Bernheim is home to over 120 Magnolia selections. Many are evergreen ( M. grandiflora and M. virginiana) and bloom in summer, while most are deciduous (M. kobus and M. stellata) and bloom early spring. Our earliest plantings of the species began in the 1960's and have continued over the last 50 years to form quite a spectacular display throughout the arboretum.
One of the earliest bloomers to greet visitors at our front entrance is Magnolia soulangiana. It blooms in early March bearing flowers on leafless stems. The large blooms range from 3 to 10 inches across in size and come in nearly all imaginable colors. They are relatively unnoticeable, tucked into the landscape, until they make their spring debut. The collection encompasses Magnolias of all shapes and sizes: shrubby forms that only reach 4 foot tall, to large specimens of 40 foot or more. There are hundreds of hybrid magnolias in production today which represent a large portion of our collections.
Perhaps one of the better known species is the Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora. Evergreen foliage is glossy on top, with rusty brown underneath, and can be nearly a foot long. Flowers are borne during the summer and are cream colored, with an intoxicating aroma second to no other flowering tree. Bernheim has many Southern Magnolias throughout the collections, but a larger group of specimens are located adjacent to the spring house near our education center.
Included in our collection:
Magnolia kobus - Kobus magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora - southern magnolia
Magnolia liliflora - tulip/lily magnolia
Magnolia stellata - star magnolia
Magnolia sprengeri - Sprenger’s magnolia
Magnolia soulangiana - saucer magnolia
Magnolia cylindrical - Huangshan magnolia
Magnolia sieboldii - Oyama magnolia
Magnolia wilsonii - Wilson’s magnolia
Magnolia officinalis - Houpu magnolia
Magnolia acuminata - cucumbertree magnolia
Magnolia obovatus - Japanese whitebark magnolia
Magnolia macrophylla - large-leaved magnolia
Magnolia salicifolia - anise magnolia
Magnolia virginiana - sweetbay magnolia
Magnolia asheii - Ashe’s magnolia
Magnolia zenii - Zen magnolia
Magnolia fraseri - mountain magnolia
Magnolia x hybrids - hybrid magnolia