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Nigra Lily Magnolia

Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra'

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Nigra Lily Magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra') at Vandermeer Nursery

Nigra Lily Magnolia flowers

Nigra Lily Magnolia flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Nigra Lily Magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra') at Vandermeer Nursery

Nigra Lily Magnolia flowers

Nigra Lily Magnolia flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Other Names:  Woody Orchid, Mu-lan, Purple-Flowered Magnolia


Grown for its showy spring blooms and coarse textured leaves, featuring rich purple flowers with very dark red tepals, puts on a long flowering performance; susceptible to mildew and seldom offered at nurseries

Ornamental Features

Nigra Lily Magnolia is blanketed in stunning fragrant purple cup-shaped flowers with a dark red reverse held atop the branches from early to mid spring before the leaves. It has attractive dark green deciduous foliage. The large glossy pointy leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall colour.

Landscape Attributes

Nigra Lily Magnolia is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects
  • Disease

Nigra Lily Magnolia is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Nigra Lily Magnolia will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features

** Plants listed may not be in stock at all times. **

Please contact us directly for current stock availability.
Our inventory varies seasonally and we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times. To confirm if we have the plant that you're looking for, please call (905) 427-2525 or e-mail  us at
Remember, this library does not include our entire selection. Visit us year-round to check out varieties that may not be listed here!