Louisiana State Flower
Magnolia (common name)
Magnolia grandiflora (scientific name)
The magnolia has been Louisiana’s state flower since 1900, though proponents of the iris tried to change this in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Though Magnolia grandiflora trees occur throughout the American southeast, they’re most common in Louisiana, Mississippi, and the wet areas of eastern Texas. They usually grow in mixed, damp forest with similarly adapted hardwood trees. Magnolia trees are particularly valued for their deep green, shiny evergreen foliage and large, white fragrant flowers.
The trees bloom in late spring and may have occasional flowering periods throughout the summer. After flowering, the trees produce pinkish cone-like fruit. These release shiny red kidney-shaped seeds 0.25 to 0.5 inches (6 to 13 mm) long in the fall. Each seed has a fine thread connecting it to the fruit, so the seeds hang from the trees for a few days before falling or being carried away by birds or animals. Seeds are normally too heavy to be carried by the wind, though sometimes they are washed to a new location by heavy rains. Normally, magnolia trees spread and grow from seed, even though seeds rarely take root under parent plants. Mature trees also send up sprouts, and sometimes low branches that touch the ground can take root and grow into separate trees. The tree’s bark is gray-brown and mostly smooth.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Southern magnolia, bull bay
Plant: Medium to large evergreen tree
Mature Height: 90 ft (27.5 m)
Flowers: maximum 11.8 in (30 cm) wide, 6–12 petals, waxy
Flower Color: White
Leaves: 5–8 in (12–20 cm) long and 2–5 in (6–12 cm) wide, smooth, dark green
Fruit/Seed Color: Pink/red
Location: Moist areas, especially the edges of swamps and streams intermixed with water oak, black tupelo, and sweetgum.
Range: Southeastern U.S., Maryland south through Virginia and Tennessee to Florida, west to Texas.
Click to enlarge an image
|Author: World Trade Press|