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Common Name

Yulan magnolia

Scientific Name

Magnolia denudata  Desr. (Magnoliaceae, Magnoliales)

Inventory Numbers: 502

Yulan magnolia (Magnolia heptapeta) is a small to medium deciduous tree. Leaves are arranged in opposite pairs. Flowers are ivory-white and bloom between March and May. Native to Eastern China, Yulan magnolia was introduced to the West in 1789. Most species are grafted, so most specimens are a clone. The Yulan magnolia is uncommon.Genus name honors Pierre Magnol, French botanist (1638 – 1715); the specific epithet means “bare” or “naked” as the tree flowers before the leaves emerge.

Specimen Provenance:

Common name: Yulan Magnolia, Lily Tree

Species Origin: Eastern and Southern China

New Jersey Status: USDA Unreported

Habit: 30 – 40’ tall with a similar spread. This is a small rounded pyramidal shaped tree.

Habiat: Zone 6 -9.


Leaves: Deciduous, Simple, Alternate. Obovate to obovate-oblong, 4 -6” longa2 -3 “ wide. Acuminate at tip and tapering at base; margins entire; blade dark gren with little hair on the surface; beneath color is light green with minute pubescence chiefly on veins. Petiole 1” long.

Flowers: Perfect. Flowers have 9 tepals white to ivory, fragrant 5- 6” across; goblet-shaped initially but spreading with time. Blooms in March.

Fruits and seeds: 4 -6” long cylindrical aggregates of follicles that turn rose red with maturity. Pods release red-coated seeds suspended on slender threads at maturity.