Magnolia × brooklynensis 'Woodsman'
Common Name: magnolia 
Type: Tree
Family: Magnoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Combination of green, yellow, pink and purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy


Best grown in moist, slightly acidic, organically rich, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Site in locations protected from strong winds, but avoid southern exposures in full sun close to houses where buds and foliage may be induced to open too early in spring. Plants appreciate consistent and regular moisture throughout the year, and are generally intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet). Mulch root zone. Plants are difficult to transplant once established in the landscape.

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.

M. × brooklynensis is a hybrid which originated at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as a cross between M. acuminata (native to eastern U.S.) and M. lilliflora (native to China and Japan). Hybrids produced by pollination of M. acuminata flowers with pollen from M. lilliflora will produce viable seed. This is a fast-growing deciduous tree that typically matures to shade tree height (40’ tall) over time. Several × brooklynensis cultivars have now been developed and released into commerce by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, including ‘Evamaria’ (magenta-rose suffused with orange-yellow), ‘Hattie Charthan’ (bright yellow with purple flush), ‘Woodsman’ (creamy green with purple tinges) and ‘Yellow Bird’ (Yellow).

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

Specific epithet is in reference to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Booklyn, New York.

‘Woodsman’ is a deciduous large shrub to small tree that typically grows to 12’ tall and as wide over the first 10 years, eventually maturing to as much as 30’ tall with a 20’ spread. Shape is conical when young, but spreading with age. Cup-shaped flowers (to 4”) with an unusual but exceedingly complementary combination of green, yellow, pink and purple colors bloom in late spring. Elliptic to ovate, glossy green leaves (to 10” long) have entire margins. Bred by J. C. McDaniel of Urbana, Illinois. Introduced in 1975.


No serious insect or disease problems. Late frosts may damage flowers.


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