Nature In The Natural State: The Bigleaf Magnolia

Aug 3, 2020

The Bigleaf Magnolia has the largest flowers—more than a foot across—and the largest entire leaves—up to three feet long—of any Arkansas native tree. It is listed as endangered in Arkansas.

Bigleaf Magnolias are understory trees that do well in part shade and in locations sheltered from wind. They are host plants for 15 species of Lepidoptera, including the Tuliptree Silkmoth and the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly.

Their flowers are pollinated by beetles, and not by bees. This is because magnolias evolved twenty or thirty million years before bees.

If you have a suitable site, plant a bigleaf magnolia and know that you have a tree that lived at the same time as Tyrannosaurus rex.