|Magnolia tree at the Vatican Gardens|
The southern magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora, is a large evergreen tree that grows from zone 6A to 9(10). It has large 6-12 inch creamy white flowers that peak in spring, with some sporadically blooming until frost. Due to it's large leaves and large blooms that drop and can be messy, many argue its worth in the landscape. The Padova Botanical Garden claims to have one of the oldest magnolia species in Italy. One of the specimens dates back to 1786 and very well may be the first introduced into the country. Others within the garden date back to the early 1800s. These majestic trees are grown both in private gardens and public parks.