Anise Magnolia – Magnolia salicifolia

Anise Magnolia – Magnolia salicifolia
Magnolia Main | Tree Encyclopedia

BAnise Magnolia grows to 25 feet and is hardy in zones 4-7 [1]

Anise Magnolia – Magnolia salicifolia, Morton Arboretum acc. 327-63*2

Anise Magnolia can grow to 50 feet. Fragrant white flowers 3-4 inches across, made up of 12-18 segments appear in late winter – early spring before leaves emerge. Grows best in moist, well-drained soil rich in humus. Prefers acidic to neutral soil in full sun or partial shade. Anise magnolia has narrower leaves than most magnolias. [1]
Baltic amber with beetle inclusion
The genus Magnolia contains about 200 species of flowering trees and shrubs, with innumerable cultivars and varieties being developed all the time. Magnolia is an ancient plant lineage, first appearing in the fossil record about 20 million years ago, while evidence of plants in the family goes back to 90 mya [5].

Having evolved before pollinators in Hymenoptera (bees, wasps & ants) appeared, the progenitors of our modern ornamental magnolias relied on beetles for their sexual gratification. Their large, showy flowers are a direct result of the plant's strengthening its delicate flower parts against the beetle's comparitively "rough handling" while feeding on pollen.

Left: Primitive beetle ancestor inside 50 million year old Baltic amber [4].

Anise Magnolia Bark


  1. Michigan State University Extension, "Anise Magnolia – Magnolia salicifolia"
  2. NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees
  3. Anise Magnolia – Magnolia salicifolia, Morton Arboretum acc. 327-63-2 photos by Bruce Marlin
  4. Anders L. Damgaard, Baltic amber Coleoptera Scraptiidae.JPG under Creative Commons 3.0
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Magnolia" retrieved April 19, 2012
Tree Encyclopedia / North American Insects & Spiders is dedicated to providing scientific and educational resources for our users through use of large images and macro photographs of flora and fauna.

Magnoliaceae – Magnolia Family
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-lilies (Nymphaeaceae), and buttercups  (Ranunculaceae). Tree Encyclopedia | Tree Index | Magnolia Main