Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Magnolia grandiflora


SPECIES: Magnolia grandiflora
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo. 1991. Magnolia grandiflora. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : MAGGRA SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : MAGR4 COMMON NAMES : southern magnolia evergreen magnolia bull-bay big-laurel large-flower magnolia TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for southern magnolia is Magnolia grandiflora L. [19]. The genus Magnolia consists of 35 species of deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs in North and Central America, eastern Asia and the Himalayas; nine species are native to the United States [23]. LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Magnolia grandiflora
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The range of southern magnolia extends from North Carolina along the Atlantic Coast to central Florida, westward through the southern half of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, and across Louisiana into eastern Texas [2,24]. It is cultivated in Hawaii [32]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress STATES : AL FL GA HI LA MS NC SC TX BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K089 Black Belt K090 Live oak - sea oats K091 Cypress savanna K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K113 Southern floodplain forest K114 Pocosin K115 Sand pine scrub SAF COVER TYPES : 69 Sand pine 70 Longleaf pine 71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak 72 Southern scrub oak 73 Southern redcedar 74 Cabbage palmetto 75 Shortleaf pine 76 Shortleaf pine oak 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 81 Loblolly pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 83 Longleaf pine - slash pine 84 Slash pine 85 Slash pine - hardwood 87 Sweetgum - yellow-poplar 88 Willow oak - water oak - diamondleaf oak 89 Live oak 91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak 92 Sweetgum - willow oak 96 Overcup oak - water hickory 97 Atlantic white-cedar 98 Pond pine 100 Pond cypress 101 Baldcypress 102 Baldcypress - tupelo 103 Water tupelo - swamp tupelo 104 Sweetbay - swamp tupelo - redbay 111 South Florida slash pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Magnolia grandiflora
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : The hard, heavy wood of southern magnolia is used to make furniture, pallets, and veneer [5,24]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Southern magnolia seeds are eaten by squirrels, opossum, quail, and the wild turkey [23,24]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Southern magnolia provides cover for many small birds and mammals [29]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : Southern magnolia is a valuable and extensively planted ornamental. The leaves, fruit, bark, and wood yield a variety of extracts with potential applications as pharmaceuticals [14,24]. Southern magnolia is a good urban landscape tree because it is resistant to acid deposition [24]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Winter drought can cause extensive dieback and mortality of southern magnolia. Seedlings are susceptible to frost damage; even a light freeze can cause mortality. A number of Fomes and Polyporus fungi cause heartrot in southern magnolia. Heavy infestations of magnolia scale (Neolecanium cornuparyum) kill branches or entire trees [14,24].


SPECIES: Magnolia grandiflora
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Southern magnolia is a fast-growing, medium-sized, native evergreen tree that grows 60 to 90 feet (18-27 m) tall [9,12]. The large, white flowers are perfect and fragrant. The seeds are drupelike with a soft, fleshy outer seed coat and an inner stony portion. Southern magnolia develops a deep taproot. As trees grow the root structure changes. Trees of sapling stage and beyond have a rather extensive root system. Older trees develop a fluted base with the ridges corresponding to the attachment of major lateral roots [5,12]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (mesophanerophyte) Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (microphanerophyte) Burned or Clipped State: Cryptophyte (geophtye) REGENERATION PROCESSES : Southern magnolia is a prolific seed producer, and good seed crops usually are produced every year. Trees as young as 10 years can produce seed, but optimum seed production does not occur until age 25. Cleaned seeds range from 5,800 to 6,800/pound (12,800-15,000/kg). Seed viability averages about 50 percent. The relatively heavy seeds are disseminated by birds and mammals, but some may be spread by heavy rains [24]. Southern magnolia is pollinated by insects [23,30]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Southern magnolia grows best on rich, loamy, moist soils along streams and near swamps in the Coastal Plain [1,21]. It grows also on mesic upland sites where fire is rare. Although primarily a bottomland species, southern magnolia cannot withstand prolonged inundation; consequently, it is found mostly on alluvium and outwash sites [24]. No part of its range is higher than 500 feet (150 m) in elevation and most of it is less than 200 feet (60 m). Coastal areas within its range are less than 100 feet (30 m) above sea level. In the northern parts of its range in Georgia and Mississippi, it is found at elevations of 300 to 400 feet (90-120 m) [5,12,24]. In additon to those listed under under Distribution and Occurrence, common overstory associates include American beech (Fagus grandifolia), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), live oak (Quercus virginiana), southern red oak (Q. falcata), white oak (Q. alba), mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), and pignut hickory (C. glabra). Some common understory associates include flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), swamp dogwood (C. stricta), strawberry-bush (Euonymus americanus), southern bayberry (Myrica cerifera), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), greenbrier (Smilax spp.), and grape (Vitis spp.) [21,28]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Southern magnolia is moderately tolerant of shade. It can endure considerable shade in early life but needs more light as it becomes older [13]. Southern magnolia will invade pine or hardwood stands and is able to reproduce under a closed canopy. It will not reproduce under its own shade. Once established, it can maintain or increase its presence in stands by sprouts and seedlings that grow up through openings, which occur sporadically in the canopy [24]. Southern magnolia has been migrating onto mesic upland sites and establishing itself, along with associated hardwoods, as part of the climax forest [22,23]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Southern magnolia flowers between April and June; its fruit ripens from September through late fall [6,12].


SPECIES: Magnolia grandiflora
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Southern magnolia is well adapted to fire. Although the bark is relatively thin, the cork layer underneath the bark does not burn easily and is relatively resistant to heat [15,27]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2


SPECIES: Magnolia grandiflora
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Southern magnolia seedlings are easily killed by fire. Older trees, due to bark characteristics, are quite fire resistant. Plants sprout vigorously when top-killed by fire [10,16,18]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Southern magnolia sprouts from surviving root collars following fire [8,16]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Where fire is surpressed or infrequent, southern magnolia and live oak can become dominant species in the southern mixed hardwood forests. The transition from an open, fire-dominated forest to a closed-canopy, deciduous forest favors the Quercus-Magnolia climax community [3,6,10].


SPECIES: Magnolia grandiflora
REFERENCES : 1. Baker, James B.; Langdon, O. Gordon. 1990. Pinus taeda L. loblolly pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 497-512. [13410] 2. Bray, William L. 1901. The ecological relations of the vegetation of western Texas. Botanical Gazette. 32: 99-123. [4447] 3. Daubenmire, Rexford. 1990. The Magnolia grandiflora-Quercus virginiana forest of Florida. American Midland Naturalist. 123: 331-347. [10871] 4. Delcourt, Hazel R.; Delcourt, Paul A. 1974. Primeval magnolia-holly-beech climax in Louisiana. Ecology. 55(3): 638-644. [11469] 5. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764] 6. Engstrom, R. Todd; Crawford, Robert L.; Baker, W. Wilson. 1984. Breeding bird populations in relation to changing forest structure following fire exclusion: a 15-year study. Wilson Bulletin. 96(3): 437-450. [9873] 7. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 8. Feldman, Thomas D. 1987. Fire control and ecological succession in McCarty Woods, Hernando County , Florida. Florida Geographer. 21: 15-19. [8689] 9. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2). [14935] 10. Garren, Kenneth H. 1943. Effects of fire on vegetation of the southeastern United States. Botanical Review. 9: 617-654. [9517] 11. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 12. Godfrey, Robert K. 1988. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of northern Florida and adjacent Georgia and Alabama. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 734 p. [10239] 13. Glitzenstein, Jeff S.; Harcombe, Paul A.; Streng, Donna R. 1986. Disturbance, succession, and maintenance of species diversity in an east Texas forest. Ecological Monographs. 56(3): 243-258. [9670] 14. Gumeringer, Karen. 1989. Magnolia (Magnoliaceae and Annonaceae). Forest World. 5(3): 44-45. [11080] 15. Hare, Robert C. 1961. Heat effects on living plants. Occ. Pap. 183. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,Southern Forest Experiment Station. 32 p. [6708] 16. Hare, Robert C. 1965. Contribution of bark to fire resistance of southern trees. Journal of Forestry. 63(4): 248-251. [9915] 17. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 18. Kurz, Herman. 1944. Secondary forest succession in the Tallahassee Red Hills. Proceedings, Florida Academy of Science. 7(1): 59-100. [10799] 19. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952] 20. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 21. Metzger, F. T. 1990. Ostrya virginiana (Mill.) K. Koch eastern hophornbeam. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 490-496. [13970] 22. Myers, Ronald; White, Deborah L. 1987. Landscape history and changes in sandhill vegetation in north-central and south-central Florida. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 114(1): 21-32. [9782] 23. Olson, David F.; Barnes, R. L.; Jones, Leroy. 1974. Magnolia L. Magnolia. In: Schopmeyer, C. S, ed. Seeds of Woody Plants in the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 527-530. [7701] 24. Adams, David L. 1972. Natural regeneration following four treatments of slash on clearcut areas of lodgepole pine--a case history. Stn. Note No. 19. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho, Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Experiment Station. 2 p. [12257] 25. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606] 26. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 27. Simpfendorfer, K. J. 1989. Trees, farms and fires. Land and Forests Bulletin No. 30. Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands, Lands and Forests Division. 55 p. [10649] 28. Tubbs, Carl H.; Houston, David R. 1990. Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. American beech. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 325-332. [13964] 29. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240] 30. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 31. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 32. St. John, Harold. 1973. List and summary of the flowering plants in the Hawaiian islands. Hong Kong: Cathay Press Limited. 519 p. [25354]