Information on the Magnolia Flower


Magnolias belong to a large group of trees and shrubs that are native to eastern Asia and parts of North America. Although sometimes harvested for timber, magnolias are usually grown for their distinctive flowers and fruit.

Magnolia flower image by "A hint of Spring" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: aussiegall (Louise Docker) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


The sepals and petals of magnolia flowers are undifferentiated and known scientifically as tepals.


Magnolia flowers do not produce nectar. They secrete a sugary substance that attracts pollinating beetles of the Nitidulidae family.


Magnolias have been cultivated for centuries. Magnolia denudata, known as the "Jade Orchid," has been grown in China since the seventh century.


Europeans discovered sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana) in the 1600s. They chose the name Magnolia to honor Pierre Magnol, a botanist from France.

Shape and Size

Magnolia blossoms are saucer shaped and grow singly at the end of the tree's branches. They range from white, pink and purple to green or yellow.

Fruit and Seeds

Red fruit follows the flowers. The fruit then produces red or pink seeds that are high in fat and eaten by birds.


  • University of Florida: Magnolias
Keywords: magnolia, distinctive flowers, eaten by birds

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.