I had no idea that magnolia trees bore fruit as I’d never seen one before. But sure enough they do!
Here’s a description from the U.S. National Arboretum:
Although it may look like a cone, it is actually an aggregate fruit that is woody. This flowering structure has changed little over millions of years. Magnolias are some of the most primitive of all flowering plants, but the seeds are enclosed in the fruit during their development, and therefore they must be classified as angiosperms, not as gymnosperms-the group to which conifers belong. As the fruit matures, scale-like areas on it split apart and the seeds, covered in a red fleshy aril, are exposed as they are in gymnosperms.
Apparently migrating songbirds love them as they are high in fat so I’ll leave them there and see what comes of them. It is tempting to try to grow a tree from seed though!
Anyhow, here are a couple of photos…