Magnolia Seeds: Are They Edible?
If you’ve got a stunning magnolia tree in your backyard, you might have wondered if the seeds of this beautiful tree are edible.
Magnolia seeds are not edible but birds and squirrels can eat them, the seeds are not poisonous but are not digestible, and they also taste very bitter.
Down below, we’ve discussed in more detail what parts of the magnolia tree you can eat, if you can eat magnolia berries and how to grow a magnolia from the seed.
What Do Magnolia Seeds Look Like?
Before we get into which part of the magnolia you can eat and some more information about the seeds, let’s start with what magnolia seeds look like so you can be sure about the seed.
Magnolia seeds have a bright red colour and are oval-shaped, 2mm long and 1mm wide. The nut meat is softer on the inside and surrounded by a hard shell.
What Part Of The Magnolia Tree Can You Eat?
Since magnolia seeds only tend to be eaten by animals and can’t be digested by humans, you might be wondering which part of the magnolia tree you can eat safely and if it has any benefits.
Magnolia flower petals can be eaten and have been used in Japan as flavouring and decor for dishes, they also do well to add sweetness to desserts.
We’ve listed some other details about eating magnolia tree’s bark and leaves below.
The bark of a magnolia tree has been said to help with rheumatism and malaria when drunk as a tea, when made as a syrup it can also help with rashes and skin problems.
To make tea with magnolia bark you need to simmer the bark with some water for around 15 minutes to make bark tea, strain then keeps it in the fridge for around three days.
As a syrup, you can boil around a tablespoon of bark with water for ten minutes, let it cool and thicken then apply it to the affected skin area.
Magnolia leaves can be used in place of bay leaves for flavouring sauces and foods, the leaves can also be used as tea leaves, for sweetbay magnolia leaves you would need to cut them into very small pieces to get the best flavour for tea.
To make this tea taste better you can also mix it with standard green tea bags.
Can I Eat Magnolia Berries?
Magnolia trees also produce berries, many people wonder if these berries are edible to eat too.
There are no studies which show these flowering plant berries are toxic, however, we would not recommend eating them since few tests have been done to test their toxicity.
Wildlife can safely eat magnolia seeds, flower petals and berries, but we would not suggest ingesting them as humans.
How To Grow Magnolia Seeds
If you want to grow your magnolia seeds at home you first need to begin harvesting them from the magnolia plants themselves once the magnolia pods bloom.
To harvest magnolia seeds at home you need to pick the red berries from the plant, remove the berries from the seeds then soak them overnight, you will then need to remove the outer coating of the magnolia seedling with a hard cloth the next day.
You then have to put the magnolia seeds in moist sand to allow them to germinate.
Read this article and learn more How Long Do Seeds Take To Sprout?
Frequently Asked Questions About Magnolia Seeds
Can you eat the leathery leaves of magnolia trees?
Magnolia leaves from the trees can be used as bay leaves in sauces or as tea leaves like green tea.
Whats the history of magnolias?
Magnolias are one of the oldest shrubs out there and date back to 95 million years ago.
Are there different species of magnolia seeds?
Yes, there are over 210 different flower species of magnolia seeds and can vary slightly in colour.
What is special about magnolia plants?
Magnolia plants symbolise lots of different things in various cultures, they are known for putting on a colorful display once they bloom.
Overall, magnolia seeds are not edible and should not be consumed, the bark and leaves of the tree however are edible in teas and as a syrup on the skin and can have great medical properties.
Some people use magnolia petals in sweet desserts chopped up for a sweet taste, you will often find this in Japanese dishes, and they are also used as decor on foods.
Find out here What Seeds Are Edible