Magnolia 'Susan'

Susan Magnolia

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Susan magnolia is one of the Little Girl series of hybrids developed by the U.S. National Arboretum in the 1950s. Its showy fuschia flowers are fragrant. Due to its compact habit, Susan magnolia may be considered either a large shrub or a small tree. The group as a whole is characterized by good floral display and bloom timing somewhat later than the star magnolia, reducing susceptibility to late frost damage.

Members of the genus Magnolia are known for the stunning beauty of their usually large flowers, which emerge prior to the foliage in spring, and are often fragrant. While shades of pink are the most common bloom color, the Magnolia palette also includes white, yellows and purples. Another dominant feature is a prominent fruiting body of small follicles forming a cone-like shape. The species range from small trees to very large trees and shrubs.

Magnolias are an ancient genus that appeared before bees; early pollinators are believed to have been beetles. They are native to eastern and southeastern Asia and eastern North America, Central and South America; most are not hardy in the Chicago region. Buds and blooms of the magnolias that do thrive here are often subject to damage from cold spring nights. The genus includes over 300 species and numerous hybrids and cultivars. The Chicago Botanic Garden's collection includes almost 60 varieties of magnolia and more than 150 plants.

Plant Shape
Full Sun, Partial Shade
Bloom Time
May - June
Bloom Color
Red, Purple
Landscape Use
Specimen Plant
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Butterflies
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
4 - 8