Magnolia x soulangeana / M. liliiflora Saucer Magnolia / Lily Magnolia モクレン 木蓮 mokuren
I remember a visitor from some southern state who seemed to be a bit put off by our beautiful saucer magnolia; it was in a full bloom and absolutely beautiful with huge flowers on bare branches, but the visitor laughed somewhat dismissively: ‘nothing like OUR magnolias’. So i looked up what grows in her state and she was probably comparing our shyly putting bloom in a spring cold tree with magnolia grandiflora – a large striking evergreen tree with large dark green leaves and large white fragrant flowers. While magnolia grandiflora is native to the southeastern United States, saucer magnolia was initially bred by French, then cultivated in other parts of Europe, particularly southern England, and in the United States, especially the east and west coasts.
We have several of them in the Garden and the one pictured below is sitting in Area H, so close to the East Path that people are snapping close-ups without breaking the rule of leaving the path.
From wikipedia: […] Growing as a multistemmed large shrub or small tree, Magnolia × soulangeana has alternate, simple, shiny, dark green oval-shaped leaves on stout stems. Its flowers emerge dramatically on a bare tree in early spring, with the deciduous leaves expanding shortly thereafter, lasting through summer until autumn. […]