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National & State Symbols
Mississippi State Tree
Magnolia or Evergreen Magnolia
(Magnoliaceae Magnolia grandiflora)
Adopted in 1938.
In 1935, the Director of Forestry started a movement by which to select a State Tree for Mississippi, to be selected by nomination and election by the school children of the State. Four nominations were made--the magnolia, oak, pine and dogwood. The magnolia received by far the largest majority. On April 1, 1938, the Mississippi Legislature officially designated the magnolia as Mississippi State Tree. Although no specific species of magnolia was designated as the state tree of Mississippi, most references recognize the Southern Magnolia, (Magnolia grandiflora,) as the state tree.
Mississippi State Tree: Magnolia or Evergreen Magnolia
The large, lustrous, evergreen foliage makes the Southern Magnolia a desirable ornamental plant. Its flowers are produced more abundantly in southern areas than in northern areas.
Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), also called evergreen magnolia, bull-bay, big-laurel, or large-flower magnolia, has large fragrant white flowers and evergreen leaves that make it one of the most splendid of forest trees and a very popular ornamental that has been planted around the world. This moderately fast-growing medium-sized tree grows best on rich, moist, well-drained soils of the bottoms and low uplands of the Coastal Plains of Southeastern United States. It grows with other hardwoods and is marketed as magnolia lumber along with other magnolia species to make furniture, pallets, and veneer. Wildlife eat the seeds, and florists prize the leathery foliage.
Identification of the Magnolia or Evergreen Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora, commonly known as the southern magnolia or bull bay, is a tree of the family Magnoliaceae native to the southeastern United States, from Virginia south to central Florida, and west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. Reaching 27.5 m (90 ft) in height, it is a large striking evergreen tree with large dark green leaves up to 20 cm (8 in) long and 12 cm (4.5 in) wide and large white fragrant flowers up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. Widely cultivated around the world, over a hundred cultivars have been bred and marketed commercially. The timber is hard and heavy, and has been used commercially to make furniture, pallets, and veneer.
2013 Mississippi Code
Title 3 - STATE SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND HOLIDAYS
All of the state trees, except the Hawaii state tree, are native to the state in which they are designated.