A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Magnolia grandiflora is a medium to large evergreen tree which may grow 27.5 m (90 ft) tall. It typically has a single stem (or trunk) and a pyramidal shape. The leaves are simple and broadly ovate, 12–20 cm (5–8 in) long and 6–12 cm (2–5 in) broad, with smooth margins. They are dark green, stiff and leathery, and often scurfy underneath with yellow-brown pubescence. The large, showy, lemon citronella-scented flowers are white, up to 30 cm (12 in) across and fragrant, with 6–12 petals with a waxy texture, emerging from the tips of twigs on mature trees in late spring. Flowering is followed by the rose-coloured fruit, ovoid and 7.5–10 cm (3–4 in) long and 3–5 cm (1.5–2 in) wide.
Magnolia grandiflora is native to the southeastern United States, from Virginia south to central Florida, and then west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. It is found on the edges of bodies of water and swamps, in association with sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), water oak (Quercus nigra), and black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica). In more sheltered habitats, it grows as a large tree, but can be a low shrub when found on coastal dunes.