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Type:Trees and shrubs
Propagation:Cuttings, grafting
Transplant:Easily transplanted

Magnolia is a large genus of about 210[1] flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae.

The natural range of Magnolia species is rather scattered. It includes eastern North America, Central America and the West Indies and east and southeast Asia. Some species are found in South America. Today many species of Magnolia and an ever increasing number of hybrids can also be found as ornamental trees in large parts of North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The genus is named after Pierre Magnol, a botanist from Montpellier in France.

Magnolia is an ancient genus. Having evolved before bees appeared, the flowers developed to encourage pollination by beetles. As a result, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are tough, to avoid damage by eating and crawling beetles. Fossilised specimens of M. acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae dating back to 95 million years ago. Another primitive aspect of Magnolias is their lack of distinct sepals or petals. The term tepal has been coined to refer to the intermediate element that Magnolia has instead.

Description[edit | edit source]

Magnolias are trees or shrubs, generally with smooth gray bark and suckering freely. The flowers are large, showy, ranging from yellow to white through red and purple. Leaves are simple, often quite large.

Growing conditions[edit | edit source]

Species[edit | edit source]

Uses[edit | edit source]

In general, Magnolia is a genus which has attracted a lot of horticultural interest. Hybridisation has been immensely successful in combining the best aspects of different species to give plants which flower at an earlier age than the species themselves, as well as having more impressive flowers. One of the most popular garden magnolias is a hybrid, Magnolia x soulangeana (Saucer magnolia; a hybrid of M. liliiflora x M. denudata).

The bark from M. officinalis has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is known as houpu. In Japan, M. obovata has been used in a similar manner. The aromatic bark contains magnolol and honokiol, two polyphenolic compounds that have demonstrated anti-anxiety and anti-angiogenic properties. Magnolia bark also has been shown to reduce allergic and asthmatic reactions.

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Propagation[edit | edit source]

Harvesting[edit | edit source]

Pests and diseases[edit | edit source]


Black Mildews

  • Irene araliae
  • Meliola amphitrichia
  • Meliola magnoliae
  • Trichodothis comata

Leaf Blights

  • Pellicularia koleroga

Leaf Spots

  • Alternaria tenuis, Cladosporium fasciculatum, Colletotrichum spp., Coniothyrium olivaceum, Epicoccum nigrum, Exophoma magnoliae, Glomerella cingulata, Hendersonia magnoliae, Micropeltis alabamensis, Mycosphaerella milleri, Phyllosticta cookei, Phyllosticta glauca, Phyllosticta magnoliae, Septoria magnoliae, and Septoria niphostoma


  • Phomopsis spp.

Cankers Nectria magnoliae Leaf Scab

  • Elsinoe magnoliae, Sphaceloma magnoliae

Wood Decay

  • Fomes geotropus, Fomes fasciatus


Angular Leaf Spot

  • Mycosphaerella milleri

Algal Spot: Cephaleuros virescens









Slugs and Snails

w:Giant Leopard Moth.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The number of species in the genus Magnolia depends on the taxonomic view that one takes up. Recent molecular and morphological research shows that former genera Talauma, Dugandiodendron, Manglietia, Michelia, Elmerrillia, Kmeria, Parakmeria, Pachylarnax (and a small number of monospecific genera) all belong within the same genus, Magnolia s.l. (s.l. = sensu lato: 'in a broad sense', as opposed to s.s. = sensu stricto: 'in a narrow sense'). The genus Magnolia s.s. contains about 120 species.