Magnolia denudata, the lilytree or Yulan magnolia, is native to central and eastern China. It has been cultivated in Chinese Buddhist temple gardens since 600 AD. Its flowers were regarded as a symbol of purity in the Tang Dynasty.
Magnolia denudata is a rather low, rounded, thickly branched, and coarse-textured tree to 30 feet (9.1 m) tall. The leaves are ovate, bright green, 15 cm long and 8 cm wide. The bark is a coarse, dark gray. The 10–16 cm white flowers that emerge from early to late spring, while beautiful and thick with a citrus-lemon fragrance, are prone to browning if subjected to frost. Magnolia denudata is used as an ornamental tree in gardens. It is similar to other magnolias in that it likes rich, moist soil and should be planted in a location where it is protected from elemental extremes.