Just as its name suggests, this tree is quite a ‘little gem’ with all the wonderful qualities you’d want from a magnolia and more! Also known as the dwarf southern magnolia tree, it can be planted as a privacy screen or hedge.
The Little Gem Magnolia features smaller dark green foliage and very compact narrow form and grows much slower than its other Magnolia relatives. The leaves of this evergreen shrub are a waxy dark green on top and rusty-brown on the undersides. It’s beautiful and fragrant white flowers bloom in early spring to early summer. The flowers on The Little Gem Magnolia Tree will give way to spherical, cone-like fruiting clusters that mature in late summer to early fall, releasing individual rose-red coated seeds suspended on slender threads at maturity.
The growth rate is slower than other semi-deciduous magnolias. Little Gem will grow to around 20 foot tall over the first 20 years and 10-15 feet wide. This shrub prefers full sun and is generally intolerant to soil extremes, but it can be slightly drought tolerant after the roots establish. It is useful in small gardens or landscapes and does well with seacoast exposure.
Not the most cold hardy flowering magnolia tree. Does better in southern states, zones 7-9. If you are looking for a cold hardy magnolia – check out the Bracken’s Brown Beauty.
For information on planting your magnolia tree, check out our Magnolia Grow Guide.
Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem'
- Fragrant, white flowers
- Attractive foliage
- Compact size