Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.Magnolia. A genus of trees and shrubs, named from Pierre Magnol, a French botanist of the seventeenth century. The species, which chiefly inhabit North America, northern India, China, Japan, and other parts of Asia, are trees much admired on account of the elegance of their flowers and foliage, and are in great request for gardens. In their native countries some of them attain great height, and have flowers ten inches across. In America the magnolias are best known in the gulf states, but some species are hardy along the Appalachian mountains, and one, Magnolia acuminata, as far north as southern Canada.