Scientific Name: Magnolia grandiflora
- Order: Magnoliales
- Family: Magnoliaceae
- Genus: Magnolia
- Species: M. grandiflora
Full, fragrant flowers and glossy green leaves rest on the southern magnolia tree outside the Patriarch Hall in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Also dubbed the bull bay and evergreen magnolia, this tree is fairly fast-growing and is native to southeastern United States. The magnolia flower is a “perfect” flower, which is the botanical lingo for a flower with both male and female parts.
Magnolia wood is used as timber and commercially made into furniture (e.g. cabinets) and veneers. Parts of the tree have medical uses. For example, in Asia, the magnolia flower is used in herbal medicine and to reduce high blood pressure.
The southern magnolia is one of the oldest tree species in the world. It was documented as a species in 1759 by Linnaeus, a famous Swedish botanist. A fun fact about the southern magnolia is that it is the state tree of Mississippi and the state flower of Louisiana. Furthermore, the tree is fire-resistant and grows well in moist soil, such as near lowlands and swamps.