Magnolia Collection

In the mid-2000s, under the guidance of former Executive Director Donald Hendricks and working with local magnolia hybridizer Dennis Ledvina (1939-2015), the Garden started an official magnolia collection. Space was cleared for the collection in 2005, with plantings added that same year. The intent of the magnolia collection is to show the wide range of flower forms and colors, along with the plant habits available to home owners and landscape professionals in the upper Midwest and similar climates.

Magnolia Multisite Collection™

Green Bay Botanical Garden is proud to be recognized as one of the many gardens in the Magnolia Multisite Collection™, the only Plant Collections Network (PCN) collection in the state of Wisconsin. The Garden is home to 161 magnolias and 120 taxa, of which 14 taxa are unique to the PCN. Located in USDA Hardiness zone 5a (-20°F to -15°F is the average annual minimum winter temperature), ours is the coldest site in the Magnolia Multisite Collection™. However, in the winter of 2019 temperatures of -26°F and -25°F were recorded at the Garden, which is equivalent to USDA Hardiness zone 4b!

Visit the collection in May to experience its magnificent blooms and consider adding one of our varieties to your garden at home! 

  • Magnolia (liliiflora x kobus ‘Norman Gould’) x RM Variegated
  • Magnolia [Jazzy Jane] = ‘KLMWW’
  • Magnolia [Jean Louise] = ‘KLMVV’
  • Magnolia acuminata ssp. subcordata ‘Ellen’
  • Magnolia ‘Angel Mist’ x ‘Guardian’
  • Magnolia ‘Ann’
  • Magnolia ‘Banana Split’
  • Magnolia ‘Betty’
  • Magnolia ‘Big Dude’
  • Magnolia ‘Butterbowl’
  • Magnolia ‘Butterflies’
  • Magnolia ‘Butterflies’ variegated
  • Magnolia ‘Canary Charm’
  • Magnolia ‘Champaign’
  • Magnolia ‘Charming Lady’
  • Magnolia ‘Colossus’ x ‘Oriental Charm’
  • Magnolia ‘Coral Reef’
  • Magnolia ‘Coral Sunset’
  • Magnolia ‘Cosmic Gem’
  • Magnolia cylindrica
  • Magnolia ‘Daybreak’
  • Magnolia ‘Dennis Ledvina’
  • Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’
  • Magnolia ‘Emma Cook’
  • Magnolia ‘First Love’
  • Magnolia ‘Flamingo’
  • Magnolia ‘Fragrant Angel’
  • Magnolia ‘Gold Cup’
  • Magnolia ‘Gold Star’
  • Magnolia ‘Golden Gift’
  • Magnolia ‘Gorgeous’
  • Magnolia ‘Holland Rose’
  • Magnolia ‘Honeybelle’
  • Magnolia ‘Hot Flash’
  • Magnolia ‘Ivory Chalice’
  • Magnolia ‘Jane’
  • Magnolia ‘Judy Zuk’
  • Magnolia kobus
  • Magnolia kobus ‘Leach Rosea’
  • Magnolia ‘Lady Woodsman’
  • Magnolia ‘Lavender Delight’
  • Magnolia ‘Lavender Star’
  • Magnolia ‘Lois’
  • Magnolia M. ‘Yellow Bird’ x M. sprengeri ‘Diva’
  • Magnolia ‘Mae Sunrise’
  • Magnolia ‘Marillyn’
  • Magnolia ‘Maxine Merrill’
  • Magnolia obovata
  • Magnolia ‘Oriental Charm’
  • Magnolia ‘Oriental Charm’ x ‘Fruit Cup’
  • Magnolia ‘Oriental Charm’ x(tripetala x obovata)
  • Magnolia ‘Pink Surprise’
  • Magnolia ‘Pinkie’
  • Magnolia ‘Polaris’
  • Magnolia ‘Purple Star Power’
  • Magnolia ‘Raspberry Glow’
  • Magnolia ‘Red Baron’
  • Magnolia ‘Ricki’
  • Magnolia ‘Rose Marie’
  • Magnolia ‘Roseanne’
  • Magnolia ‘Royal Splendor’
  • Magnolia ‘Royal Tapestry’
  • Magnolia salicifolia
  • Magnolia ‘Savage Splendor’
  • Magnolia sieboldii
  • Magnolia sieboldii ‘Colossus’
  • Magnolia sieboldii ‘Michiko Renge’
  • Magnolia ‘Silk Road’ x ‘Angel Mist’
  • Magnolia ‘Silk Road’ x ‘Oriental Charm’
  • Magnolia ‘Silk Road’ x ‘Southern Belle’
  • Magnolia ‘Simple Pleasures’
  • Magnolia ‘Solar Flair’
  • Magnolia ‘Spiced Spumoni’
  • Magnolia ‘Spring Peppermint’
  • Magnolia ‘Spring Royalty’
  • Magnolia ‘Stardust’
  • Magnolia stellata
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Centennial Blush’ First Editions(r)
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Chrysanthemumiflora’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Dawn’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Kikuzaki’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Lyle’s Legacy’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Pink Perfection’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’
  • Magnolia stellata ‘Waterlily’
  • Magnolia ‘String of Pearls’
  • Magnolia ‘Sunburst’
  • Magnolia ‘Sunrise’
  • Magnolia ‘Sunsation’
  • Magnolia ‘Sunspire’
  • Magnolia ‘Susan’
  • Magnolia ‘Sweet Love’
  • Magnolia ‘The Parson’s Choice’
  • Magnolia ‘Toro’
  • Magnolia tripetala
  • Magnolia tripetala ‘Bloomfield’
  • Magnolia virginiana
  • Magnolia ‘Wedding Vows’
  • Magnolia ‘Whispering Pink’
  • Magnolia x brooklynensis ‘Black Beauty’
  • Magnolia x brooklynensis ‘Woodsman’
  • Magnolia x kewensis ‘Wada’s Memory’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Ballerina’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Elegant Spring’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Encore’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Powder Puff’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Spring Joy’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Spring Petticoats’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘White Rose’
  • Magnolia x loebneri ‘Wildcat’
  • Magnolia x soulangeana
  • Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Alexandrina’
  • Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Big Pink’
  • Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Verbanica’
  • Magnolia x soulangiana ‘Barrington Belle’
  • Magnolia ‘Yellow Bird’
View a complete list of our collection. Collapse

Hybridizing Magnolias

Many of our magnolia cultivars (magnolia varieties) represent the breeding work of Ledvina. His work with international colleagues concentrated on creating magnolias with unique characteristics including:

When Ledvina passed, he was working with big leaf magnolias as well as his other hybridizing efforts. Some of the crosses that he bred include Magnolia ‘Rose Marie’ in memory of his late mother, Magnolia ‘Royal Splendor’, Magnolia ‘Cotton Candy’, Magnolia ‘Sweet Love’, and Magnolia ‘Red Baron’.

As the Garden develops its remaining six acres, it will continue to incorporate magnolias that extend Dennis Ledvina’s goal of cold hardiness and the Garden’s mission of connecting people and plants.

Ledvina's First Magnolias

Magnolia Characteristics

Magnolias, ranging from large shrubs to trees, are prized worldwide for their form and showy, fragrant flowers in a range of colors. 

Bloom season at the Garden typically starts in late April and peaks in mid-May, with some plants continuing to flower into June. Magnolia hybridization has resulted in a variety of flower forms and colors to choose from.

Flower Forms

*Tepals: the name given to the showy parts of a flower when the petals look the same as the sepals. In many plants, sepals are often green and protect the petals while a flower bud forms.

Flower Colors

Plant Forms

Magnolias in the Future

Changing climates and weather patterns are ongoing threats to the livelihood of magnolia cultivars throughout the Garden and elsewhere. Our Horticulture Team continues to work on preservation techniques for the more unique magnolias in our collection, including big leaf cultivars and magnolias hybridized by Ledvina.

Members of the Horticulture Team are implementing a disaster preparedness plan by safeguarding the 14 unique taxa exclusive to our collection. The goal is to duplicate these magnolias and find them additional homes in case an unexpected disaster affects magnolias on site.

The Team is also propagating some of Ledvina’s last magnolia hybrids. He owned a lot in Green Bay near the Garden where he had planted out more than 300 magnolia seedlings for evaluation.

Plant Collections Network

The Plant Collections Network coordinates a continent-wide approach to plant germplasm (genetic material) preservation, and promotes excellence in plant collections management. Today, the Plant Collections Network includes over 140 accredited collections throughout North America, stewarded by over 80 participating institutions.

More than 15 arboreta and botanical gardens across the US, Canada, and Mexico curate the Nationally Accredited Multisite Magnolia Collection, which consists of over 625 magnolia species. In 2018, Green Bay Botanical Garden attained Nationally Accredited status. The multi-institutional collaborative approach allows for the curation and study of Magnolia to occur at a magnitude unachievable by a single site, with the potential to expand as the group continues to grow both in size and regional diversity.

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