It is native to North America, introduced to Europe from 1688. Its name honors the French botanist Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), director of the Botanical Garden of Montpellier. Its specific name grandiflora refers to the considerable size of their flowers what makes this tree one of the most ornamental in European parks and gardens. In Sevilla the magnolias are well represented, highlighting in the center of the city the specimen planted near the Cathedral, survivor of the removing of trees that suffered the Constitution Avenue on his redevelopment. The oldest, however, are those of the Garden of Dance of the Real Alcázar.
From the mid-nineteenth century, while the Dukes of Montpensier settled in Seville, in the gardens of Real Alcázar the gradual introduction of exotic trees and shrubs started such as magnolia, that arrived in town earlier while it was port and door of the Indies. The entry of alien species in the era of Montpensier is a question to consider, because the way these species arrive in the city is different from when Sevilla had a monopoly of trade with the West Indies: the Dukes live alternately in Sevilla and Paris, the last capital of culture in nineteenth-century Europe, where floral species around the globe also arrived. Paris marked the fashion and Montpensier knew it. The Montpensier, the noble French family of Orleans, established in Seville a small court. And a court with French taste needs gardens.