Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Magnolia virginiana L.
- Family: Magnolia (Magnoliaceae)
- Flowering: April-July
- Field Marks: The distinguishing characteristics of this magnolia are the leaves that are not
clustered at the tip of the branches, the leaves tapering to the base, and the creamy white flowers.
- Habitat: Swamps, bottomlands, bayheads, wooded slopes, along streams, pocosins, savannas.
- Habit: Tree up to 90 feet tall; trunk up to 3 feet in diameter; crown usually round-topped.
- Bark: Gray, smooth at first.
- Twigs: Green and hairy when young, becoming reddish and then brown and smooth at maturity,
with many pale lenticels.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, deciduous or evergreen, leathery, elliptic, rounded or pointed at the
tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, silvery-silky when young, eventually becoming smooth
on the upper surface, glaucous, hairy on the lower surface, up to 6 inches long, up to 3 inches
wide; leaf stalks slender, up to 3/4 inch long.
- Flowers: Solitary, up to 3 inches across, creamy white, fragrant; flower stalks slender, smooth,
up to 3/4 inch long.
- Sepals: 3, free from each other, turned downward, falling away as the flower opens.
- Petals: 9-12, creamy white, free from each other, up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Stamens: Numerous.
- Pistils: Several, free from each other, with superior ovaries.
- Fruits: Many follicles crowded together into a cone, dark red, up to 2 inches long, smooth; seeds
flattened, up to 1/4 inch long.
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