Magnolia Flower Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Color Meaning & More

One of the oldest flowers known to man, the magnolia first made its appearance over 20 million years ago – and it’s beauty and symbolism has kept us transfixed ever since. Over time, the magnolia flower has grown in meaning and significance across the globe.


Today, the stunning magnolia represents determination, kindness, royalty, and love.

This exquisite flower holds great significance to cultures across the globe. Linked to myths, legends, religion, and symbolism, the magnolia is entwined within history of most countries. 

If you want to know more about the meaning of the magnolia, read on. This helpful guide gives you all the facts you need to know. We explain its meanings, history, and symbolism. We delve into the spiritual associations attached to the flower, as well as its cultural significance. 

Read on further to learn its uses, benefits, and how to look after your magnolia plant. Don’t forget to read our final conclusion for additional information, too.

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The Magnolia Facts

The magnolia has blessed the Earth with its presence for millions of years. In fact, reports suggest it arrived before the bees! However, it was a French botanist called Charles Plumier who claimed the first discovery of the magnolia tree.

He named the magnolia in honor of another botanist, Pierre Magnol. Later, A British botanist began using the name ‘magnolia’ to reference the tree. And from then on, the name stuck.


The large beautiful flowers are mostly white. In addition, you can also see magnolias in pink, purple, yellow, mauve, lavender, and peach colors.

Magnolia trees and shrubs are evergreen or deciduous. They are characterized by large, beautiful flowers that appear like stars or take on the shape of a bowl. There are over 200 species of the magnolia genus. 


The magnolia flower produces an intoxicating scent of subtle floral sweetness combined with tones of fruit. Some people liken it to the smell of champagne. Light and refreshing, with gentle appeal, the magnolia fragrance is a popular addition in aromatherapy.


Research show the primitive magnolia once grew across parts of Europe, Asia, and America. Today, however, they grow freely in just Southern America and the South of China.

The magnolia tree shares some pretty incredible history. Findings of magnolia tree fossils show it was around in the Cretaceous period. That is a staggering 145 million years ago and puts this tree as the first ever flowering tree known to exist!


Magnolia Symbolism

The magnolia comes with a wealth of symbolism. Due to their exceptional survival skills, it is frequently a symbol of determination and endurance. Let’s take a look at the symbolism behind this beautiful plant.


Given their resilient nature, magnolias symbolize longevity.


As a symbol of purity and love, the magnolia often features as a gift to a new mother.


The magnolia has deep links with religion and spirituality. It can symbolize being in touch with your inner self, or having pyschic connections


Due to its association with strength and endurance, the magnolia is a popular choice to support those experiencing difficulties in life.

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The magnolia tree and the magnolia flower represent great positivity. The symbolic links to them are all happy and joyous. As such, it makes a perfect celebratory flower gift.

Beauty and Splendor

Given their statement appearance and decadent scent, the magnolia is the perfect symbol of beauty, splendor, and greatness.

The Magnolia Tree: Symbolism

The magnolia tree in bloom is a true vision to behold. Some can grow up to 20 m tall. Their vivid, spectacular, colorful flowers are breathtaking to see. Before looking at various symbolic association given to the magnolia tree, it is worth noting this: 

Simply gazing up at this tree in full bloom will cause anyone to stop what they are doing and thinking. The sheer beauty and magnificence of the magnolia tree is enough to make you pause and just ‘be.’

Thus, its appearance is symbolic of a profound link to nature, life, and true purpose. Witnessing the tree in bloom has an almost ethereal effect on the human psyche. 

Unsurprisingly, the magnolia tree holds great symbolic significance in many parts of the world. The magnolia tree symbolizes the following:

Economic Stability 

Seen as a symbol for economic stability and financial improvement, the magnolia tree regularly features in backyards all across Southern America and China. In Georgia, the tree is planted to bring positive energies and financial success.

Good Luck

Widely regarded as a good luck omen, planting the tree is often the first point of call when people move house. It was thought that planting a magnolia tree wherever you settle will bring protection, prohibit dark spirits, and encourage new possibilities and good luck to follow.

Long-Lasting relationships

Both the magnolia tree and flowers symbolize a forever union and long-lasting relationships. Because of this, people gift the tree to new homeowners and bouquets combining these flowers at wedding ceremonies.

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Color Symbolism Of Magnolias

Symbolism can vary according to the color of the magnolia. These include:


Magnolia petals symbolize the moon. Some people link the magnolia to Artemis, the Goddess of the moon.


The pink magnolia flower is truly special to see. The pretty petals are symbolic of femininity and female charm. They represent the more gentle and calm side of a person’s character. This color of magnolia is frequently given as a house-warming gift.

The pink magnolia can also symbolize true happiness and joy.


Purple flower petals of this shrub are representative of royalty. They also play a big decorative and symbolic part in certain religious events.

Furthermore, the purple magnolia can be symbolic of health, recovery and good luck. Some people gift this type of magnolia to sick relatives, to encourage a speedy recovery.


Yellow magnolia petals are symbolic of love and warmth. They represent the sun’s energy and spirit.


The color green represents prosperity, health, and fortune, 

Cultural Significance

Depending on the country, the magnolia can represent a variety of things. 


The Chinese people regard the magnolia as a symbol of purity, and of noble people. The Chinese refer to this plant as the Jade orchid.

Additionally, Chinese medicine frequently used magnolia bark medicinally to enhance a better night’s sleep.

Feng Shui

According to traditions of Feng Shui, if you wanted to ensure happiness at home, then a magnolia must be placed at the front of the house. Should the homeowner desire financial stability and prosperity, the magnolia should be positioned at the back of the house.


The Japanese are particularly fond of the magnolia for both its medicinal and decorative value. Known as ‘Hanakotoba,’ which means the flower is symbolic of a flower that is grand, noble, and a loving part of nature.

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South America

The magnolia grows all over South America. It is the official flower of Mississippi and Louisiana. For Americans, the flower indicates the start of spring and is a symbol of new beginnings.

This flower has such a huge presence in Mississippi, it is often referred to as the Magnolia State. Great clusters of beautiful magnolia blossom decorate every inch of the Buffalo Bayou in Texas each spring. Consequently, the city of Houston has acquired the name, ‘Magnolia City,’

Legends Of The Magnolia

Let’s take a closer look at some well-known legends regarding this fabulous tree and flowering plant.

The Largest

Legend states that the magnolia plant was the first one to grow outdoors. Legend says it was the first in Europe to live for over 100 years and was by far the biggest growing of all plants.


In Japan, people believed that to sleep under a magnolia tree could cause serious illness or death. People thought the flower’s aroma was capable of killing a human.

Ancient Japanese Legend

This legend concerns a girl named Keiko.  From a destitute family, the girl had to help by making cheap paper flowers. One day, a parrot flew up to the girl’s window. Keiko was kind to the parrot, so in return, it told her a valuable secret.

The bird told her that in order to bring the flowers to life, they needed a drop of blood. The bird added that the last drop of blood could not be given, however. 

Keiko heeded the parrot’s words, and set about bringing the flowers to life. It worked, and soon she had the most beautiful flowers around. Word spread of these exquisite flowers, and the girl began to sell them for good money. Before long, she was no longer destitute and hungry.

Keiko treated herself to a new garment and attended a dance. There, she fell in love with a boy, who appeared to feel the same for her. Unfortunately, he was no prince. He only cared for money, and forced Keiko to work tirelessly, producing more and more flowers, so he could be rich.

The girl loved him and so did as she was told. However, the girl worked so hard that soon it came down to the last drop of blood. Her lover gave his last drop of blood, and promptly keeled over and died. As that last drop of blood hit the flower, it turned into a magnolia.


Many people believed that if you owned a magnolia plant or tree, and it bloomed at the wrong times in the year, it reflected the owner’s emotions. The interpretation being that a person was feeling very anxious or had many worries.

Another superstition claims that if you place dried magnolia leaves under your bed, you can ensure a happy and loving marriage.

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Magnolia As Medicine

Chinese medicine incorporates the magnolia tree and shrub into natural medicines for a variety of reasons.

The Bark

Known in China as ‘houpu o hou po,’ the bark is used for much health promoting benefits. Some of these include arthritis, asthma, back pain, dry coughs, insomnia, and menopausal symptoms.

The components found in magnolia bark offer antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. The Chinese believe it can alleviate many psychological problems like anxiety, and high levels of stress.

Magnolia And Aromatherapy

Touted for having multiple holistic healing benefits, magnolia features as a key component in aromatherapy. Here are some common uses for magnolia essential oil:


Should you feel overwhelmed and confused, magnolia essential oil may just be a perfect solution for you. Many people use the essential oil to promote balance and clarity of thought.

In times of emotional distress and confusion, a few drops of this essential oil can induce a calmer and clearer state of mind. 


If dress is a leading factor in your daily life, you need to find ways to reduce it. Many are looking for alternative and more natural solutions than prescription drugs to combat this common difficulty.

Magnolia essential oil has calming and soothing properties. This essence can promote wellbeing, boost your mood and enhance feelings of calm.


Self-confidence and self care is vital for achieving a good level of wellbeing and self-worth. Should you feel insecure, or lack confidence, perhaps the magnolia essential oil can help.

This oil can promote higher levels of confidence. Many people claim this essential oil has massive benefits for boosting mental health.

Magnolia Care

In order to provide the best support for your magnolia tree, make sure it has enough sunshine and protection from harsh weather conditions. Also, ensure you give your magnolia enough water or they will quickly become stressed.


The magnolia tree and flowering plant is shrouded in mystery and symbolic value. It was the first flowering plant known to exist on the Earth and has survived the test of time.

There is no doubt the magnolia is a symbol of positivity and good energy. Even if you do not believe in spirituality or symbolism, the sheer sight of this sensational tree in full bloom can instantly transform anyone’s state of mind and mood.

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