There are over 200 species of Magnolias that range from shrubs to trees. It is one of the older known families of plants, using beetles to fertilize it because bees had not yet evolved. Fossil records have shown it going back 95 million years. The main part of the flower that many would call petals, are actually tepals – that are neither petals or sepals, but structures that are actually more like leaves. It also has very tough carpels so that beetles do not damage it.
Magnolia can be found across the Northern Hemisphere with centers in east and southeast Asia and a secondary locations in eastern North America, Central America, the West Indies, and some species in South America.
Name Derivation: Name honors Pierre Magnol, French botanist (1638-1715)
Magnolia is in the family Magnoliaceae.