Sun. Magnolia’s white, fragrant flowers and perfect upright posture earn it an outsize role in Southern horticulture. Even the leaves are smooth and glossy, with velvety red texture underneath. Magnolia is fast-growing and makes a nice shade tree in the right setting.
On their own, magnolias attain a pyramidal shape and a fairly large size; big specimens can be seen along the Riverwalk and in deep soils around the Olmos Basin. However, the enormous, shallow root system requires deep, moist alluvial soils — magnolia can’t thrive as easily in dry, rocky sites like northern Bexar County.