Magnolia is a genus of more than 200 species in the family of Magnoliaceae. They are native to tropical, subtropical and temperate regions of Asia and Central America.
Growing as shrubs or trees, Magnolias are well known for their beautiful, showy and fragrant flowers and attractive, evergreen and glossy leaves. They are one of the loveliest garden plants!
The name of the flower was proposed by Charles Plumier in honor of Pierre Magnol, a 17th century French botanist who helped to determine that plants came in families and not just species.
Considering that Magnolia is believed to have existed from the beginning of time, it symbolizes longevity and perseverance.
Magnolias can also represent nobility, love for nature, feminine sweetness and beauty.
A “Steel Magnolia” is a popular phrase, popularized by the 1989 movie, which represents a southern woman who is independent and strong, yet very feminine.
These flowers are often used in wedding bouquets to represent the pride, dignity and purity of the bride.
Interesting facts about Magnolia:
The History of Magnolias
Magnolias are thought to be one of the first flowering plants to evolve on Earth. According to scientific researches, fossil remains show they were around on Earth for 100 million years.
Magnolia in USA
Magnolia grandiflora, commonly known as the Southern Magnolia, was designated the state flower of Louisiana in 1900.
The species was also designated the state flower of Mississippi by legislative act in 1952.
Magnolia grandiflora grows naturally from North Carolina to Florida and west to Texas. However, it is identified with the southern part of the USA, especially Mississippi. “The Magnolia State” is the official nickname for the state of Mississippi, which describes the popularity of this plant in the state of Mississippi. It’s also worth to mention that the major highway entrances to Mississippi was planted with Magnolia trees known as the Mississippi Avenue of Magnolias.
Magnolia in North Korea
Siebold’s magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii) is the North Korean national flower.
Benefits and Uses
The flowers and barks have been used in traditional Chinese medicine. Today, they can be found in pills, powders, tinctures or teas.
Magnolia is thought to help with headaches, toothaches, lung problems, menstrual cramps, relaxing muscles etc.
The wood of the Magnolia has been used for house building or furniture construction.
Magnolia is popular around the world as an ornamental.
Magnolia produces white, purple, pink and yellow flowers, depending on variety.
The trees can grow to a height of 20 metres (65 ft), while shrubs are smaller and are 2,5 to 6 metres (8-20 ft) high.
Magnolia grows best in rich, moist and well drained soil. They prefer acidic soil, but can tolerate clay, loam, or sand.