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Common Name: Southern Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 10.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
South-eastern N. America - North Carolina to Florida and Texas.
Hammocks, sand dunes, buffs and sandy bottoms[
]. Rich moist soils[
]. Always found in lowland areas, never above 105 metres altitude[
Best grown in a warm position in a moderately rich free soil of an open texture[
]. Tolerates moderately limey soils[
] so long as they are deep and rich in humus[
]. The branches are brittle so a sheltered position is required[
]. Another part of the same book says that this species is fairly wind-resistant[
]. Succeeds in full sun or semi-shade[
Plants are hardy to about -10°c[
The fleshy roots are easily damaged and any transplanting is best done during a spell of mild moist weather in late spring[
A very ornamental plant[
], a number of named forms have been developed[
The flowers are very large (up to 25cm across) and have a delicious and very powerful scent[
]. This is perhaps the most strongly scented flower in the world[
]. They can be produced in trees as young as 10 years old[
]. The form 'Exmouth Variety' (also known as elliptica) produces its flowers when younger than the species, these flowers have a refreshing lemon scent[
]. There is no main flush of flowering, instead the flowers open intermittently throughout the summer[
Plants do not normally need pruning, any cutting out of dead wood etc is best carried out in July[
The flowers are pickled in some parts of England and are considered to have an exquisite flavour[
]. They are also said to be used as a spice and a condiment[
The bark is diaphoretic, stimulant, tonic[
]. It is used in the treatment of malaria and rheumatism[
]. A decoction has been used as a wash and a bath for prickly heat itching[
]. The decoction has also been used as a wash for sores and as a steam bath for treating dropsy[
The pounded leaves are used in the treatment of toothache[
An alcoholic extract of the plant reduces the blood pressure, produces a slight acceleration in respiration but has no action on the heart[
A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in shelterbelt plantings[
An essential oil is obtained from the flowers[
]. From the leaves and flowers[
Wood - hard and fairly heavy, but weak and not durable[
]. White when first cut, it turns brown on exposure to air[
]. It is used in limited amounts for fuel, baskets, crates, woodenware and furniture[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed must be kept cold over the winter and should be sown in late winter in a cold frame[
]. The seed usually germinates in the spring but it can take 18 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15cm tall, though should be well mulched and given some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors.
Layering in early spring[