Deciduous shrub or small tree; smaller than most magnolias; blooms profusely in early spring with large pink to purple showy flowers.

Native to southwest China, but cultivated for centuries throughout China and Japan. First introduced to English-speaking countries from cultivated Japanese origins, and is thus often called Japanese magnolia. One of the parents of the very popular hybrid, Saucer magnolia. It is now planted as an ornamental in North America, though less popular than its hybrid.