Check out the winners in our Annual Photo Contest Here

Dwarf Magnolia, Cempaka Telur, Cempaka Gondok, Coconut Magnolia

Magnolia coco

Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia (mag-NO-lee-a) (Info)
Species: coco (KO-ko) (Info)
Synonym:Magnolia pumila



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Anselmo, California

Hollywood, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 18, 2016, smileclick from Sydney,
Australia wrote:

I bought mine in spring it was about 3'/1m tall. It seems to like a fair bit of early morning light , moist soil, and seaweed/liquid fertiliser (to get it growing and blooming). The buds took about 8 weeks to bloom and older seem to stay small until one flower finishes blooming, giving a succession of blooms.
The fragrance reminds me of Japanese melon chewing gum, and one flower will fill a large room (especially a warm one).
Whilst the fragrance is mild and addictive (like my Brunfelsia americana and overpowering Cestrum nocturnum scents), it's the perfectly shaped blooms that impress me the most. Very clear, symmetrical but slightly unordered patterns. The sort of perfection you'd only expect from an orchid.


On Jul 3, 2012, musaboru from (Zone 9b) wrote:

To my nose, the fragrance of Magnolia coco is similar to Magnolia liliifera but not as 'sharp' or 'piercing' and it is a tad more pleasant. I can detect notes of fresh pineapples, honeydew melons, canteloupe, a hint of strawberry and maybe a little bit of lychee. It's very complex; as if nature captured the scent of a tropical fruit cocktail, if you will.

I suspect fragrance may vary a little bit from plant to plant due to genetics. Not only that, there are selections that produce double flowers as well (see the photos uploaded by 'jnana'). The flowers on mine were smaller than I expected, about 3 inches or so.

In my experience here in So. California, the flower buds can take more than 7 months to fully develop. I believe this may be due to the dramatic differ... read more


On Sep 1, 2011, eliasastro from Athens,
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very impressive and easy to grow dwarf Magnolia. It tolerates the cool winters of Athens very well (average temperature 50F/10C), but it needs protection from freezing temperatures. Perfectly adapted to our Mediterranean climate. The scent reminds me the smell of the fruit of Salak palm ( Salacca zalacca ), also it reminds the aroma of melon.


On Mar 16, 2008, snasxs from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

There are a few similar species. The one I have is the smallest. She is a shrub possibly smaller than Gardenia. Like Gardenia, they love acid soil too. I estimate the leaves are only 3-5 inches long. The white flowers of the unique Magnolia open quietly at sunset. Over night, she releases an intoxicating sweet-pineapple scent. The scent is unusually powerful. There is a reason to it. Most magnolias lack nectar, but the Magnolia coco is a nice exception - it secretes a nectar-like substance inside the flower. Sadly, after just one night of beauty and perfume, the short-lived flower falls off the second day. Gladly, Magnolia coco keeps producing new buds for 9+ months each year.


On Dec 4, 2003, Clare_CA from Ventura,
United States (Zone 10b) wrote:

It seems to like growing in moist soil in filtered sun. The leaves do sometimes get brown tips. Like Michelia Figo, the flowers only last one day, but the fragrance is wonderful. It is very cold sensitive.