This is our Magnolia flower!
We introduce to you: our very own Magnolia. This symbol is based on the flower of our very own Magnolia Grandiflora “Purpan”. How gorgeous is this flower? They grow on a big tree which is one of the first things you see on campus as you walk uphill towards the castle.
An open flower, turned towards the sky, strong and stable. The vegetal shape is protective, hiding at its core… a treasure. Are these seeds of change? Are these precious pearls? Is it grapes? Or is it caviar? We will let you imagine what you want!
Its petals form a balanced shape similar to a lotus flower, a famous symbol in Buddhist culture of growth, regenaration and transformation. It also looks a bit like the infinity symbol used as the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 “Responsible Consomption and Production”. It symbolizes the new balance we want to create.
The story of the Magnolia “Purpan”
Sitting on top of the hill, above the city of Toulouse, our Magnolia Grandiflora is 24 meters high and majestic. It is actually hard to believe this is only one tree! It has several trunks and the foliage covers 1000 square meters. Its flowers reach 25cm and blossom in summer. They’re very sturdy and delicately curled.
Magnolia is a very ancient genus, but it is not native to France. Its main center is Asia, with a secondary center in America. It was named after Pierre Magnol, a French botanist who worked on natural classification, by one of his students, Charles Plumier, refering to a tree in Martinique (French Carribeans). Our Magnolia probably came from the Americas, maybe through Nantes, the port city.
It was planted in front of the castle between 1735 and 1780, by the Du Barry sisters who were related to the Countess Du Barry, a favorite of King Louis XV. L’Ecole d’Ingénieur de PURPAN is a century old, but the Magnolia is more than 250 years old! It is said to be one of the largest in Europe.
The Magnolia symbolism
The Magnolia tree is a symbol of magnificence because of its size, its perseverance and generous blossom. The flower itself is often associated with nobility and dignity. In ancient Asia, magnolias stood for “Yin” energy, womanly beauty and gentleness. As many white flowers it is also used as an image of purity, and is widely found as wedding decoration across cultures.
We are priviledged to choose the Magnolia Grandiflora “Purpan” flower as our emblem for the Future French Luxury program. A plant well traveled, with roots all around the world, touching different cultures as we wish to be. It is strong and resilient as brands need to be to face our ever changing economy and climate crisis. It stands for purity, cleaner productions, respect for life in its many forms, and dignity for creators and workers.