Texture evolution and microstructure development of hot extruded pure magnesium and the magnesium alloy AZ31 deformed by plane strain deformation at select temperatures and strain rates were investigated using X-ray techniques, electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) and optical microscopy. At a deformation temperature of 200 °C both materials showed a heterogeneous microstructure consisting of highly deformed zones appearing as huge grains or bands and of very small (~ 3 μm) grains. High temperature deformation (400 °C) gave rise to completely different microstructures. Changing of deformation conditions, i.e. the temperature and strain rate resulted in different final textures. At high deformation temperature and low strain rate the formation of a basal texture was suppressed.