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The name Magnolia refers to any of about 210 species of flowering plant. There have been fossilized remains of Magnolia species found dating back 95 million years, making the Magnolia an ancient plant.

Magnolias are seen growing naturally in many places around the Earth. Larger populations are seen in North America, Asia and the West Indies, and smaller populations can be seen in South America and areas of Europe.

The tepals (the 'petal' types Magnolia's have) are very tough, having evolved to withstand beetles. Since Magnolias are so old, they developed before bees. Beetles helped with pollination, and the Magnolias are tough to withstand them.

The Magnolia is very popular in horticulture, and have been crossbred with many species to produce hybrids.

The Magnolia is the official state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi.