Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

What Eats Flowers on Magnolia Trees?

Magnolia trees are as fascinating as they are beautiful. This popular tree is a primitive flowering plant which somehow survived in America and Asia as Ice Age glaciers wiped out ancient forests in Europe. Of the 80 species of magnolias you can find ones which thrive in the tropics as well as species which can weather the Midwestern United States and Canada, ones which are deciduous or ones which are evergreen, and ones which bloom in white, yellow, green, pink or purple. Magnolias are relatively pest free; however, there are a few different species which enjoy eating the flowers of the magnolia tree.

Insects

Due to their prehistoric design, magnolia trees do not have nectar and do not use bees and butterflies for pollination. Instead magnolia trees attract beetles from the Nitidulidae family with the flowers' fragrance and its sugary secretions. These beetles feed off of the magnolia flowers and pollinate the trees as they do so. Weevils, a type of beetle, will eat the petals of a magnolia flower, leaving notches around the edges of the petal as they do so. The larvae of winter moths will also eat magnolia blossoms.

Wildlife

Wildlife is attracted to the thick, fragrant petals of the magnolia tree. Deer will eat the blossoms on your magnolia. If your magnolia is cultivated as a bush, rabbits that can reach the flowers will eat them. Squirrels commonly eat the seeds of the magnolia and will also eat the flowers.

People

The flowers of the magnolia tree are also eaten by humans. Traditionally, the flowers have been used by the Chinese as a cure for sinus ailments, but they are also eaten just for the taste and texture.

Magnolia Trees Lose Their Leaves?

are widely admired as flowering shade trees. Some magnolia species are deciduous and lose their leaves. Others are evergreen and do not. There about 120 species of magnolias worldwide, with eight in North America, of which six are deciduous. It grows from 30 to 40 feet tall yielding 8- to 10-inch-wide white flowers that have rose-purple bases. Perhaps the most well known magnolia, the southern magnolia (Magnolia grandifolia), famous for its large, showy white blossoms, grows from 60 to 80 feet tall with a spread of 30 to 50 feet. Southern magnolias will grow in USDA zones 7 through 9. Its leaves turn gold when they drop in autumn. It is grown as a shrub or as a tree from 15 to 20 feet tall in colder parts of its range and up to 60 feet tall in the southern, warmer parts.

Garden Guides
×