The Saucer Magnolia is one of the earliest signs of Spring here in the South. The trees literally burst into bloom overnight and are covered by the huge blooms. The leaves don't appear until the blooms drop off.
They don't make long lasting cut flowers but I still like to cut a few to bring inside (especially if we are having a cold snap and aren't outside to enjoy the blooms.)
A hybrid cousin of America's magnificent Southern Magnolia, the Saucer Magnolia is actually a large spreading shrub that take its name from its wide, saucer-like flowers. It was first cultivated in 1826. The fragrant, early-spring blossoms are white shaded with light to deep pink or purplish-pink. Big, broad leaves are dark green, and the smooth bark is silvery-gray. Medium- to fast-growing, good pollution tolerance. Likes moist, deep, acid soil and full sun. Grows to 20'–30'tall , 25' spread. (zones 4-9)