Magnolia

Magnolia – Independence – Earthkeeper of Hardwoods (Queen of Swords)

Genus: Magnolia – Family: Magnoliaceae

Magnolia reminds us of the importance of independent thinking. We are being encouraged to gather facts before making any decisions or seek an impartial opinion from someone we trust.

Magnolia is a large and ancient genus that is at least 100 million years old. Research indicates that the first flowers on earth resembled a magnolia blossom! Flowers encouraged the evolution of pollinating insects, which paved the way for species diversification within the plant kingdom. Being at the forefront of this revolution, magnolias had to co-evolve with beetles for pollination because bees and butterflies did not exist yet. For this reason, magnolia blossoms evolved with simple petals arranged in concentric circles, so beetles could pollinate by walking on its sturdy petals without doing any damage. This practical approach to survival has stood the test of time with stunning results. Magnolias are one of the worlds most admired flowering trees.

The trail blazing nature of a magnolia is demonstrated by its sheer desire to live during a time when other species became extinct. Magnolia’s early ancestors once lived on the supercontinent of Pangaea 250 million years ago and then Laurasia (Europe and Asia) 200 million years ago. Ice shields, ocean rifts and continental drift created isolated pockets in China, Japan and the Americas. Today there are 210 species of magnolia that differ in size, shape, color and habitat. Flowering magnolia trees have evolved to include both evergreen or deciduous species.

Magnolia virginiana, known as sweetbay or laurel magnolia was the first Magnolia to be scientifically described. It is the “type species” of the Magnolia genus as well as the “type species” for all flowering plants/trees known as Angiosperms. It is native to North America.

Magnolia grandiflora or southern magnolia is an evergreen species with the hardest and heaviest wood of all the magnolia species.

Magnolia champaca is a large evergreen species native to India where it is considered a sacred tree by Hindus and Buddhists.

Magnolia sieboldii or Korean mountain magnolia is a small ornamental tree native to Korea. It is the national flower of North Korea.

Message: When magnolia appears, we are being asked to remain impartial so we can make decisions based on facts versus emotions. Our independence can sometimes give off the appearance that we don’t need anyone, or that we don’t care. Now may be a good time to reassess our personal relationships and ask for help if we need it. Magnolias ancient roots remind us to be patient as we lay a solid foundation for our future.

Challenge: Allowing others to “walk all over us.” Being involved in unbalanced or unhealthy relationships that are depleting us.