Magnolia tripetala plant

Family – Magnoliaceae



Adaxial leaf surface.

Magnolia tripetala leaf

Abaxial leaf surface.

Inflorescence: N/A


Magnolia tripetala flower
Magnolia tripetala flower

Flowering – April – June.

Habitat – Wooded ravines, wooded slopes.

Origin – Native to North America.

Other information – This attractive small tree can be found mainly in east-central Alabama. The plant can be identified by its leaves – which are clustered at the apices of the stems and appeared whorled. The leaf tissue also tapers to the base of the leaf. The petals of the flowers are long, thin, and white.

The genus name Magnolia is given in honor of Pierre Magnol (1638-1715). Magnol was professor of botany at the Montpellier Botanic Garden in France. The garden was founded in 1593 and is still active today.

The species epithet tripetala derives from the Latin “tri” meaning “three” and the Greek “petal” meaning “a leaf, flat, spread-out.” The name means “with three petals” and probably refers to the sepals of the flower.

Maintenance – Magnolias respond well to being trimming every 2 – 3 years. You can do this yourself or call a pro arborist.

Alabama Distribution

Magnolia tripetala map

Photographs taken at Coon Creek Preserve, Tallapoosa County, AL., 4-29-06.

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Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.