Magnolia liliiflora

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Mulan magnolia
A Magnolia liliiflora flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Subgenus: M. subg. Yulania
Section: M. sect. Yulania subsect. Yulania
Species: M. liliiflora
Binomial name
Magnolia liliiflora
Desr.

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). The name Yulania liliiflora is a synonym.

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.

This species is one of the parents of the very popular hybrid Saucer magnolia, M. x soulangeana, the other parent being the Yulan magnolia, M. denudata.

Magnolia liliiflora blooming: a series of photographs taken one per day in the Spring of 2006 in Gainesville, Florida
The Saucer magnolia (Magnolia × soulangeana is a hybrid of which Magnolia liliiflora is one of the parents
Part of a Mulan tree in flower

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • eFloras, Missouri Botanical Garden & Harvard University Herbaria (FOC Vol. 7 Page 51, 71, 75, 77), Magnolia liliiflora, retrieved 2009