Magnolia macrophylla

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Magnolia macrophylla - Bigleaf Magnolia
Common name: Bigleaf Magnolia
Family: Magnoliaceae (Magnolia)
Distribution: Ohio to SE USA, Mexico, Cuba to Puerto Rico
Habitat: Bottomland woods, rich wooded slopes, alluvial woods, piedmont
Hardiness: -20 - 20 F
Life form: Deciduous tree
Bloom Time: May to June
Fruit characteristics: Fruits are 3" long and cone-like with red seeds that hang from threads in the late summer.
Foliage characteristics: Leaves are simple, alternate, oblong-obovate, have entire margines, and 12 to 36" long. Green above, silver-gray and fuzzy below. Largest simple leaves of any indigenous North American tree.
Medicinal/pharmaceutical: The Cherokee used the bark of this tree as an analgesic, antidiarrheal, gastrointestinal aid, respiratory aid, and toothache remedy.
Ethnobotanical uses: The Cherokee used the wood of this tree for building material and furniture, and as pulp to make paper.
Bark characteristics: Brown
Average height: 30-40'
Structure: Upright, rounded, and open
Bloom characteristics: Flowers are cup-shaped and white with purple spots at base of 3 inner petals. 8-14" wide. Has the largest flower of any native North American tree.
Fragrance: Fragrant
Fall color: Yellow or no change
Description: True to its name, the bigleaf magnolia has the largest leaves (and flowers) of any native North American tree. When walking through a forest, the way these large leaves droop around the edges is especially noticeable. Deciduous in the north and semi-evergreen in the deep south, the leaves create quite a mess, making this tree best planted in areas with undergrowth that can capture and hide the slow to degrade leaves.
The bigleaf magnolia was first described in 1789 just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina by the French naturalist and explorer Andre Michaux.
Endangered in Arkansas and Ohio.
Links: Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant FamiliesLady Bird Johnson Wildflower CenterUS Forest Service Fact Sheet


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