Magnolia Flower Meaning and Symbolism of All Colors

People have found fossils of the magnolia which date back at least 100 million years, so the magnolia tree is considered to be one of the oldest flowering plants on the planet, and perhaps one of the first.

In that time, it seems they’ve barely changed at all, so not only can you enjoy the true beauty of the magnolia, but you can also grow your own piece of history, as the modern day magnolia is extremely similar to the tree that existed 100 million years ago. 

Connections between plants and history always make growing them that much more a rewarding experience. 

Magnolia trees have a lot of symbolism attached to them, and rightly so, they get a lot of attention for the glorious displays these trees put on.

Because they have a lot of different meanings, it also tells you a lot about someone as to which flower they gravitate towards, and the meaning behind it.

Read on to discover the many meanings behind the magnolia flower (see also Magnolia Care Guide). 

What does the Magnolia Flower Represent?

Magnolia trees are very long-lived, and have a strong resistance to pests and diseases. This is where the most universal symbolism of the magnolia comes from, where they represent endurance.

No matter how delicate these blooms look, they grow on one of the sturdiest trees that’s barely evolved over millions of years, because it hasn’t needed to

Magnolia flowers also hold the meaning of long life, and even eternity, as these plants can easily outlive most of those in your garden.

They’re often given as a gift to new parents, as the flowers signify grace and purity, which can also embody the traits of a newborn. 

What does Each Color of the Magnolia Flower Symbolize?

As magnolias bloom into different colors depending on the specific cultivar, they often have different meanings attached to each flower. 

What does the Pink Magnolia Represent?

Pink magnolias have been symbolic of the goddesses of love and the sun, such as Aphrodite (or Venus, depending on which mythological lens you’re looking through). 

What does the White Magnolia Symbolize?

White magnolia flowers represent the grace and enigmatic beauty of the moon, as well as lunar goddesses Artemis and Selene.

What does the Yellow Magnolia Mean?

Yellow magnolia flowers often represent the sun, and also represent deities who have connections with the sun, such as Sunna and Apollo.

What does the Purple Magnolia Signify?

Purple magnolia flowers embody history, royalty, and religion, and they’re often used in religious rituals. 

What does a Magnolia Tattoo Mean?

Magnolia tattoos broadly represent eternity, though this can also change depending on the color of the flower within the tattoo.

What does a White Magnolia Tattoo Mean?

A white magnolia within a tattoo indicates the importance of kindness, as well as spirituality, and innocence. It’s an important reminder to step away from life’s worries and try to carve some peace into the everyday.

What does a Yellow Magnolia Tattoo Symbolize?

Yellow magnolia tattoos represent the wealth of happiness created by friendship and the connections between people. 

It’s also an expression of love, thoughtfulness, and kindness. It can represent a specific person as well who brings a wealth of happiness or love into your life, which then colors the rest of your life as a more positive existence.

What does a Pink Magnolia Tattoo Suggest?

Pink magnolia tattoos have associations with strong affection which is platonic, and the idea of love itself, as opposed to the emotion being inspired by someone in particular. 

It can also represent someone in your life who provides you with a wealth of affection, or how they inspire a wealth of love in your life and to whomever you meet. 

What does a Red Magnolia Tattoo Mean?

Red magnolia tattoos symbolize desire and romance, as well as a passion for life itself. It’s also a testament to the importance of love, and the impact it can have on your life.

It can also symbolize the love of your life, or to immortalize or honor someone that you’ve had or have the privilege of loving. 

What does a Purple Magnolia Tattoo Represent?

Purple magnolia tattoos relate to spirituality, dignity, and to utilize your natural talents to improve your life and enrich it to the maximum of your potential. 

It can also represent someone in your life who is very dear to you, someone whose character is unlike anyone else you have ever met. 

They inspire you to be the best version of yourself you possibly can, and bring out the best in you, and you do the same for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Magnolia Flower Used For?

Magnolia (see also Magnolia Uses And Care Guide) flowers have been a bedrock in traditional medicine all over the world.

In modern medicine, parts of the magnolia plant are manufactured into pills or powders which are designed to help with digestion, to ease congestion in the chest, menstrual cramps or lung problems.

What does ‘Magnolia’ Mean?

The word magnolia honors a French botanist called Pierre Magnol. He lived from 1638-1715, and during his lifetime he published the categories of plant families, as we know them today, which is a pretty cool achievement. 

How long do Magnolia Flowers Live?

Depending on the weather conditions, the striking magnolia flowers can last anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks, and this plant has the peculiarity of producing flowers before the leaves.

Again, weather dependent, magnolias can produce two or even three flushes of flowers throughout the year. 

Once the leaves appear, you can also get the odd late flower peeping through the glossy leaves.

What does the Name Magnolia Mean for a Girl?

While it’s not a very common name for a girl, unlike Rose or Lily, Magnolia doesn’t get the attention it deserves as a girl’s name.

Magnolia means peace, grace, and spirituality, as well as resilience and dignity. 

What does the Magnolia Flower Mean in Feng Shui?

In the concept of Feng Shui, magnolia flowers are linked to Yin, the feminine side of life. 

It’s believed that a magnolia tree outside the front of your house can attract restful and positive energy into the home.

If a magnolia tree is planted in the backyard of your property, the tree is believed to bring a gradual wealth into your life, though this may not be monetary and could appear in other parts of your life. 


Magnolias have always been widely popular, and this shows no sign of slowing down. They have been valued for hundreds of years for their fantastic displays of color, and even fragrance, which has inspired multitudes of perfumes, cosmetics, and even paint.

The tree itself adds a fantastic sense of structure all year round to any garden, but when the flowers are produced, this display is on another level entirely. 

The symbolism behind these gorgeous blooms have also helped stoke the popularity of this tree, as the myriad of meanings leaves a wealth of possibilities behind it. 

It adds a certain je ne sais quoi to these unique flowers, a feeling that runs far deeper than something you can immediately quantify. A magnolia tree also makes an unforgettable gift that the recipient will be able to enjoy for years to come. 

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