Southern Magnolias are abundant in the American south, but can be damaged by northern winters. Despite this, our Magnolia is thriving, because of the protected climate of the park. The surrounding buildings and the city’s microclimate have allowed our tree to reach a height of just over 20 feet.
One of the most distinctive native trees of North America, in the wild, Southern Magnolias grow on the edges of streams and swamps. They have straight trunks, cone-shaped crowns of foliage, and large white flowers. Their leathery evergreen leaves sparkle in the sunlight, while the underside of the foliage is covered in bronze fuzz. They bloom throughout the summer and into fall, with a heady perfume-like fragrance.
Magnolia flowers don’t produce nectar to pollinate but instead, attract beetles that eat the pollen directly from the blossom. These beetles also eat the petals, which is a reason the Magnolia’s flowers are so thick. Their blooms change into pods containing large red seeds, which burst from the pods and hang from silken threads from the branches to be carried away by the wind.