Southern Magnolia

Magnolio grandiflora
(Evergreen Magnolia, Bull-bay, Large flowered Magnolia)

One of the great trees of the deep South, the southern magnolia must be protected in Kentucky from cold winter winds. This beautiful evergreen can grow up to eighty feet tall in the right conditions. The large leathery leaves are bright green above with rust colored tiny hairs beneath, and stay on the tree for two years. The tree is an evergreen, because it only sheds half of its leaves each spring. Nothing is more beautiful or fragrant than a magnolia in bloom. In the summer large, creamy flowers like water lilies grow at the ends of the branches. In the fall cone-like fruits mature filled with brilliant red seeds. While the leaves and flowers are used by us in floral decorations, the birds and squirrels use the seeds for food.