Approximately one hundred to two hundred species (depending
on the scientific authority) of Magnolia
are found in tropical America
and Asia. Some authorities consider Magnolia kobus and M. stellata to be separate species native to Asia.
Others lump them together as one. Depending upon your perspective, the Merrill
magnolia is either a hybrid between the two species or a selection of M. kobus. It is deciduous with a heavy
bloom in spring before the leaves emerge. The white flowers are fragrant and
about three inches wide.
Light: full sun to partial shade
Water: low drought tolerance, will need irrigation during droughts
Soil: well-drained, moist soil is essential, no other special requirements
Northeast Florida is not in the growing range for Merrill magnolia according to most garden literature. We planted this plant at UNF in spring of 2006 because a local landscape designer says he saw large, healthy plants in a Jacksonville garden.