Saucer magnolias in Washington DC are probably one of the most underrated blooms!  They are often overshadowed by the famous cherry blossoms in DC, but these gorgeous blooms are not to be missed when visiting the DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

washington dc saucer magnolias 2022

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What Are Saucer Magnolias

Saucer magnolias, as the name suggests, are in the magnolia tree family.  But unlike the normal white magnolia trees, these magnolias bloom early spring, BEFORE they leaf out.

  saucer magnolias washington dc

Just like cherry blossoms you have a sea of pink trees!  The flowers are large, saucer-shaped, hence the name saucer magnolias, and smell absolutely delightful!

When Do Saucer Magnolias Bloom in DC

Saucer Magnolias typically start to bloom about 2 weeks before the cherry blossoms in Washington DC, so around the middle of March.  

magnolia peak bloom dc 

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They bloom at different times depending on the part of DC and can sometimes coincide with cherry blossom peak bloom.  As of March 1, 2023, the saucer magnolias around Washington DC are starting to open up, they are about half open.  I would say March 5 to 11 would be a good time to see them! 

How Long Do Saucer Magnolias in Washington DC Bloom 

The beautiful pink magnolias in DC usually bloom for about 2 weeks.  They are a glorious sight when the magnolias fully open up.

Usually right around when cherry blossoms start to bloom, the magnolias will be just about done.

Best Places to Find Saucer Magnolias in Washington DC

Saucer magnolias bloom all over Washington DC and are not hard to find. 

saucer magnolias dc

Here are a few of the best places to photograph these beautiful pink magnolias in Washington DC.

Magnolias at Enid A. Haupt Garden at the Smithsonian Castle in Washington DC

Enid A. Haupt Garden in Washington DC is one of the best places to see and photograph saucer magnolias.

enid haupt garden

An abundance of magnolia trees line the brick walkways making for the most picturesque sea of pink at this over 4-acre garden.  This beautiful garden rivals even the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in its beauty! 

saucer magnolias dc

When do the saucer magnolias at Enid A. Haupt Garden bloom?  They typically bloom about 2 weeks before the cherry blossoms around Washington DC.  Usually, when the cherry blossoms hit peak the magnolia trees will have leafed out.

The best time to visit Enid A. Haupt Garden during magnolia bloom is during the week late in the afternoon or early in the morning.  This is when it is the least busy.  

As of March 4, 2024, the saucer magnolias at Enid A. Haupt Garden are starting to open!  And peak bloom will most likely be the week of March 11, 2024. 

Location:  1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560

Cost:  FREE

Hours:  Sunrise – Sundown

Rawlins Park in Washington DC Magnolias

Rawlins Park is another perfect location to experience the magnolia bloom in DC!  This park is in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

rawlins park magnolias

The magnolia trees surround a statue of General John Rawlins, a pool, and a fountain!  There are several terraces and benches around the 1.5-acre park.

saucer magnolias rawlin park

The magnolias here bloom about the same time as the ones at Enid Haupt Garden, so about 2 weeks before the cherry blossoms in mid-March.

magnolias dc

There’s no fence around Rawlins Park so you can pretty much visit any time.  During the week there are no crowds here either making it a perfect place to photograph.

magnolias dc

(Outfit:  My pink maxi dress is available here)

I visited on March 13, 2023 and these are perfectly bloomed, go see them if you can this week!

Location:  1900 E St NW, Washington, DC 20415

Cost:  FREE

Hours:  All Day

US National Arboretum 

The US National Arboretum is not only a hidden gem for viewing Washington DC’s cherry blossoms, but it also hosts a beautiful Magnolia and Holly Collection featuring a variety of magnolias!

us national arboretum

The magnolias at the US National Arboretum typically peak bloom around the same time as the cherry blossoms, late March to early April. 

magnolias dc

If you come here to visit the magnolias chances are the cherry blossoms will also be in bloom.

Location:  3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Cost:  FREE

Hours:  8am to 5pm

The National Council of Negro Women

If you are on Instagram, you will have seen a beautiful castle-like turret surrounded by magnolias.  The building is The National Council of Negro Women and that area of DC is full of magnolia trees!   The location of the trees is actually Indiana Plaza.

It is truly a beautiful site during spring.

Location:  633 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

Cost:  FREE

Hours:  All Day 

George Mason Memorial

George Mason Memorial is right next to the Tidal Basin and hosts magnificent magnolia trees that bloom at the same time as the cherry blossoms.

washington dc magnolias

If you are in DC to see the cherry blossoms do not miss stopping by George Mason Memorial for magnolias.

magnolias peak bloom dc

Location:  900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024

Cost:  FREE

Hours:  All Day

More Places for Saucer Magnolias in DC

Saucer magnolias bloom pretty much all over the place in DC.  The locations listed above are probably the best places to see and photograph magnolias in DC where you feel like you are surrounded by a sea of pink!  Here’s a list of some more places to enjoy saucer magnolias:

  • Bryce Park
  • National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
  • The DAR Building
  • U.S. Capitol Grounds
  • John Marshall Park
  • National Gallery of Art (4th Street Entrance)
  • Dumbarton Oaks

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