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Evergreen magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), flowering

Evergreen magnolia ( Magnolia grandiflora ), flowering

Subdivision : Seed plants (Spermatophytina)
Class : Bedecktsamer (Magnoliopsida)
Order : Magnolia-like (Magnoliales)
Family : Magnolia family (Magnoliaceae)
Genre : Magnolias
Scientific name

The magnolia ( Magnolia ) is a plant genus in the family of Magnoliaceae (Magnoliaceae). It contains over 200 species , all of which come from East Asia or America . The genus was named after the French botanist Pierre Magnol (1638-1715). Some magnolia species and their varieties are popular ornamental trees .


Star magnolia flowers ( Magnolia stellata )
Time-lapse shot of a blossoming star magnolia ( Magnolia stellata )

Vegetative characteristics

Magnolias are shrubs or trees that are either deciduous or evergreen. The leaves are arranged alternately , sometimes heaped at the ends of the branches. The leaf blade is always simple and the leaf margin is smooth. Stipules are present and fall off soon after the associated leaf has unfolded. The shape of the stipules is an important characteristic of magnolias.

Generative characteristics

The flowers are terminally on the twigs, more rarely on short shoots in the leaf axils. In some species, the flowers are already laid out in the preceding vegetation period and bloom in spring before the first leaves appear, which makes the plants particularly attractive as ornamental trees. The flowers are structured acyclically, that is, they are not divided into petal circles, and the petals do not stand together in whorls, but all parts of the flower are arranged in a spiral on a flower axis. There are many bracts , many stamens and many carpels (in an indefinite number) per flower .

In the case of successful pollination , many bellow-shaped fruits emerge on the elongated flower axis, arranged in a spiral. Their red seeds hang down from the ripe "fruit" on long, tough threads.

All of these are very original features.

Toxins, effects and symptoms: Magnolias are only slightly poisonous, the alkaloid magnoflorin is mainly found in the bark and wood. Symptoms of poisoning can be skin and mucous membrane blisters as well as cramps.


Magnolia species are pollinated by beetles. The genus goes back to the Cretaceous period (over 100 million years).


The Bournemouth University announced on 4 April 2007, the Red List of Magnoliaceae lead 132 of a total of 245 species as endangered. The destruction of the natural habitats of magnolias for agriculture and their excessive exploitation are considered to be the main causes of the threat.


Magnolias are particularly valued as ornamental trees because of their large, showy flowers. Some species such as Magnolia officinalis are used medicinally in traditional Chinese medicine or are used as food, such as the species Magnolia cylindrica and Magnolia hedyosperma .

Species and hybrids cultivated in Central Europe

Subgenus Magnolia section Magnolia : magnolia ( Magnolia grandiflora )
Subgenus Magnolia section Magnolia "fruit pin" the evergreen magnolia ( Magnolia grandiflora )
Subgenus Magnolia section Magnolia : Magnolia virginiana ( Magnolia virginiana )
Subgenus Magnolia Section Gwillimia : Magnolia delavayi
Subgenus Magnolia section Rhytidospermum : umbrella magnolia ( Magnolia tripetala )
Subgenus Magnolia Section Auriculatae : Mountain Magnolia ( Magnolia fraseri )
Subgenus Magnolia section Macrophyllae : Large-leaved magnolia ( Magnolia macrophylla )
Subgenus Yulania Section Yulania : Cucumber Magnolia ( Magnolia acuminata )
Subgenus Yulania Section Yulania : Kobushi magnolia ( Magnolia kobus )
Subgenus Yulania Section Yulania : Purple Magnolia ( Magnolia liliiflora )
Subgenus Yulania Section Yulania : flower of Magnolia × loebneri
Subgenus Yulania Section Yulania : Blooming purple magnolia ( Magnolia liliiflora )
Subgenus Yulania Section Yulania : Purple Magnolia ( Magnolia liliiflora )
Subgenus Yulania Section Yulania : Star Magnolia ( Magnolia stellata )
Subgenus Yulania Section Michelia : Champaka ( Magnolia champaca )
Red seeds in follicles of a tulip magnolia ( Magnolia × soulangeana )
The most commonly planted magnolia in Central Europe, the tulip magnolia ( Magnolia × soulangeana )
Magnolia light pink

There are numerous magnolia hybrids that have arisen from horticultural culture. They were selected according to desirable characteristics such as habit, flower size and flower color. The result is pink, burgundy and yellow flower colors that differ in size and shape from Magnolia × soulangeana .


The following presentation of the systematics of the genus follows Figlar & Nooteboom: Notes on Magnoliaceae IV. Blumea 49: 87-100, 2004. The earlier genera Magnolia Plum. ex L. , Manglietia Blume , Michelia L. , Talauma A. Juss. , Aromadendron flower , Kmeria Dandy , Pachylarnax Dandy , Alcimandra Dandy combined into one genus; these are all genera of the earlier extent of the family of the Magnoliaceae, which corresponds to the current subfamily of the Magnolioideae; So only the genus Liriodendron comprising two species , the subfamily Liriodendroideae, remains outside. The Magnolia are now the only genus of the subfamily Magnolioideae. The genre is divided into three sub-genres, twelve sections and some subsections:

Other species not assigned to a section (newly described since 2016):

  • Magnolia alejandrae García-Mor. & Iamonico : The species first described in 2017 occurs in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas .
  • Magnolia betuliensis Aguilar-Cano & Humberto Mend. : The species first described in 2018 occurs in Colombia.
  • Magnolia chiguila F.Arroyo, Á.J.Pérez & A.Vázquez : The species first described in 2018 occurs in Ecuador.
  • Magnolia kachinensis S.S. Zhou, Q.Liu & Sima : The species first described in 2018 occurs in Myanmar.
  • Magnolia mashpi Á.J.Pérez, F.Arroyo & A.Vázquez : The species first described in 2016 occurs in Ecuador.
  • Magnolia mercedesiarum D.A.Neill, A.Vázquez & F.Arroyo : The species first described in 2018 occurs in Ecuador.
  • Magnolia mindoensis A.Vázquez, DANeill & A.Dahua : The species first described in 2017 occurs from southwestern Colombia to northwestern Ecuador.
  • Magnolia oblongifolia (León) Palmarola ( Basionym : Talauma minor var. Oblongifolia León ): It occurs in eastern Cuba.
  • Magnolia orbiculata (Britton & P.Wilson) Palmarola (Basionym: Talauma orbiculata Britton & P.Wilson ): It occurs in southeastern Cuba.
  • Magnolia resupinatifolia Aguilar-Cano & Humberto Mend. : The species first described in 2018 occurs in Colombia.

Symbolic meaning

The magnolia is a national symbol of North Korea , usually depicted in the form of the summer magnolia .

The American state of Mississippi is known as the "magnolia state".


Individual evidence

  1. Magnoliaceae. In: The Plant List. 2013, accessed April 15, 2019 .
  2. Magnolia family . In: Lexicon of Biology . Spectrum Academic Publishing House, Heidelberg 1999 ( ).
  3. ↑ The end of the line after 100 million years? In: NZZ . April 29, 2007 ( ).
  4. a b D. Cicuzza, A. Newton, S. Oldfield (2007): The Red List of Magnoliaceae. Fauna & Flora International, 56 pp., ISBN 978-1-903703-23-6 Online, accessed on September 8, 2007 (PDF; 2.2 MB)
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev ew ex ey ez fa fb fc fd fe ff fg fh fi fj fk fl fm fn fo fp fq fr fs ft fu fv fw fx fy fz ga gb gc gd ge gf gg gh gi gj gk gl gm gn go gp gq gr gs gt gu gv gw gx gy gz ha hb hc hd he hf hg hh hi hj hk hl hm Rafaël Govaerts (Ed.): Magnolia. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  6. HP Nooteboom: Notes on Magnoliaceae with a revision of Pachylarnax and Elmerrillia and the Malesian species of Manglietia and Michelia . In: Blumea . 31, No. 1, 1985, pp. 65-121.
  7. National Flower

Web links

Commons : Magnolias ( Magnolia )  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Magnolia  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations