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Magnolia tree

Origin and habitat of the magnolia tree

Magnolia is a tree of the ‘magnoliaceae’ family and there are at least 80 different varieties of this plant in nature. We can find both tree species but also slow growing shrub species. Magnolia is native to various parts of the world including China, Japan, Korea, the United States and some areas of the Himalayas. The name of the plant seems to have been given to it in the 18th century by Charles Plumier who wanted to pay homage to the botanist Pierre Magnol. Most magnolias develop quite well in Italy, so much so that they are one of the most common trees in public gardens. In some botanical gardens and ancient parks it is also possible to admire truly impressive and luxuriant centuries-old specimens. In addition, the magnolia tree provides excellent light colored wood and is very easy to work in carpentry.

Characteristics of the magnolia tree

The magnolia tree is a medium to large plant that can be deciduous or evergreen. The deciduous species is the one that blooms in spring while the evergreen one does not lose its leaves and will bloom in summer. The magnolia can reach 25 meters in height and its foliage can grow up to 10 meters. The trunk is smooth and gray-green while on the branches we have alternate elliptical leaves and quite thick. The flowers are generally cup-shaped and have a corolla of 6 petals. They can be of various colors such as white, purple, pink and in some species yellow. The flowering of the magnolia is intense but generally does not occur for a few years. From the flowers are obtained oval-shaped fruits collected in the shape of a cone inside which there are small red and orange seeds.


Among the different varieties of magnolia, one of the most widespread is certainly the magnolia ‘grandiflora’. Coming from North America, it is a majestic evergreen tree that can reach 20 meters and its flowers are large, white and very fragrant. Then we have the ‘obvata’ magnolia which comes from the Far East and has white flowers on the inside and light pink on the outside. Then there are some hybrids of this variety that instead have lilac or red flowers. The magnolia ‘sargentiana’, on the other hand, is smaller in size, has gray leaves and pink flowers that bloom when the plant reaches adulthood. In the form of a shrub there is also the ‘starry’ magnolia which is of Asian origin and can reach a height of 5 meters. Its flowers are mostly white but in some variations they can be pink. The starry species is perfect for creating fragrant hedges and flower beds.

Magnolia tree: How to plant the magnolia tree


If you decide to plant a magnolia tree, it should be planted between March and April or even in autumn. It is a plant that grows very well in the heat but also resists the lower temperatures typical of the winter period. The soil in which to grow magnolia must be dry, acidic and well fertilized. Some species also require a more clayey soil with a different pH. In the first years of cultivation, magnolias require supports to make them grow straight. The plant should therefore be watered regularly, especially in the summer months. Flowering generally occurs in spring and no earlier than a few years of the tree’s life. Reproduction, on the other hand, usually takes place by cutting, grafting or even by sowing. To protect the magnolias it is good to know that they can suffer the

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