|Magnoliaceae - Magnolia Family|
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The magnolia genus is one of the most ancient among flowering trees.
Live specimens photographed at the Morton Arboretum at Lisle, Illinois.
Leonard Messel Magnolia
Rohrbach Star Magnolia
The earliest flowering plants date back about 130 million years. According to Cronquist Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants, the most primitive of all living angiosperms belong to the subclass Magnoliidae. This subclass contains several primitive plant families, including the water-lily family (Nymphaeaceae), buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and Magnoliaceae.
Plants in the magnolia family have the following characteristics: Large flowers with numerous tepals. Numerous spirally arranged stamens at the base of a conelike receptacle bearing numerous spirally arranged carpels. At maturity the carpels develop into a woody, conelike aggregate of seed-bearing follicles. Each seed has a fleshy red outer layer (aril) and hangs from its follicle by a threadlike stalk. Other primitive floral characteristics are radial symmetry or actinomorphic (floral parts similar in size & shape), perfect (with functional androecium and gynoecium), complete (with all 4 floral parts: calyx, corolla, androecium & gynoecium), and floral axis (receptacle) elongated. The latter characteristic is clearly visible in the magnolia blossom. With all the woody, spirally arranged carpels (follicles), this axis truly resembles a conelike structure.
|Several species in the Magnolioideae are grown for their dried flower buds, known as xinyi, which are used medicinally. In addition, HOUPOEA officinalis (Magnolia officinalis) is extensively grown for its medicinal bark. All species in the family are ornamental, and many are grown in public and private gardens throughout much of China and in other parts of the world.|
Green Star Magnolia
Merrill's Loebner Magnolia
Lenne Saucer Magnolia
Wada's Memory Magnolia
Ivory Chalice Magnolia
Lilliputian Saucer Magnolia
1. USDA http://na.fs.fed.us Maurice E. Demeritt, Jr. Poplar Hybrids
2. NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees
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