Garden Club of America - 2017 Plant of the Year
Magnolia ashei - Ashe Magnolia

(Photograph by Gary Knox, MSI President)

Magnolia ashei
has been named 2017 Plant of the Year by The Garden Club of America (GCA).  Annually since 1995, the GCA has identified a stellar North American native plant to receive its Montine McDaniel Freeman Medal for Plant of the Year. For more info, click here.

Commonly known as the Ashe magnolia, the plant is a deciduous understory shrub or small tree native to eight counties in Florida, but grown in USDA Zones 6 to 9 in rich, moist, well-drained acidic soil.  The plant’s glossy dark green leaves grow to two feet.  The large citrus-scented, creamy white, saucer-shaped flowers have purple stains at an interior base of six to nine petals.  The flowers bloom in spring, then set fruit borne on cone-shaped, pink-purple aggregates that add fall interest.  The Florida Department of Agriculture lists the Ashe magnolia as endangered due to a small population and restricted area of growth.

 “Long-lived, tolerant of heat and resistant to diseases, deer and insects, this magnolia is an ideal specimen tree for the small garden,” says Lucy Rhame of the GCA.  The Ashe magnolia was nominated for the award by a member of Late Bloomers Garden Club, Jacksonville, Florida.

Upcoming meetings of interest

Behind the Blooms: Magnolia Study Day; Saturday, April 15 2017; The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois, US.

2017 Annual Meeting
Magnolia Society International
May 4 - 15, 2017 in Sweden

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