Due to the fact that the Magnolia species is one of the oldest on Earth, it is very difficult to pinpoint a location of origin. Falling into the Magnoliaceae family, the genus is supposed to date back to at least twenty million years before our time. It is without a doubt one of the most interesting and unique plants that have managed to stay alive up until today. Having grown before the age of bees and within it, these flowers have managed to evolve well enough to adapt to the changes in many eras. During different periods, many changes have taken place. One of the known and most distinctive of them is that some species show a lack of differentiated sepal and petal arrangement; both petal under-types are now represented by a similar structure and form. Speaking of size, the heads range from 7.6cm to 30.4cm in diameter and have a varying colour. Some flowers are white; others have a creamy tint in beige or pink, while others are entirely purple, pink or in shades of yellow and red.
Magnolia flower – more than 210 species
There are at least 210 species in the genus and many of them are famous for the special, uniquely citrus-like scent that they give off. The seeds of these plants appear early in autumn and the very sowing starts during the rest of the season.
Beautiful as they are, the magnolia flowers are also highly respected for their various purposes. Except as a main ingredient in perfumery and cosmetics such as soaps, bath products and crèmes, these beautiful plants can be utilized entirely. The bark of the stem has been a great source of anxiety relief and has calming effects that have been known to herbalists for a long time. In Chinese medicine, the flowers are boiled and prepared through different methods in case there is a need for treatment against respiratory problems. Allergies, asthma and other constant cases of uneasiness are often helped by tea or essence of magnolia. They are a key element to the Victorian courts as an ornament and as a secret language.
Significance and legend
From a spiritual point of view and given their age, these flowers have a great significance in almost every country and region, in every culture. The specific flower form is often engraved, drawn or sculptured in ceramics, carvings and art as a whole. Entwining fate in many legends, coming from both the Eastern and the Western world, these ancient beauties are full of meanings and symbolism. Magnolias are given in many variations as a present to a lover, a husband or wife, parents, siblings and fiends. Nobility, certainty, purity, perseverance (in regards to wild species) and beauty – these are all meanings of the flower. In Japan, in the “Hanakotoba” – Japanese language of flowers, it is the symbol of nature and love, while in China – of stability and nobility. In the US, it is often used with the meaning of “South” and is the nickname of the State of Mississippi. Apart of this state’s official flower, the magnolia has the same function when it comes to Louisiana as well.