Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

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Common Name(s): Southern Magnolia

Scientific Name: Magnolia grandiflora

Distribution: Southeastern United States

Tree Size: 50-80 ft (15-24 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 35 lbs/ft3 (560 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .46, .56

Janka Hardness: 1,020 lbf (4,540 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 11,200 lbf/in2 (77.2 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,400,000 lbf/in2 (9.66 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 5,460 lbf/in2 (37.7 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.4%, Tangential: 6.6%, Volumetric: 12.3%, T/R Ratio: 1.2

Color/Appearance: Very wide sapwood is a creamy white to grayish color. Comparatively narrow heartwood color ranges from a medium to dark brown, sometimes with green, purple or black streaks.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a medium to fine uniform texture. Moderate natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; small to medium pores in no specific arrangement, numerous; solitary and in radial multiples of 4 or more; growth rings distinct; narrow rays visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma marginal.

Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, and also susceptible to insect attack.

Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, species in the Magnolia genus have been reported to cause asthma-like symptoms and runny nose. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Readily available within its natural range, though difficult to find elsewhere. Prices should be low for a domestic hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, interior trim, upholstered  furniture frames, and general utility wood.

Comments: Southern Magnolia is the hardest and heaviest of the three primary magnolia species that are commercially harvested in the United States.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

None available.

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Mike Leigher for providing the wood sample of this wood species.

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Southern Magnolia (sanded)

Southern Magnolia (sealed)
Southern Magnolia (sealed)

Southern Magnolia (endgrain)
Southern Magnolia (endgrain)

Southern Magnolia (endgrain 10x)
Southern Magnolia (endgrain 10x)

Southern Magnolia (with heartwood)
Southern Magnolia (with heartwood)
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Is this magnolia wood? I just cut it on the mill and it seems to have stained my hands. There were some magnolia leaves near where I found the logs. There were other logs nearby too but anyways…


Down the road a mile, a new home owner just chunked a M. grandiflora into firewood. It had a trunk large enough to mill……sad

Rickie brooks

I have some magnolia on my walls and I want to protect them from finger prints but I want to keep the look with no shine or no change of color

Brandon Goodman

beautiful wood. Any advantages to use as a ceiling veneer in a performance stage clamshell?