The Reverse side combines two elegant magnolias with the inscription “The Magnolia State.” The magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), named for the French botanist Pierre Magnol, is strongly associated with the South, where the popular flower was introduced from Asia. This association helped Mississippi to adopt it as the state flower in 1952.
In 1900, when Mississippi schoolchildren were asked to vote for a state flower, they chose the magnolia over cape jasmine, yellow jasmine, cotton, and others. The selection remained unofficial, however, until February 26, 1952, when the Mississippi legislature finally adopted the magnolia as the state flower, opposed by only one vote. A similar election for state tree in 1935 gave the magnolia a landslide victory, made official on April 1, 1938.