Magnolia liliiflora (variously known by many names, including Mulan magnolia, purple magnolia, red magnolia, lily magnolia, tulip magnolia, Jane magnolia and woody-orchid) is a small tree native to southwest China (in Sichuan and Yunnan), but cultivated for centuries elsewhere in China and also Japan. It was first introduced to English-speaking countries from cultivated Japanese origins, and is thus also sometimes called Japanese magnolia, though it is not native to Japan. It is now also planted as an ornamental in North America and Europe, though rather less often than its popular hybrid (see below).
It is a deciduous shrub, exceptionally a small tree, to 4m tall (smaller than most other magnolias), and blooms profusely in early spring with large pink to purple showy flowers, before the leaf buds open.The cultivar 'Nigra', with flowers much deeper in colour than the species, has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. This species is one of the parents of the very popular hybrid Saucer magnolia, M. × soulangeana, the other parent being the Yulan magnolia, M. denudata.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.