Magnolia × soulangeana (saucer magnolia) is a hybrid plant in the genus Magnolia and family Magnoliaceae. It is a deciduous tree with large, early-blooming flowers in various shades of white, pink, and purple. It is one of the most commonly used magnolias in horticulture, being widely planted in the British Isles, especially in the south of England; and in the United States, especially the east and west coasts.
Magnolia × soulangeana was initially bred by French plantsman Étienne Soulange-Bodin(1774–1846), a retired cavalry officer in Napoleon‘s army, at his château de Fromont nearParis. He crossed Magnolia denudata with M. liliiflora in 1820, and was impressed with the resulting progeny’s first precocious flowering in 1826.
From France, the hybrid quickly entered cultivation in England and other parts of Europe, and also North America. Since then, plant breeders in many countries have continued to develop this magnolia, and over a hundred named horticultural varieties (cultivars) are now known. Wikipedia