Learn about the origin of America’s largest-flowered plant
A significant moment in history for the city of Stanley, located northwest of Charlotte, was the discovery of a wild magnolia tree by French botanist Andre Michaux. The French Government sent the botanist to document plants and trees in America and send back samples to France for planting in the Royal Gardens. While traveling through Stanley on his way from the North Carolina mountains to South Carolina in 1796, he discovered the Bigleaf Magnolia tree, which has the largest single flower of any native plant in the nation, displaying leaves over three feet long and one foot wide. Its descendants still thrive in Stanley to this day. The discovery is commemorated in a display at Brevard Station Museum, which also displays collections of railroad memorabilia, sports memorabilia, military artifacts and genealogy and family history research.
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