Glimpse Southern Magnolia at OMSP golf course
Published 11:01 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015
By EMILY D. COOK / Community Columnist
The Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora, is a beautiful evergreen tree that inhabits many areas of Alabama around bodies of water, being associated with Sweetgum, Water Oak and Black Gum.
Southern Magnolias can reach 120 feet in height but many are only about 80 feet tall.
The shape of this tree is pyramidal, wide at the base and narrow at the top.
On this tree, you can find a very fragrant white flower in late spring. The showy white flowers can reach 12 inches across and have a lemon citronella scent.
Makes you wonder if it could repel insects. The leaves are dark green and leathery, measuring about 4 to 8 inches in length and 2 to 4 1/2 inches wide.
A rose colored ovoid fruit comes after flowering and contains red seeds.
Around 50 percent of the seeds can germinate and are spread by birds and mammals, with the remaining being eaten by squirrels, possums, quail and turkey.
Greatest seed production of the Southern Magnolia occurs once a tree has reached 25 years of age.
The Southern Magnolia has a long history in the Southeastern United States.
Many large and very old specimens can be found in port cities such as New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah and Charleston.
Southern Magnolias are not common inside Oak Mountain State Park, but there are a few. Southern Magnolias have been planted for years in people’s yards as an ornamental, as well as used for decorations, furniture, pallets and wood veneer.
The waxy coating on the leaves make them resistant to damage from salt and air pollution, so they are often used in seashore plantings. The Southern Magnolia, once established, is drought tolerant.
Come see the beautiful Southern Magnolia located in front of The Oaks Golf Course Pro Shop.
Please remember that you keep Alabama State Parks open by supporting them.