I’ve never seen this bizarro tree on the east coast, or in the midwest.

They are all over LA, though, and I’ve seen a couple in downtown SF.

The tree produces a fuzzy cone of some sort. The majority of these furry cone-blobs drop off the tree and dry up on the ground. Occasionally, the furry cone-blobs stay on the tree, and these blistery-looking berry-thingies pop out.

What is happening? Are these poisonous, or just icky-looking?

* All the language I’ve used above is advanced Latin botany terminology. 

11 thoughts on “What is this?

  1. This is a magnolia tree. They’re very common in North Carolina, where I grew up. I once fell out of the top of one but thankfully was slowed on my descent by the many thin branches, and I landed astride a stout low branch, which I will confess was not the most pleasant of endings — if a more pleasant ending than other possibilities.

    The best part of these trees is that you can play war with the seed pods. First, you snap the pod from its branch (or pick one up from the ground). It will still have a bit of a stalk, which you then snap from the pod as if pulling the pin from a grenade. Finally, you launch the pod (quickly — you have only a few seconds!) at one of your friends. It doesn’t feel great to be hit by one, but it sure feels great to throw one, and besides, war is hell.

    1. You’re kidding me?! I thought magnolia trees were delicate. Amazing. When do they bloom?

      I will take your advice and throw pods at my husband this week. That was your advice, right?

  2. It’s a magnalia tree. Pops have one and the limb are about as big as the trunk. They give a lot of shad and a lot of leaves though the year, but they are evergreen. We have them all over shoutheast Ga.And thank you for your comment, it help out a lot fkirton66.

  3. Icky is in the eye of the beholder I believe. I don’t recognize it as a magnolia but it looks similar to one at least. They are all over the south. I like them.

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