Magnolia flower; photo by simplerich on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).
The magnolia blossom was designated the state flower of Louisiana in 1900. The southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is a medium size hardwood tree that grows in the southest USA (also called evergreen magnolia, bull-bay, big-laurel, little gem or large-flower magnolia). The large, fragrant white flowers and leathery evergreen leaves make the magnolia tree popular around the world as an ornamental.
The seeds are eaten by squirrels, opossums, quail, and turkey. The leaves, fruit, bark and wood yield extracts with potential use in pharmaceuticals. The lumber is used to make furniture, pallets, and veneer.