Just beginning to open outside our nursery office is the lovely Magnolia platypetala. Our specimen of this amazing Chinese native is now 24 years old. The fuzzy brown buds, which are beautiful in their own right, open to large, fragrant white flowers. When night temperatures drop below freezing, the petals melt, but are replaced the next day by more opening flowers.
Taxonomically, it’s often listed as a subspecies of Magnolia maudiae as well as Magnolia macclurei, but we’re sticking to it being its own species, since we grow both other species nearby.