Magnolia grandiflora ‘Gallionensis’ (Southern Bay)

Introduced to Versailles by the Comte de Galissoniere in the 18th century, it is native to the southern United States. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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As Dolly says in Steel Magnolias “It takes time and effort to look like this”

I can’t help myself: this tree and that film are heaven. While we wouldn’t advocate stealing flowers for a wedding or settling a neighbour dispute with a pistol, we can most definitely recommend planting one of these. Get one to go with your St Bernard. (look just watch the film, ok? Shirley MacLaine is a riot)

Whether or not you’re into your 80’s films, the pedigree of this particular Magnolia is unquestioned and fascinating. A native of the southern United States and emblematic of the ‘deep’ south, it was introduced to the gardens of Versailles by the Comte de Galissoniere in the 18th century. Deeply exaggerated in both bloom and leaf, it was an immediate triumph when it hit our European shores with a flamboyant and buxom flounce. Like Dolly just a –few- years later, a delight for us all.

Evergreen and round-headed: the leaves are glossy and richly green on top with a chestnut-rufous underside the texture of a suede glove. Big (huge) white flowers, seemingly carved from fine porcelain but tougher than they look, will explode sumptuously in about April. 

In the balmier Southern States, it can reach 20 metres, but let’s say around 10m is more the norm in the UK. Not unimpressive by any means, and if the picture above paints anything at all then it’s one of abundance and generosity in all that it does.

Hardy, but best grown in sun and protected from cold winds. They like moist soil with high organic content to be content. Time and effort (but not much) is all it takes, y’all.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


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It is an absolutely wonderful treasure trove for any plant lover and we will be back (frequently!) The plants are all in superb condition, with an enormous variety to choose from. The staff are very professional and knowledgable, but also friendly and helpful.