Magnolias are spectacular flowering bushes and trees that grow in coastal areas. There are many types of magnolias. Some have more simple, large flowers, other trees have many thin petals on smaller, showier flowers. The type of magnolia you plant will depend on the space you have and the type of effect you are looking for in your landscape.
Magnolia grandiflora, or Southern Magnolia, has 100 sub-cultivars, most with white flowers measuring 8 and 12 inches in diameter that grow throughout the spring and summer. Depending on the cultivar, Magnolia grandiflora can range from a 20 foot tree or bush, depending on how you prune it, to 60 to 90 foot trees with trunks that can be as large or 2 to 3 feet in diameter.
Magnolia stellata, or Star Magnolia, is native to Japan. The Magnolia stellata is a small tree or bush growing to between 15 and 20 feet tall with a 10 to 15 foot spread. The flowers of the Star Magnolia are 3 to 4 inches across and are usually white to pink in color. Each flower has between 12 and 18 narrow petals, making them look like a star. There are several slightly different cultivars of this type of magnolia, with slightly different flowers.
Magnolia X Loebneri
The Magnolia x loebneri, or Loebner Magnolia, has fragrant white flowers in the early spring. The Loebner magnolia's flowers have 12 to 15 petals. This magnolia will grow to between 20 and 30 feet tall and grow to between 20 and 35 feet wide. This particular type of magnolia is a hybrid of the Magnolia kobus and Magnolia stellata and was created to flower at an earlier age than other magnolias.
Magnolia X Soulangiana
Magnolia x soulangiana, often called the saucer magnolia, grows to between 15 and 25 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide. This particular type of magnolia grows flowers between 5 and 10 inches in diameter that can be white, pink, or a pinkish purple. This particular variety of magnolia flowers in the early spring.