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Although Ashe magnolia will never out-sell crape myrtle, I see it occasionally in nurseries.
You might also consider another native, pyramid magnolia, Magnolia pyramidata, to round out your thinking.
If you observe magnolia flowers, you'll see that they're usually covered with beetles, considered the most ancient of insect pollinators. All are pest-free and exhibit excellent heat and drought tolerance (once established).
Botanical Gardens' Fall Plant Sale is on Saturday (9a.m.-5p.m.) and Sunday (noon-4p.m.) October 22 and 23. All prefer dry to average soils, but will tolerate clay; 'Teddy Bear' likes moist soils, too.
Not that they're not worth waiting for, though, as they are white, highly fragrant, and huge, about 12" in diameter, (sadly, they're often waaaay up there).
Magnolia asheii, Ashe magnolia, is a more diminutive relative native to a small area in the panhandle.
Is there a reason I've never seen one in a nursery – are they hard to grow? - , this deciduous species is not uncommon in the western half of the state.We'll have the following magnolias available in small sizes, ready to plant: Ashe magnolia (M. Learn more about this year's Fall Plant Sale by visiting There, you can obtain a more complete list of items that will be available for purchase, as we move toward replanting Alabama.Keep looking, talk to your local nurseries (try using the botanical name), and you may find one – or you can try a mail order source off the internet (although your size selection may be constrained).But be prepared: this tree can get quite large (50' or so) and the oh-so-tropical, silvery-backed leaves (up to 3' long) give some people fits every fall when they cover the ground in large-paper-bag fashion.
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