Mississippi State Tree

Mississippi State Tree

Southern Magnolia 

 

 
 

The state tree of Mississippi is the Southern Magnolia Tree (Magnolia grandiflora L.). It was voted in by Legislature on April 1, 1938 after the Director of Forestry asked schoolchildren to vote on a state tree for Mississippi.

There were four nominations, the magnolia, oak, pine, and dogwood. The magnolia received the largest majority. Although no specific magnolia was designated as the state tree of Mississippi, most recognize the Southern Magnolia, (Magnolia grandiflora). 

The magnolia flowers that appear on the tree are seen all through Mississippi during May and June but also occasionally in the fall. Seeds mature in late fall or early winter in fleshy, cone-like structures. At maturity the seeds have a red, fleshy covering and are pushed from the cone-like structure. The magnolia fruits measure between a quarter of an inch and half an inch, attract birds and other wildlife. 

The magnolia so represents Mississippi that the state’s nickname is the “The Magnolia State” and the magnolia is also the state flower of Mississippi.

Leaf

Alternate, simple, pinnately veined and evergreen, 5 to 8 inches long, ovalin shape with an entire margin. Very waxy/shiny above, and reddish tomentose below.

Flower

Very showy and fragrant, 6 to 8 inches wide with large white petals.
Flowers are borne singly, from May to June.

Fruit

An aggregate of follicles, green changing to red, cylindrical, 3 to
5 inches long with red seeds, 1/2 inch long. Maturing October to November.

Twig

Stout, with white to rusty tomentum and a long (1 to 1 1/2 inches) silkywhite to rusty red terminal bud.

Bark

Brown to gray, thin, smooth/lenticellate when young, later with close
plates or scales.

Form

A medium-sized tree with a pyramidal crown. When open grown, the crownis dense with low branches.

 
Copyright 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental
Conservation; Text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen,
Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag
Handbook 654; range map source information