Botanical Name: Magnolia x ‘Elizabeth’
The Elizabeth Magnolia is an elegant, small deciduous tree with an upright growth habit and pyramidal form. It is an extremely hardy hybrid. Grown for its large, early spring blooms, this small tree makes a big impact in the landscape. It grows to a height of 20-35 feet and a spread of 12-20 feet wide. Magnolia x ‘Elizabeth’ was patented in 1977 by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It is a cross between the Yulan Magnolia (Magnolia denudata) and the Cucumber Tree (Magnolia acuminata).
Due to its small size, the Elizabeth Magnolia is a useful accent tree in small gardens or for use as a screen. It is also a perfect tree to plant near ponds, lakes, rivers and rain gardens as it is tolerant of more wet conditions than other Magnolias.
The fragrant blooms appear in spring on the ends of the twigs, before the foliage unfurls. They are 3-4 inches in diameter and a rich, creamy yellow color. The flowers are usually sterile.
The leaves are mid-green, large, and obovate, approximately 4-9 inches in length. The foliage takes on rich bronze and coppery tones in autumn for a beautiful display. The fruits develop in showy pinkish-red pods in the early fall.
The Elizabeth Magnolia is not particularly susceptible to any significant diseases or pests. This tree is highly tolerant of urban pollution and therefore suitable for planting in city gardens. It should be planted in a location protected from strong winds. It has fleshy, delicate roots which can be easily damaged, so it is best to leave it in place once planted.
Height: 15-35 ft.
Width: 10-20 ft.
Flower Color: Yellow
Flowering Time: March-April
Fall Color: Rich Copper/Bronze
Features: Showy fragrant flowers, fall color
Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
Watering: Moderate & Regular
Soil: Prefers acidic, rich, moist, well-drained soils. Tolerates clay.
Growth Rate: Moderate
USDA Zones: 5-10
Uses: Accent tree, small shade tree, lawn tree
Similar Trees: Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), Columnar Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera 'Fastigiata'), Galaxy Magnolia (Magnolia x 'Galaxy'), Daybreak Magnolia (Magnolia 'Daybreak'), Moonglow Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana 'Jim Wilson'), Yellow Bird Magnolia (Magnolia x brooklynensis 'Yellow Bird')