In the next street to me, there are two gorgeous magnolia trees that are in bloom at the moment. They look and smell so beautiful that it has inspired me to curate this collection of vintage magnolia prints.
Magnolias are beautiful flowering tree or shrub plants. There are about 210 different species of magnolia plants. The plant is named after French botanist Pierre Magnol.
The Magnolia Tree Flower
These vintage magnolia prints will show how Magnolia trees differ in size, shape, color and habitat.
The color of the magnolia flowers can be pink, white, red, purple, or yellow. The size of the flowers ranges from 7.5cm (3″) up to 30cm (12″) in diameter. They consist of up to 18 leathery sepals and petals fused together called tepals.
The magnolia flower is very fragrant and often has a citrus like smell.
Magnolia flowers are mainly pollinated by beetles. They do not produce nectar but they do produce large quantities of pollen. The pollen is high in protein and the beetles use it for food.
Magnolia trees are ancient they have been found in fossils from 20 million years ago. The life expectancy of the magnolia tree varies amongst the different varieties but many have been known to live for 100 years or longer.
Use of The Magnolia Flower
A lot of Magnolia species are edible. In parts of England, the petals of M. Grandiflora are pickled and used as a spicy condiment.
Whilst in a few Asian cuisines, the buds are pickled and used to flavor rice and scent tea.
In Japan, the young leaves and flower buds of Magnolia hypoleuca are broiled and eaten as a vegetable. There is a type of miso that is seasoned with magnolia, hoba miso.
The Japanese also use the leaves of the Magnolia obovata for wrapping food and cooking dishes.
The bark and flower buds from the Magnolia Officinalis have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. They have shown anti-anxiety and anti-angiogenic properties.
Magnolia Flower symbolism
The magnolia flower meaning is attached to the symbols of nobility, perseverance, and love of nature.
Soft and subtle in color yet strong in appearance, the flower is representative of the beauty encompassing femininity and gentleness.
In the American South, white magnolias are commonly seen in bridal bouquets because the flowers are thought to reflect and emphasize the bride’s purity and nobility.
Magnolia sieboldii is the national flower of North Korea. The white or Yulan magnolia is the official flower of the Chinese city of Shanghai.
Mississippi has the nickname of the “Magnolia State” and the Magnolia Grandiflora is its state flower along with Louisiana.
The Vintage Magnolia Prints and Magnolia Botanical Illustrations.
All these old magnolia drawings and paintings are in the public domain and free to download and print. To download the magnolia print just click on the title above the print.
A higher resolution print should then open up a new tab in your browser. Either print it straight away or save the print to your hard drive and send it to an online printer for a good quality print.
I’m not sure what variety of Magnolia this white flower is. It is a beautiful vintage magnolia print from the book “Hortus Europae americanus“, (or, A collection of 85 curious trees and shrubs) by Mark Catsby 1767.
Again, I’m sorry but I don’t know the names of these four magnolia flowers in this print. However, they are from the same book as the magnolia print above.
Magnolia × thompsoniana was the first magnolia hybrid plant.
It arose as a spontaneous seedling from a batch of seed taken and grown from an old tree of Magnolia virginiana in 1808 in the nursery of Archibald Thompson in Mile End in London. Nearby grew a specimen of the Magnolia tripetala. One seedling was more vigorous, with larger leaves and flowers.
The magnolia painting is from Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 47 published in 1820.
Magnolia campbelli is found in the sheltered valleys of the Himalayas. It is also grown as an ornamental tree for its stunning pink flowers.
This vintage magnolia painting is by the British botanist and explorer Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker. He was the closet friend of Charles Darwin and director of Kew Gardens. Hooker named this species of Magnolia after Archibald Campbell, Superintendent of Darjeeling (India).
Another beautiful vintage magnolia print by the botanist Joseph Hooker. This Himalayan plant was named after James F. Cathcart, a member of the Indian Civil Service and amateur botanist of the 19th century.
This is a large magnolia tree that can grow up to 50 m tall.
There are two different magnolia flowers in this botanical illustration, from the book ” Beautiful flowering trees and shrubs for British and Irish gardens” by John Weathers 1903.
The magnolia denudata is commonly known as the lily tree and is native to China. The tree could be found in the Emperor’s garden during the Tang Dynasty. It is the official city flower of Shanghai.
The other flower is Magnolia stellata, sometimes called the star magnolia, which is native to Japan. It bears large, showy white or pink flowers in early spring before its leaves open.
A magnolia botanical illustration from the book “Flore médicale des Antilles” 1822.
This species of magnolia is native to Japan and Korea. This vintage magnolia print is from the magazine “Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, London., vol. 138” (1912).
The Magnolia liliifera is most commonly known as the egg magnolia. I’m not sure if it got its name because of its yellow yolk colored flowers. Or because before opening the flowers are egg-shaped.
This magnolia botanical illustration is from “Edwards’ botanical register, or, Ornamental flower-garden and shrubbery.”
Magnolia liliiflora is more commonly known as the purple magnolia and native to southwest China but has been cultivated for centuries throughout China and Japan.
This old magnolia painting is from the book “Plantæ Utiliores: Or Illustrations Of Useful Plants” 1845, by Burnett & Burnett.
Magnolia tripetala, is more commonly known as the umbrella magnolia. The tree is native to the Eastern United States.
This magnolia species got its name from the fact that the large leaves are clustered at the tips of the branches forming an umbrella-shaped structure.
I do not know who painted this gorgeous magnolia flower but I do know it is from the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was painted in 1891.
Magnolia virginiana more commonly known as the sweetbay magnolia is another native of the Eastern United States.
This vintage magnolia botanical illustration is from the 1813 book “Description des plantes rares cultivees a Malmaison et a Navarre.”
Magnolia × soulangeana, more commonly known as the saucer magnolia, is a hybrid plant. The magnolia variety is one of the most commonly used magnolias in horticulture, being widely planted in the British Isles and in the United States.
This beautiful magnolia painting is by the French botanist Charles Antoine Lemaire and from the 1854 publication, “L’Illustration horticole”.
Magnolia fraseri, is more commonly known as mountain magnolia and is native to the south-eastern United States.
The vintage botanical illustration is by Sydenham Edwards from The Botanical register 1815.
Magnolia salicifolia, more commonly known as willow-leafed magnolia and is a native of Japan.
This is another vintage magnolia flower botanical print from Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, this time from vol. 139 (1913).
If you are looking for more stunning vintage flower pictures you should check out some of the other collections on Pictureboxblue. These include individual floral botanical rose prints, peony paintings, vintage orchid prints, passion flower drawings, and vintage pictures of poppies to name a few.
There are also the wonderful botanical posters of Adolphe Millot with a wide variety of florals. Another fun collection is these art nouveau flower prints. There are also some illustrations of Magnolia trees on the Larousse poster collection.