Magnolia – Independence
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 over 100 million years old. Research indicates that the first flowers on earth resembled magnolia blossoms. Flowers encouraged the evolution of pollinating insects, which paved the way for species diversification.
Magnolias co-evolved with beetles because bees and butterflies did not yet exist. Magnolia blossoms sturdy petals are arranged in concentric circles. Beetles pollinated them by simply walking on the petals. This practical approach to survival stood the test of time with stunning results. Magnolias are one of the worlds most admired flowering trees. The true essence of a magnolia is its sheer desire to thrive during a time when millions of species became extinct.
Magnolia’s early ancestors 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.
Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay or laurel magnolia) is native to North America and holds the distinction of being the “type species” for the entire Magnoliaceae family as well as all Angiosperms!
There are 225 species in the Magnoliaceae family. They are defined by two genera, Magnolia and Liriodendron (tulip tree). Magnolia grandiflora or southern magnolia is an evergreen species with the hardest wood of all the magnolia species. Magnolia champaca is large evergreen species native to India where it is considered to be a sacred tree by Hindus and Buddhists. Magnolia sieboldii (mountain magnolia) is a small ornamental tree native to Korea. It is known as the national flower of North Korea.
Liriodendron tulipifera, (tulip tree, tulip poplar or yellow poplar) are valuable hardwood trees native to eastern North America. Tulip trees can grow to be 150′ tall, their wood is often compared to white pine. Native American’s called it “oonseentia” and carved dugout canoes from its long straight trunk. European settlers called it Canoewood. Liriodendron is Greek for “lily tree” based on its unique blossoms. Liriodendron Chinense (Chinese tulip tree) is native to China. It’s not as hardy as its American counterpart so it’s cultivated primarily as an ornamental tree.
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 take us for granted or walking all over us. Engaging in unbalanced or unhealthy relationships.
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