All over the south, you can find the illustrious Magnolia Tree. Some consider it the essential southern plant, and a requisite for a southern plantation appeal. The Magnolia is an ancient tree, appearing long before bees. (Yes, that's what they say!) They are a hearty tree, with large waxy leaves and a huge flower. I've seen the flower itself as large as a dinner plate!
Throughout the south there are restaurants, gift shops, hotels, art museums and I'm sure a lot of other businesses I've not mentioned who use the name Magnolia. It is synonymous with the South and southern gentility. I even know of one woman with the name Magnolia. (Only one? I'm' sure there are others, I just haven't met them, though I am surprised there aren't a lot more.)
When I began to write this article, I knew it would be short. I knew I wanted to mention a few things, Magnolia names: check; older than bees: check; the one person I knew named Magnolia: also check. Knowing I had little more than a passing understanding of the noble plant, I turned to that tried and true center of all knowledge: Wikipedia.
Wikipedia has a veritable gold mine of information on just about any subject under the sun. Magnolia trees included. So, I looked, and I found what I needed. Now, here comes the shocker. Magnolia Trees are found more in Asia than in the US. Yep, the main center of Magnolia trees can be found in east and southeast Asia with only a secondary center in eastern North America. This also includes Central America, the West Indies, and some species in South America.
Well, at least we're 2nd on the list. And now that I think on it, I bet they weren't counting the gift shops or people named Magnolia. Yeah, that has to be it.
I feel better now.