Magnolia spp. – Magnolia

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Magnolia (Magnolia spp.) is one of the first blossoms to appear in the spring. The flowers bloom for 1-3 weeks before the leaves appear.
Magnolia is a genus of over 200 flowering plant species. Although some species are native to eastern North America and South America, most species are native to Asia.
Magnolia can be evergreen or deciduous trees or shrubs. They are often used as ornamental plants in yards and parks.
Magnolia flowers are edible. Flowers are best tasting when they are buds or just opening. They get bitter with age. Magnolia petals can have notes of ginger, cardamom, or bitter citrus. Flavor varies depending on the species. There are no known poisonous species of magnolia.
Petals can be added raw to salads or dried for tea. Flowers can be pickled or cooked as a tempura. They can even be turned into a simple syrup for use in cocktails!

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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