Magnolia macrophylla ssp. macrophylla
Epithet: big leaf
A deciduous magnolia native to SE USA.
Small to medium sized tree to 15m, varying from single erect to mulit-stemmed spreading crown.
Flowers: initially cup-shaped and then relexing to 30-45cm wide, six fleshy tepals, creamy white, often with purple spotting towards centre, 3 outer tepals greenish and smaller than the inner ones, fragrant; fruit conelike, up to 7.5cm long, reddish pink fading to pale brown.
Mid-June to July in UK, May in USA.
Leaves: oblong-obovate, 100 x 45cm, the largest of all magnolias, rather flimsy appearance, green above and silvery chalky white below.
This tree will succeed in sites that closely mimic its natural habitat and where it is protected from strong wind which can tatter its large foliage. It can be grown farther north than its southernly range suggests.