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Tree Campus: Black Lily Magnolia

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Lily Magnolia 'Nigra'

Magnolia liliflora (FAMILY)



SW China



"The plants usually bear a large number of odoriferous flowers which are pollinated by beetles. Insect pollination has been considered a major factor responsible for the ascendency of the angiosperms (coevolution). In the process, floral scent acts as an attractant for flower-visiting insects and is important for flowerinsect interactions and the key to the evolution of the early angiosperms." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"The beauty of magnolia flower, as all lovers of this plant know, lies in its color, shape and unique delicate fragrance. All these features are variable, which is the reason many of us dream about having in our garden as many forms of magnolia as possible. Pink, yellow, orange, purple, pure white, creamy white, and blue-green flowers of these fragrant beauties decorate our life. However, not all magnolia lovers know that the hidden beauty of this exceptionally charming plant is an extremely diverse floral phyllotaxis.

Phyllotaxis is a distribution of lateral organs in plants. As already mentioned, it is very regular, although the circumferential spacing of organs may be diverse. The students of their diversity have classified the patterns of phyllotaxis into two categories: whorled and spiral (helical). In whorled patterns more than one pattern element is initiated at the same level of the shoot. In spiral pattern its elements are initiated consecutively, one after another, and may be connected in developmental sequence by the spiral or helical line ascending along the shoot. Magnolia flower demonstrates them all, having whorled perianth and spirally arranged generative parts." [2]



"The genus Magnolia includes species that are of major horticultural importance to the nursery and landscape industries of the southeastern United States... Magnolias have been harvested for timber and medicinal uses but are usually cultivated for their beautiful flowers, fruits, foliage and plant forms. These Asian species were first introduced to Europe and American in 1780, stimulating intensive breeding programs to develop more floriferous and hardy forms with a wider range of flower colors." [3]




[1] Azuma, H., Toyota, M., Asakawa, Y., & Kawano, S. (1996). Naphthalene—a constituent of Magnolia flowers. Phytochemistry, 42(4), 999-1004.

[2] Zagórska-Marek, B. (2011). Magnolia flower–the living crystal. Magnolia, 89, 11-21.

[3] Knozrz, G. W., Klingeman, W. E., Paret, M., & Fulchers, A. (2012). _ Management of Pests, Plant Diseases and Abiotic Disorders of Magnolia Species in the Southeastern United. States: A Review1. J. Environ. Hort, 30(4), 223-234.

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