In honor of the spring weather this is a magnolia tree and blossoms. There are about 80 different species of magnolia that are native to the eastern United States and southeastern Asia, so it is difficult to know one species from another. The color and shape of the flower changes from one species to another. Some have white flowers and others have pink.  Magnolia grandiflora, or the Southern Magnolia, (which is a white flower) is the state flower of Mississippi and Louisiana. Magnolias are a deciduous flowering tree which usually blooms in the early spring.

The genus magnolia is prehistoric. The plants that make up this genus evolved before bees appeared, and as a result magnolia trees do not have nectar and instead rely on beetles for pollination. The beetles are from the Nitidulidae family and are attracted by the flower’s fragrance.

This original work is available for purchase on Etsy.

© 2011 Ashley P. Halsey