Home > Shrub
Common name: Bull bayType: ShrubAspect: Prefers full sunColour: CreamSeason: SummerSoil: Moist and well drainedSize: LargeDelivery: Collection onlyImage: By DavetheMage - Own work, CC BY 3.0
Small evergreen tree or very large shrub, although in the wild individuals of up to 25m height have been recorded.. Often erroneously identified as a laurel on account of its very large, glossy evergreen foliage which has a characteristic red velvety underside. Very large creamy-white flowers produced continuously during the late summer and into autumn, arguably the very finest of any magnolia or indeed of any evergreen tree and making an exceptional display, not least on account of the the richly spicy or fruity fragrance. The petals are thick, concave, creamy white, broadly obovate and up to 125mm long.
Introduced from the southern United States to the UK in the early 18th century. Often grown against a south-facing wall where it can completely cover a substantial building, it can also be easily grown in open ground, although they tend to grow more slowly where they are exposed, forming a more rounded shape.
Plant in deep and fertile soil so dig in well rotted manure if in doubt. Mulching with manure in the winter is also likely to be highly beneficial. Avoide pruning unless necessary. Magnolia grandiflora is fully hardy and will typically grow to 3-6m height in East Anglia