers bloom in May-June. Each flower (to 5" diameter) features 9-12 white petal-like tepals surrounding a center of showy purplish-red stamens. Large, ovate, deep green leaves (each to 10" long) appear in whorl-like clusters at the branchlet tips.


Potential disease problems include leaf spots, anthracnose, canker, dieback and powdery mildew. Potential insect problems include weevils, snails, scale, and thrips.

Late frosts may damage flowers.


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