As I posted earlier the magnolia begins to flower before any leaves appear. Then follows a steady transition as petals fall and the leave begin to appear. Gradually the leaves take over as a wave of green steadily sweeps across the tree.
The seed pods resemble a pine cone after a squirrel has made a meal of the seeds.
Each green 'bud' is a potential seed case. I say potential as I don't think our tree will produce seeds - I've never noticed any forming before but I will be watching closely this year. Each of the green seed cases start off with a brown curled tail that gradually withers. Maybe this is the remains of the pistil.
The leaves are the fresh vibrant green of new leaves.They are also soft and thin allowing light to pass through.
As the leaves absorb sunlight they become a stronger shade of green. I think this is because of a build up of chlorophyll - the pigment that causes leaves to be green. (I say think as I can't find any information to confirm this). The flimsier leaves allows sunlight to reach the leaves lower down the tree.