While you might be familiar with their iconic white blossoms, there’s so much you probably don’t know about magnolia trees. Southern magnolias are the most famous, but several varieties are suitable for any location. If you’re thinking about planting one on your property, dive into what you should know about magnolia trees before you decide on the best cultivar for you.
Magnolias Are the State Flower of Two States
Interestingly enough, both Mississippi and Louisiana adopted the southern magnolia as their state flower. The magnolia became the state flower of Louisiana in 1900, and Mississippi followed in 1952. While there are more than 200 varieties, many people refer to the southern magnolia as the most beautiful, and they’re all over the southern United States.
There Are Evergreen and Deciduous Varieties
Believe it or not, some magnolia cultivars are evergreen, while others are deciduous. Fascinatingly, only the southern and sweet bay magnolias are evergreens. As a result, these two varieties are most suitable for warmer climates, while the deciduous tree options are ideal for more moderate or cold climates.
Bonus Fact: Magnolia tree bark is a common additive to supplements, tea, toothpaste, and topical lotions or oils.
Magnolias Symbolize Many Good Qualities and Values
Magnolias typically symbolize perseverance, dignity, and high status; therefore, they make an incredible gift for someone starting a new chapter in their life. Furthermore, magnolias are a common addition to bridal bouquets, as they also represent the bride’s dignity and purity. Aside from the flowers, the tree itself tends to symbolize magnificence and strength due to its tall stature and abundance of stunning blossoms.
You’ve probably heard the term “steel magnolia” a time or two, but you might be unfamiliar with the meaning. Interestingly, this term refers to the fragile and elegant but robust character of a traditional southern woman. How neat!
It’s One of the Most Prehistoric Trees
Believe it or not, magnolia trees are one of the most prehistoric trees—they’ve been around for millions of years. Furthermore, they have an impressive lifespan, ranging from 80 to 120 years. A magnolia tree can develop from a single seed and grow into a 60- to 80-foot tall tree with flowers as big as 14 inches wide. Remarkably, magnolia trees remain in their juvenile stage for 20 to 25 years, meaning they don’t produce seeds or flowers during this stage.
Although these facts are fun and fascinating, they’re only a fraction of what you should know about magnolia trees. These trees are absolutely stunning, and they come in many different colors. As you choose one to plant on your property, be sure to avoid common magnolia tree growing mistakes and care for your new addition according to the specific cultivar, your hardiness zone, and your region’s soil conditions.