Magnolia (Family Magnoliaceae)
The Magnoliaceae, or Magnolia Family, is a flowering plant family in the
order Magnoliales. The family has approximately 225 species in 7 genera.
The family ranges across eastern North America, Mexico and Central
America, the West Indies, tropical South America, southern and eastern
India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malesia, China, Japan, and Korea.
As a whole, Magnoliaceae is not an economically significant family. With
the exception of a great deal of ornamental cultivation, the economic
significance of Magnolias is generally confined to the use of wood from
certain timber species and the use of bark and flowers from several spe-
cies believed to possess medicinal qualities. Recently, magnolia bark has
become incorporated into alternative medicine in the west where tablets
made from the bark of Magnolia officinalis have been marketed as an aid
for anxiety, allergies, asthma, and weight-loss. Preliminary studies have
suggested that compounds found in magnolia bark might have antibacter-
ial and antifungal properties.
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