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Magnolias are the oldest flowering plants of the world and lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Magnolia fossils have been found throughout Europe, North America, and Asia, in rocks over 100 million years old. Magnolia flowers are pollinated by beetles of the Nitidulidae family because magnolias evolved before bees and other flying pollinators. The flowers do not have true petals and sepals and do not produce nectar, but attract beetles with fragrant, sugary secretions.
Magnolia denudata, was known as ~Yu-lan~ meaning ~Jade Orchid~ to the ancient Chinese and has been cultivated since the 7th century. The Japanese have grown Magnolia stellata for centuries as potted plants called ~Shidekobushi~
Magnolias are among the 10 most popular flowering trees in the U.S. and are grown for their value as shade trees. Also used for timber and for making large canoes, house interiors and furniture. Flower buds have been used in infusions as a tonic. Animals feed on the seeds and flowers. Chinese use the flower as a remedy for clogged sinus and nasal passages.
Magnolia is both the state flower and state tree of Mississippi. It is also the state flower of Louisiana.
[source: http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/flowers/m.html ]
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November 12th, 2013
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