Magnolia liliiflora (Lily Magnolia)

Scientific Name

Magnolia liliiflora Desr.

Common Names

Lily Magnolia, Purple Lily Magnolia, Mulan Magnolia, Purple Magnolia, Red Magnolia, Tulip Magnolia, Jane Magnolia, Woody Orchid


Lassonia quinquepeta, Magnolia atropurpurea, Magnolia discolor, Magnolia gracilis, Magnolia obovata var. liliiflora, Magnolia plena, Magnolia polytepala, Magnolia purpurea var. liliiflora, Magnolia quinquepeta, Talauma sieboldii, Yulania japonica var. purpurea, Yulania liliiflora

Scientific Classification

Family: Magnoliaceae
Subfamily: Magnolioideae
Genus: Magnolia


Color: Pink to purplish
Bloom Time: Spring


Magnolia liliiflora is a bushy rounded deciduous shrub that grows up to 13 feet (4 m) tall with a spread about the same. The leaves are up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. The fragrant flowers are pink to purplish, goblet-shaped, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) across and produced in spring and sporadically through the summer.

Magnolia liliiflora - Lily Magnolia
Photo via


USDA hardiness zone 6a to 9b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Although different species of Magnolia can tolerate slightly different conditions. In general, they will do best with slightly acidic, moist, loose, well-draining soil. To mimic Magnolia's natural conditions, amend heavy soil with peat moss and compost. Grow best in Zones 7-10, depending on variety, with a few cultivars hardy to zone 5. Full sun to partial shade. Moist, peaty soil can help Magnolias tolerate the full sun. If you're pushing the limits of cold tolerance, avoid planting Magnolias in southern exposure since the leaves can be damaged by winter sun and flowers may open prematurely. Magnolias benefit from irrigation in the first few years, and then they are tolerant of moderate drought.

They need room to grow to their full mature size and width. While looking small when first planted, over time, they'll grow to fill up space.

Some varieties of Magnolia don't bloom until 15 years old, so be sure to choose one that fits your needs and expectations. Grafted plants (rather than seed-grown) bloom sooner. See more at How to Grow and Care for Magnolias.


Native to southwest China (in Sichuan and Yunnan), but cultivated for centuries elsewhere in China and also Japan.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars, and Hybrids


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