Southern Magnolia Flowers

Posted on 12 Aug ’10 by Earl Moore

You can hardly have a photo of the green waxy leaves of the Southern Magnolia tree (yesterday) without having at least one photo of the magnificent white and lemony fragrant Southern Magnolia flowers. These flowers can reach a width of 8 inches (20.3 cm) or more and are about as white-white as anything you’ll find in nature. This particular flower was freshly open.

Magnolia Flower Closeup
Southern Magnolia Flower Closeup

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 to 95 million years ago – Magnolia, Wikipedia

Southern Magnolia Flower
Southern Magnolia Flower
There, now that I’ve proven Magnolias are more ancient then I am, I can share this childhood memory without disbelief. ;-)

When I was growing up an aunt of mine had a huge Southern Magnolia in her yard that was always a joy for us kids to play under and in. It’s limbs were well spaced and came down to the ground making easy material for our imaginations at play — it was a house, a fortress, a look-out tower, Tarzan’s treehouse and a hundred other things.

I also remember the sweet fragrance among the tree and flowers was at times overpowering. If you smell a Magnolia flower you’re not likely to forget it. For me it still brings back memories.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Monte Stevens 12 Aug ’10 at 8:29 am

    Wowzers, on the first image, my friend! My first thought was, “How would it look printed?” And, yes there is nothing like memories from the past with all their scents.

    • Earl 12 Aug ’10 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks, Monte!

  2. don 12 Aug ’10 at 10:23 am

    I like the long format for showing this beautiful blossom. The colors are very appealing. Nice one.

    • Earl 12 Aug ’10 at 8:52 pm

      Don, yeah, that long thumbnail has a lot of appeal. Thks!

  3. mariana 12 Aug ’10 at 10:24 am

    Very pretty tight crop !

  4. Robert 14 Aug ’10 at 4:51 pm

    Great macro details captured..

  5. Mark 15 Aug ’10 at 6:48 pm

    As always, thanks for the education. Never knew that – and we have a magnolia in our front yard!

  6. Paul 17 Aug ’10 at 5:05 am

    I remember the first time that I saw a Magnolia tree and its beautiful flowers. It was in late spring of 2004. I was visiting Charlotte and considering moving here. We went down to Tega Cay, SC, just outside of Charlotte. We saw one street that was lined with Magnolia trees and the scene was absolutely beautiful.

    • Earl 17 Aug ’10 at 9:04 am

      Paul, having be born and raised here I’ve always taken it for granted that everyone knew of Magnolias. An interesting side effect of this blog is I’m more aware when I write I need to include explanations for things I often take for granted because some readers will have no reference point. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same.

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