Southern magnolia: Useful plant with showy, elegant summer flower
By Xu Chenlu

The Yulan magnolia is a well-known spring flower in China. If you missed seeing it bloom, do not worry. Its relative, a plant called southern magnolia, is ready to show its beauty.

The Southern magnolia is native to the southeastern U.S. and mainly grows on the edge of the water in swamps in Virginia, East Texas and Florida. It appears as large trees or low shrubs in some areas. From May to July, the plant produces showy white flowers, shaped like a lotus, that give off a sweet fragrance. Therefore, it is called "lotus magnolia" in China.

The Southern magnolia is very common in China and is well-known for its beauty and medicinal properties. The dried bark and flower bud are used in a type of traditional Chinese medicine called guangyulan, which is believed to cure colds, headaches and a stuffy nose.

(All images via VCG.)

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