Magnolia garrettii
Common Name: magnolia
Type: Tree
Family: Magnoliaceae
Native Range: Thailand, Vietnam, China
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Purple-red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Generally intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet). Intolerant of most urban pollutants. Flowers may be injured by late spring frosts in some climates. This magnolia is not winter hardy to the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Magnolia garrettii is a rare evergreen magnolia that is native to only a few small broad-leaved evergreen forest areas in Yunnan China and just across the border into Northern Thailand and Vietnam. It has no established common name (has been called Thai magnolia by some). This tree has a strong upright leader, and will mature over time to 40-60’ tall. It was first described and named in 1922 by British botanist William Grant Craib (1882-1933). Seed was collected in 1998 from Thailand and brought back to the Botanic Garden in Graz for planting. Showy, purple-red flowers (9 tepals per flower) bloom late spring to early summer. Flowers give way to ovoid-oblong fruits (to 4” long). Dark green evergreen leaves (to 14” long) are attractive year round.

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

Specific epithet honors Henry Burton Guest Garrett who apparently discovered the plant growing in northern Thailand in 1922.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

This rare magnolia does not appear to be available for purchase in commerce at this time.