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What Are Those Bumps on My Star Magnolia? Are They Seed Pods?

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Before the orange seeds start to burst out, a star magnolia pod just looks like a

Before the orange seeds start to burst out, a star magnolia pod just looks like a "bump."

David Beaulieu
Question: What Are Those Bumps on My Star Magnolia? Are They Seed Pods?
Wonder what all those light green bumpy growths are that show up on your star magnolia tree in late summer...?
Answer:

They might look like mere bumps -- weird growths that may cause a novice to think that a star magnolia tree has a problem -- but they're actually star magnolia seed pods.

In the picture, taken in September in my zone 5 landscape, the orange seeds have already begun to burst out, helping us to identify the "bump" as a seed pod. But as long as the star magnolia seeds remained inside, the pod appeared to be little more than a curious amorphous mass.

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