Dwarf southern magnolias are elusive, fragrant-flowered plant

A dwarf southern magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ has been in bloom along my walking route.

The flowers have a lemony scent that is refreshing and pleasant. Southern Magnolia is native to the southeastern US and is described as growing southward through Zones 9 or 10a, depending on the expert.

It has been my experience that this stately tree does best planted north of Lake Okeechobee. However, beautiful magnolias are growing in some Treasure Coast landscapes. However, dwarf varieties such as Little Gem, DD Blanchard, and Bracken’s Brown Beauty seem to grow better in this region.

Some magnolias grow well in tropical and sub-tropical locations; The coconut magnolia or Magnolia coco is one of the tropical species. Coconut magnolia was introduced to England by Lady Amelia Hume in the 1780s. It is thought it was brought to Florida from there in the 1890s.

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