Description & Overview

Ann Magnolia is a late-blooming, dwarf magnolia that is less likely to suffer frost damage in the spring. Trees burst with large, tulip-like, slightly fragrant purple-red blooms in mid-spring. Green leaves emerge once flowers are done blooming and last throughout the season. Sometimes, a repeat bloom in mid-summer may occur. Late summer brings about interesting seed pods that hold.

Ann Magnolia can be grown as a single-trunked tree or multi-stemmed large shrub. Both forms are beautiful and make stunning specimen trees.

Core Characteristics

Category: Tree

Wisconsin Native: No

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 4

Mature Height: 8-10 feet

Mature Spread: 8-10 feet

Growth Rate: Slow

Growth Form: Broad, pyramidal, rounded, compact

Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Site Requirements: Rich, average, well - drained, consistently moist

Flower: Deep purple - red, 7 - 9 petals, chalice - shaped, slightly fragrant, 8"

Bloom Period: April – June, mostly flowering in May

Foliage: Dark green

Fall Color: Yellow - Insignificant

Urban Approved: Yes

Fruit Notes: Upright cone, contains many red seeds.

Suggested Uses

Ann Magnolias thrive in full sun to part shade in average to slightly acidic soil. Mulch will help retain moisture, as they do not tolerate drought very well. Ann, part of the Little Girl series developed by the National Arboretum in the 1950s, flowers two to four weeks later than other varieties. This is a great thing especially in Wisconsin where late spring frosts are a reality.

Magnolias are terrific residential landscape trees and are a sight to behold in spring, making them a perfect tree for the front yard. You can watch the beauty unfold from your window! Consider an underplanting of Montrose White Calamint or a grouping of Hosta to add texture and color.

With their compact size, Ann Magnolia is a good small-scale tree for smaller urban lots as it will not overwhelm or outgrow an area.

A showy park-worthy tree and able to handle air pollution, Ann Magnolia would be lovely planted in parks or near benches to create a lovely seating area.

Magnolias are iconic specimens planted at the corners of a home, anchoring the house to the landscape. Ann is no exception and would make your neighbors jealous with its striking color and form!

Ann Magnolia is a late-blooming, dwarf magnolia that is less likely to suffer frost damage in the spring. Trees burst with large, tulip-like, slightly…

Wildlife Value

Magnolias are fertilized by beetles rather than bees.

Songbirds are attracted to Magnolias for shelter, observation, especially migrating species. Consider adding other fruiting shrubs, trees, or conifers to supplement feeding the birds as Magnolias have little nutritional value for wildlife.

Maintenance Tips

Prune as needed immediately after flowering.

Magnolias prefer consistent moisture and would appreciate a generous mulch layer.

Ann Magnolia is a late-blooming, dwarf magnolia that is less likely to suffer frost damage in the spring. Trees burst with large, tulip-like, slightly…

Pests/Problems

Black Walnut Tolerant: No
Deer Resistant: Yes
Rabbit Resistant: No

Potential insect problems include scale, thrips, and weevils. Scale is a type of insect that can suck plant sap, excreting sticky honeydew which invites fungi like sooty mold to take hold. It can slow the growth of an already slowly-growing tree-like magnolia, and on heavily infested trees, can weaken branches and cause eventual death. Treatment can be tricky and requires proper timing of the application. We recommend contacting an arborist for proper treatment.

Thrips feed on the flowers and buds of magnolia and can sometimes cause the flowers to fail to open. Ladybugs are natural predators of thrips. A diverse garden intermingled with native plants will attract beneficial insects. Butterflyweed, birch trees, coneflowers, coreopsis, hibiscus, juniper, mint, roses, and yarrow all attract Ladybugs!

Weevils, a type of beetle, punch holes in the leaves to feed and can cause leaf loss. While the leaves may look unsightly, weevil damage doesn’t affect the overall health of the tree. If you see them and can’t stand them, they can be physically removed. Pesticides aren’t effective and not really necessary as they will go away on their own.

Rabbits have been known to nibble on the trunk. Consider using rabbit fencing or trunk protectors from late fall through spring.

Leaf Lore

The genus Magnolia was named after French botanist Pierre Magnol a French botanist who was a Director of the Royal Botanic Garden of Montpellier. The name was first used in 1703 referring to a flowering tree found on the island of Martinique.

Magnolias are ancient trees and have survived for millions of years, predating bees and other winged pollinators. Some sources say magnolias date back 58 million years, while others say 100 million years. One thing is certain, they are old and have survived the Ice Age and continental drift!

Associated with nobility, perseverance, and dignity, magnolias are often used in floral arrangements, particularly wedding bouquets to symbolize purity. Planting a magnolia tree in the front yard of a home, particularly red varieties like Ann, is believed to bring good luck and financial security.

Ann Magnolia is a hybrid between Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’ and Magnolia stellata ‘Rosea’ that were bred in the mid-1950s at the U.S. National Arboretum. Each magnolia in the Little Girl series was named after the daughters of the breeders.

Companion Plants

Pair with Wildberry Coral Bells (Heuchera ‘Wildberry’ PP31,222), Rozanne Geranium (Geranium ‘Gerwat’ PP12,175), Jack Frost Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’), Sandy Shores Lenten Rose (Helleborus ‘Sandy Shores’, Dwarf Goatsbeard (Aruncus aethusifolius), and Winterglow Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia ‘Winterglut’) for an intense mix of color.

Ann Magnolia is a late-blooming, dwarf magnolia that is less likely to suffer frost damage in the spring. Trees burst with large, tulip-like, slightly…
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Written by Beth DeLain