Magnolia (color)

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A Magnolia Flower.
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #F4E9D8
sRGBB  (rgb) (244, 233, 216)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (0, 5, 25, 0)
HSV       (h, s, v) (82°, 10%, 93%)
Source British Standard 08B1
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Magnolia is a colour named after the flowering plant of the genus Magnolia. As magnolias have flowers of more than one colour, mainly cream or pale purple, magnolia may refer to different colours in different countries.

An early use of magnolia as a colour name in English was in 1880, describing it as a "tint of cream-color".[1] In the UK, magnolia is a creamy colour defined by British Standard BS 08B15, with the sRGB value (244, 233, 216) and CMYK (Coated) value (0, 5, 25, 0).[2] Although the interiors of houses in the UK have commonly been painted in pale "stone colours" since the 18th century, the use of the name "magnolia" only dates from the 1950s.[3]

The Australian Standard AS 2700 definition of magnolia is noticeably more saturated than the British Standard one although its hue and luminosity are nearly the same: sRGB(240,223,196), HSV(79,16,90)[4]

An alternative definition of the colour was published in America in 1925. Maerz and Paul's A Dictionary of Color depicts three shades which are described as magnolia: [5] However magnolia does not appear to be in common use as a colour name in the USA: the UK English Cambridge Dictionary entry for magnolia defines it both as "a type of tree with large, usually white or pink flowers" and "a pale cream colour", but its US English entry refers only to the tree.[6]

Magnolia in human culture[edit]

Real Estate

  • In the UK, Magnolia paint is a neutral to warm cream, noted as being the 'standard' colour of household paint, other than white.[7] It is a ubiquitous colour which is available in most types of paint.[8]
  • In Sleeping Murder Agatha Christie has her main character, who is a newcomer to England, the New Zealander Gwenda Reed, lament the use of this colour as she views houses for sale: "It was in quite good condition, but why were people like Mrs. Hengrave so fond of that mustard-cum-biscuit shade of wall paint?"[9]


  1. ^ "The Thomaston Express" (1). Thomaston, CT. 2 April 1880. p. 1, col 7, line 24. Retrieved 24 May 2016. Magnolia white is the name of a new tint of cream-color. 
  2. ^ Magnolia BS 08B1
  3. ^
  4. ^ Australian Standard AS 2700 reference X32 (Magnolia)
  5. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill
  6. ^ Cambridge Dictionary: Magnolia
  7. ^ Magnolia shades it (Daily Telegraph article)
  8. ^ Magnolia paints Archived 2014-04-26 at the Wayback Machine. Dulux paint range
  9. ^ Sleeping Murder (chapter 1), by Agatha Christie, publ. Collins Crime Club, 1976