Southern Magnolia, commonly known as bull bay, is a tree of the family Magnoliaceae native to the southeastern United States, from southeastern North Carolina to central Florida, and west to East Texas. Reaching 27.5 meters (90 ft) in height, it is a large, striking evergreen tree with large dark green leaves up to 20 centimeters (7 34 in) long and 12 centimeters (4 34 in) wide, and large, white, fragrant flowers up to 30 centimeters (12 in) in diameter. Although endemic to the lowland subtropical forests on the Gulf and south Atlantic coastal plain, magnolia grandiflora is widely cultivated in warmer areas around the world. The timber is hard and heavy, and has been used commercially to make furniture, pallets, and veneer.

Southern Magnolia Facts

  • Scientific name: Magnolia grandiflora
  • Range: south from North Carolina to Florida and west to Texas
  • Height: up to 80 feet
  • Fruit: conelike and brown, covered in reddish hairs
  • Flowers: large, white, fragrant blooms
  • Distinguishing feature: broad, shiny green leaves

If Trees Could Sing…

Click here to see Kathy Mattea talk about one of her favorite trees. Video courtesy of The Nature Conservancy and Kathy Mattea.

Pictures above taken at Old Town in March 2021