Magnolia Flower Meaning & Symbolism (Endurance & Love)

Magnolias symbolize endurance, beauty, diversity, and forbidden love. The flowers have a soft, soothing color reflecting gentleness and femininity.

Magnolia Flower Meaning & Symbolism

The magnolia flower has quite a fascinating history. The term magnolia itself means “interesting and intriguing”, and the flower was very commonly shared among forbidden lovers in Victorian England.

With their distinct, unusual fragrance, magnolias are a common sight in decorative gardens and placed in vases around magnificent houses.

General Magnolia Flower Meanings

Below is some general meaning of magnolia flowers. However, the different colored magnolias have their own symbolism, so make sure you scroll down to the color meanings section to see the symbolism of each colored magnolia.

1. Endurance and Longevity

Magnolia Flower

The magnolia represents endurance, longevity, and a fruitful life. Magnolias have survived different geological conditions for a very long time.

It’s an old flower that can be dated back millions of years. The flower species’ longevity is the reason for its spiritual association with endurance.

The magnolia is also not a delicate flower. It’s tough, strong, and can withstand temperamental weather changes. The magnolia tree itself can adapt to changing climate conditions too.

2. Beauty

Magnolia Flower

The magnolia also symbolizes beauty and magnificence.

Magnolias bloom with confidence. When in full bloom, they command your attention. They are large and the trees dominate the space. The subtle yet appealing colors remind people of beauty.

On top of that, they have a distinct fragrance that emanates from their surroundings.

The combination of the soothing colors and attractive smell make them magnificent.

This is why you’ll find magnolias in numerous functions and events such as weddings and christenings.

3. Diversity

Magnolia Flower

Magnolias come in various colors, and even the fragrance of these flowers can differ.

When the different colored flowers are planted together, it also tells us to embrace what makes us different and appreciate what makes each person stand out.

4. Forbidden Love

Magnolia Flower

Magnolias represented passion, love, and romance in Victorian times.

Back when romance between two people was so often forbidden due to social conventions, the lovers would quietly send magnolias to one another as a sign of affection.

The one type of magnolia that most symbolizes love is the pink magnolia. Whereas white magnolias were more about innocence, the pink flower introduces some symbolism of love and passion into the equation.

Magnolia Color Meanings

White Magnolia Flower Meaning

White Magnolia

White magnolias are a sign of purity and innocence.

Who to give white magnolias: Give white magnolias to your daughter or brides on their wedding day.

A white magnolia if often worn in the hair of young girls. The combination of the whiteness of the flower and the innocence of the girls has reinforced this association between magnolias and innocence.

Due to their association with purity, you’ll often find white magnolias appear in wedding bouquets. This is supposed to signify the bride’s purity.

White magnolias are also often associated with the lunar (moon) goddesses Selene and Artemis. This is because the white petals are said to resemble the moon.

Purple Magnolia Flower Meaning

Purple Magnolia

Purple is a color of dignity. The purple magnolia can be sent to anyone without any unexpected undertones and connotations.

Who to give purple magnolias: You can give purple magnolias to anyone. They’re popularly used to adorn hallways, entrances, and living rooms in a house.

Purple magnolias can have quite a gentle look about them because the purple is often tinged with whites, and the purple often fades to white toward the base of the petals.

Many people will choose to place purple flowers at the entrance of their homes to give a sense of decorum and elegance to the house.

Pink Magnolia Flower Meaning

Pink Magnolia

Pink magnolias symbolize romance, love, and femininity.

Who to give pink magnolias: Give pink magnolias to your lover.

The pink magnolia was the flower of choice for men when sending flowers to their forbidden lovers in Victorian times.

The color pink itself is a color of romance. If you want to give magnolia flowers to your lover, then the pink magnolia is an excellent choice.

Yellow Magnolia Flower Meaning

Yellow Magnolia

Yellow magnolia flowers are a sign of happiness.

Who to give yellow magnolias: Give yellow magnolias at times of celebration, such as for a happy anniversary or an engagement party.

The color yellow itself is the color happiness. But combining the yellow color with the beautiful flower reinforces this happiness association.

This is one reason why yellow flowers are often displayed at weddings or given to people on their engagement.

The Symbolism of Magnolia Trees

The Magnolia tree symbolizes prosperity through patience. Many believed that economic stability will come with the growth of a magnolia tree that you have planted.

Plant a magnolia tree in your backyard on the day you move into your first home. Tend to the tree and watch it grow. As the tree grows, so too could your relationship and your personal wealth.

The tree will take many years to fully grow and for the trunk to fatten out and age. The symbolism here is that those who are patient in life will reap the rewards of their patience.


While each colored magnolia flower has its own symbolism, the flower generally has been used for centuries as a sign of love, endurance, and beauty. Planting a magnolia tree and watching it grow will bring you like, while giving magnolia flowers to someone else can be a lovely gesture of affection. It is, overall, a versatile flower that can be given to people on a range of occasions and celebrations.

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