The Gillsburg Magnolia is the largest magnolia in “this quarter of the state,” though what that means is generally left vague. It’s also a mutant tree that produces orange instead of red seeds. It’s a minor tourist attraction, and visitors leave dead leaves from its purported “enemy,” the Natchez Maple, as an offering for good luck.

According to at least some traditions the magnolia is supposedly a harbinger of misfortune, and number of unfortunate incidents are alleged to have occurred near or around the Gillsburg Magnolia. The last person who tried to chop it down was struck by lightning in a freak storm, and it’s sometimes blamed for the 1979 Learjet crash that killed the rock band Sky Lynn and the Beats 17 miles away. Brides who use the magnolia flowers in bouquets are said to be left at the altar, though this is only known to have happened twice, one with a drunkard and once with a horse accident. Reluctant brides are known to seek the flowers out for that very reason.

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