April 2018, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman
Magnolia × soulangeana
Also called ‘Chinese Magnolia’ or ‘Tulip Tree’, this tree or shrub produces large, showy and often fragrant flowers in springtime. It is one of the most commonly planted magnolias planted in the British Isles. It is a hybrid between Magnolia denudata and Magnolia liliiflora. It can be a large shrub or a small tree, and it produces large upright flowers 10-20cm across. They are coloured various shades of white, pink and purple, and are produced in mid-spring. The leaves are dark green, ovate and pointed at the tip.
Widely cultivated and planted as a street tree, or planted in parks and gardens as a specimen tree.
This magnolia was bred in 1820 in France by Étienne Soulange-Bodin, and was soon introduced to England where it has been widely planted, as it has been since throughout the rest of Britain.
Photographs taken March 2014, seen from rear garden, Staffordshire.