Magnolia × soulangeana (Saucer magnolia)
Cultivar: Magnolia x soulangiana
Common Name: Saucer magnolia
Magnolia × soulangeana was initially bred by French plants man Étienne Soulange-Bodin (1774–1846), a retired cavalry officer in Napoleon's army, at his château de Fromont near Paris. He crossed Magnolia denudata with M. liliiflora in 1820, and was impressed with the resulting progeny's first precocious flowering in 1826. Since then, plant breeders in many countries have continued to develop this magnolia, and over a hundred named horticultural varieties (cultivars) are now known.
It is a large shrub or tree (height 10m) which blooming precociously in spring. The leaves are broad-ovate to obovate to broad-oblong, simple, alternate, entire, pinnately veined, margins entire are on stout stems.
Its flowers emerge on a bare tree in early spring, with the deciduous leaves expanding shortly thereafter, lasting through summer until autumn. The flowers which are commonly 10–20 cm wide are open and bell-shaped, purplish or rose-colored outside, white within.
The fruits are aggregated on a cone-like gynophore; each follicle is dehiscent (opening on maturity in order for it to release its contents).
Photographed at Te Kainga Marire Gardens ,Spencer Place, New Plymouth. Spring