Ecological Value: This is a magnificent tree for planting as a specimen in the South in large areas, but can also be planted in small residential or commercial sites. It needs plenty of space to grow. Lower branches can be pruned out to appear more tree-like. Nothing will grow underneath the tree, and it requires a mulch to prevent erosion problems. Giant flowers are borne in the summer months and are extremely ornamental. Fruits are used as dried centerpieces intermixed with gymnosperm branches. It prefers rich soil with partial shade. It tolerates high moisture levels but is intolerant to overly wet or swampy soils and prolonged flooding. It is native to the bottomlands and moist wooded areas in the central and southeastern coastal plains from North Carolina to Florida and Texas. Its presence in natural stands is evidence of better drained alluvial terraces. It is regarded as pest and disease-free and is widely planted as an ornamental or landscape tree across the southeast.