Magnolia laevifolia

Common Name: magnolia 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Magnoliaceae
Native Range: South-central China
Zone: 8 to 11
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen


Best grown in evenly moist, slightly acidic, well-draining, humusy loams of rich to average fertility in full sun to part shade. Prune after flowering to encourage new growth. Hardy in USDA Zones 8-11.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Magnolia laevifolia is a large, evergreen shrub to small tree native to forests and thickets of southwestern China at elevations between 3600-7500'. Mature specimens can reach 10-15' tall with an equal width in cultivation. Wild specimens as tall as 40' have been found. The obovate to elliptic foliage is leathery and dark green, reaching up to 4" long and 1.5" wide. Fragrant, 2" wide flowers bloom in spring from axillary buds along the stems. The young twigs, leaf petioles, flower buds, and the young leaves are covered in a layer of short, reddish-brown hairs. Synonymous with Michelia yunnanensis.

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

The specific epithet laevifolia means "smooth-leaved", in reference to the mature leaves of this species.


No major pest or disease problems of note.


Specimen or accent for lawns, foundation plantings, mixed borders. Takes well to pruning and can be used as a hedge, screen, or topiary.