The Magnolia is a tree that is common throughout much of the United States. They are propagated as a decorative plant, and most people do not see them as edible.
The petals of the magnolia blossom can be pickled in a sweat/sour pickle recipe. A petal can then be minced or chopped and used to season various dishes. Use sparingly as the flavor is very strong. They are usually not eaten raw.
The leaves of the magnolia tree can be used as a bay leaf to flavor soups and similar dishes.
Magnolia trees prefer areas that do not have a solid hard freeze during the winter time, but are not overly fond of extreme heat and sunlight either. They do well in some parts of the south, and places like Southern California that have micro-climates. 
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