Skip to Content

Magnolia Genie vs Black Tulip: 5 Key Differences

Trees with flowers blooming are not rare but can be quite stunning. When these flowers are as large as tulips, it becomes an exceptional sight, as there are few such plants.

There’s a notable distinction between two magnolia varieties: Magnolia Genie and Magnolia Black Tulip. Magnolia Genie boasts flowers of a rich red-burgundy hue, while Black Tulip’s flowers are a darker shade of red. Additionally, Magnolia Genie tends to rebloom, a feature less common in the Black Tulip variety.

The Magnolia Genie, a relatively recent introduction from New Zealand, is a creation of Vance Hooper. This hybrid results from crossing Magnolia Sweet Valentine with a Magnolia liliiflora Nigra seedling.

Meanwhile, Magnolia Black Tulip is an ancestor of the Genie variety. This hybrid was developed from a cross between Magnolia Iolanthe and Vulcan.

Magnolia Genie vs Black Tulip

Magnolia Genie and Black Tulip

Genie Black Tulip
Hardiness zone 5-9 5-9
Mature height 10-13 ft (3-4 m) 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m)
Mature width 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m) 6-10 ft (1.8-3 m)
Growth rate medium fast
Reblooming yes no
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun, partial shade
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.0-7.0 6.3-6.9
Watering One time per week in a drought One time per week in a drought
Diseases fungus fungus
Pests insects insects

Genie is capable of re-blooming

The development of Magnolia Genie marked a significant breakthrough in magnolia breeding, as it was the first variety capable of reblooming. Previously, magnolias were known to flower only in the spring, leaving the trees flowerless for the rest of the year.

Magnolia Genie’s flowering cycle begins in spring, typically in April, when it blooms before its leaves emerge. This initial flowering period lasts several weeks. The Genie then undergoes a sporadic reblooming phase starting from late July and continuing through August. Although the number of flowers during this second bloom is less than in spring, the tree still presents a spectacular display.

In contrast, the Black Tulip variety does not experience a second blooming period. Its flowering season aligns with that of the Genie in spring but does not extend beyond.

The dual blooming capability of Magnolia Genie sets it apart from Black Tulip, offering more opportunities to enjoy its stunning flowers throughout the year. Opting for this variety means enjoying a longer season of floral beauty.

Read also: How To Care For Magnolia

Black Tulip is less tolerant of late frosts

Both Magnolia Genie and Black Tulip are adaptable to hardiness zones ranging from 5 to 8. However, Genie has an advantage due to its slightly later blooming period, which begins two weeks after the typical blooming season. This delay reduces the risk of frost damage, a benefit particularly relevant in zones 5 and 6 where late frosts can occur as late as mid-April.

Genie has been proven to tolerate temperatures as low as -12 °F (-24 °C). Additionally, its flowers exhibit resilience to light frosts, capable of enduring brief periods of such conditions without dying.

This enhanced tolerance to adverse weather conditions generally makes Magnolia Genie more resilient to climatic challenges compared to Black Tulip, which is more susceptible to frost damage.

Genie’s color is more saturated

Overall, Magnolia Genie boasts a superior color compared to Black Tulip. From its initial blooming phase, Genie displays a vibrant burgundy hue.

In contrast, young Black Tulip trees often exhibit less intense flower coloration in their first few years post-planting. Not only does this variety start blooming at a later stage in its maturity, but it also initially presents a paler color. It takes several years for the flowers of Black Tulip to develop into their characteristic deep, dark shade.

An additional advantage of Genie is the resilience of its color pigment to sunlight exposure. This quality ensures that its color remains vibrant and consistent, even in dappled shade. On the other hand, the Black Tulip’s flowers can suffer from sunburn in strong sunlight, leading to a fading or paleness in color. Moreover, in heavily shaded areas, Black Tulip flowers tend to be paler and fewer in number.

Black Tulip keeps its flower shape better

The Black Tulip variety of magnolia is distinguished by its more visually appealing flower shape. The petals of Black Tulip do not fully open, allowing the flower to maintain a tulip-like form throughout its blooming period.

In contrast, Genie’s flowers, which can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in size, fully open at their blooming peak. Given the large size of magnolia petals, the fully open flowers of Genie may appear less attractive, often seeming disheveled due to their expansive spread.

Black Tulip, with its consistently well-formed flowers, holds a clear advantage in this aspect. The partially closed structure of its flowers also offers better resistance to wind damage, making them more resilient in adverse weather conditions.

Taking these factors into account, it can be concluded that when it comes to the shape of the flowers, Genie is somewhat less appealing compared to the consistently well-shaped Black Tulip blooms.

Genie is smaller

One of the most pronounced differences between Magnolia Genie and Black Tulip lies in their sizes.

Magnolia Genie is known for its compact growth. When fully mature, it typically reaches a height of about 13 feet (4 meters) and spans a width of approximately 6 feet (1.8 meters). Its growth rate is considered medium.

In contrast, Black Tulip is characterized as a relatively larger tree. At maturity, it can attain a height of up to 20 feet (6 meters) with a width of around 10 feet (3 meters), and it grows at a fast rate.

Magnolia Genie is an ideal choice for those who prefer compact plants or have limited space in their garden. On the other hand, Black Tulip is a more suitable option for those desiring a large, flowering tree to enhance their yard.