Magnolia flowers are one of the most primitive flower types still in existence today. They bloom on magnolia trees, with an open form and a pleasant fragrance. Although the size and color of the flowers may vary among the different magnolia species, the flower components are the same.
Magnolia flowers contain six to 12 petals. The petal color and overall flower size can vary between magnolia species, however. For example, the Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and umbrella magnolia (M. tripetala) have 8-inch-diameter flowers with white petals, while the star magnolia (M. stellata) has flowers that measure only 3 to 4 inches across with pink-tinged petals.
The sepals of the magnolia flower are located at the base of the flower head. Each magnolia flower has three sepals, which are petal-like and protect the flower before it blooms. The magnolia flower's sepals are usually difficult to distinguish from the petals after the flower blooms.
Stamens and Pistils
The magnolia flower has many stamens and pistils located in the center of the bloom. The stamens are long and thread-like, growing in a dense cluster atop the finger-like receptacle. The stigmas at the tops of the stamens curl. Each stigma is attached to a pistil, which will develop into a follicle or dry fruit-like structure.
Ovules and Follicles
The pistils contain the ovules and follicles, which mature into the seeded fruits. The ovules, which turn into the seeds, are contained inside pale compartments called carpels. Each pistil has one carpel containing one or two seeds and one stigma. When the ovules mature, they become red seeds that burst forth from the splitting follicles.