Magnolia Tree Information

Overview

The various species of magnolias that exist in the United States have great value as ornamental trees. Some are evergreen while others are deciduous, but all have the ability to produce fragrant and beautiful flowers.

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

Types

Cucumbertree, sweetbay, umbrella magnolia, Fraser magnolia and bigleaf magnolia are all deciduous types of magnolia trees. Other magnolias are evergreen, such as the Southern magnolia.

Geography

Magnolias are native to the eastern half of the nation, with only the cucumbertree growing as far north as New York State. The Southern magnolia has the largest range, extending from North Carolina through the upper half of Florida and westward into Texas.

Significance

The Southern magnolia has a reputation as one of the premier shade and landscaping trees in the Deep South. Its white flowers are the state flower of both Mississippi and Louisiana.

Size

Magnolia trees vary in their height, with the Southern magnolia growing to 90 feet, the cucumbertree to 80 feet and the pyramid magnolia up to 30 feet. The sweetbay magnolia may grow as tall as 80 feet in the South, but in the northern part of its range, it is a 10-foot-tall shrub.

Considerations

The Southern magnolia has evergreen leaves that accumulate under the tree when they finally fall off, making it impossible for anything else to grow beneath the tree. Homeowners need to take this into consideration before planting one on their property or when planting anything beneath it.

References

  • Magnolia Grandiflora:Floridata
  • A Guide to Field Identification: Trees of North America; C. Frank Brockman;1986
  • Cucumbertree:Natioanl Forest Service
Keywords: Southern magnolia, state flower Mississippi Louisiana, ornamental trees

About this Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.