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Southern Magnolia
Magnoliaceae
Magnolia grandiflora


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Tree



Magnoliaceae Family

Magnolia Genus
Other Names for this Plant

bull bay, Laurel-leaved Magnolia, Large-flowered Magnolia, Evergreen Magnolia, Bay Tree, Laurel Bay


Location

Native to the southeastern United States from coastal Virginia south to central Florida, and west to East Texas

Physical Description
Southern magnolia is a large, broad-leafed evergreen tree that can grow 60-90 ft (18-27 m) in height with a trunk up to 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) in diameter. It's trunk is typically straight and erect with spreading branches that form a dense, broadly pyramidal crown.

The leaves are evergreen, simple and broadly ovate, 12-20 cm long and 6-12 cm broad, with smooth margins. They are dark green, stiff and leathery, and often scurfy underneath with yellow-brown pubescence. They will bronze, blotch, and burn in severe winters at the northern limits of cultivation, but most still cling until they are replaced by new foliage in the spring. In climates where the ground freezes, winter sun appears to do more damage than the cold itself. In the northern hemisphere the south side of the tree will experience more leaf damage than the north side of the tree. Two extremes are known, with leaves white underneath and with leaves brown underneath. The brown varieties are claimed to be more cold-hardy than the white varieties, but this does not appear to be proven as yet.

The large, showy, citronella-scented flowers are white, up to 30 cm across and fragrant, with 6-12 petals with a waxy texture, emerging from the tips of twigs on mature trees in late spring. These have a pleasant fragrance and appear throughout the spring and summer. The fruits are reddish-brown cone like structures, 2-4 in (5-10 cm) long, with bright red kidney shaped seeds that hang from little threads when fully mature in autumn




Compare Species
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Magnoliaceae
Magnoliales
Magnoliales
Magnolia Order
Magnoliidae
Class of Magnolias
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Magnolias have long been known and used in China. References to their medicinal qualities go back to as early as 1083. After the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Philip II commissioned his court physician Francisco Hernandez in 1570 to undertake a scientific expedition. Hernandez made numerous descriptions of plants, accompanied by drawings, but publication was delayed and hampered by a series of accidents. Between 1629 and 1651 the material was re-edited by members of the Accademia dei Lincei and issued (1651) in three editions as Nova plantarum historia Mexicana.

Medicinal Uses: The bark from M. officinalis has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is known as hou po. In Japan, kōboku, M. obovata has been used in a similar manner.. Magnolia bark also has been shown to reduce allergic and asthmatic reactions

Choctaw use: Decoction of bark used as wash for prickly heat itching; Infusion of mashed bark used as a steam bath for dropsy.

Food Uses: The flowers are pickled in some parts of England and are considered to have an exquisite flavor. They are also said to be used as a spice and a condiment

Other Notes: Magnolia grandiflora is the official State flower of both Mississippi and Louisiana The flower's abundance in Mississippi is reflected in its nickname of "Magnolia State". The magnolia is also the official state tree of Mississippi.

One of the oldest ncinames for Houston, Texas, U.S.A. is "The Magnolia City" due to the abundance of magnolias growing along Buffalo Bayou.

The flowers have a delicious and very powerful scent, possibly more powerful than any other flower.

Citronella-scented flowers





Southern Magnolia
Flower closeup



Southern Magnolia
Flower



Southern Magnolia
New seedpod forming



Southern Magnolia
Old seedpod, notice the red seed hidding in it (toward bottom, center)



Southern Magnolia
Leaves

Comment: Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora

Page Posts: 1

gardengeek
gardengeek
June 17, 2010
That closeup is so interesting.

Look for Southern Magnolia on:
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