southern magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora L.
  • LEAVES: simple, alternate, persistent; obovate; dark, shiny green upper; rusty brown pubescent lower; coriaceous
  • FLOWER: perfect, showy white perianth parts up to 15 in number, flower 5-8” in diameter when open, fragrant; flowering over an extended period in spring and early summer; southern magnolia is the official state flower of Louisiana
  • FRUIT: cone-like aggregate of follicles; seeds are bright red
  • TWIGS: stout, rusty red, tomentose; stipule scars encircle twigs at nodes (characteristic of Magnoliaceae); leaf scars shield shaped; pith diaphragmed
  • BARK: light brown to gray brown, smooth, with some light furrowing and scaly plates on larger trees
  • FORM: large tree, spreading crown
  • HABITAT: rich mesic forests
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative (FAC): Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeastern US coastal plain  [MAP]
  • USES: woody is heavy but not durable, used for furniture, doors, veneer, millwork (crown molding, window casing, chair rails, wood paneling); common ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: squirrels and several bird species eat seeds
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. llarge evergreen, thick leathery leaves
    2. showy fragrant white flower to 8” across
    3. distinctive cone-like aggregate of follicles with red seeds

    5 magnolias are native to Louisiana; only southern magnolia and cucumber magnolia are extensively logged

    NOTE: sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana) is the only other native evergreen magnolia; it has smaller flowers, and its elliptic leaves are silvery below

    :: Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) is the State Flower of Louisiana ::