The lily magnolia is a large deciduous shrub that sports pink or reddish-purple blossoms in April and early May. As one of the smaller magnolias, it is popular for informal screens or hedges and as a plant grown for its spring flower display.
Lily magnolia grows to a mature height of 8 to 12 feet with a similar spread. It has a compact, rounded form and produces a massive display of lily-shaped pink or reddish-purple flowers with six or seven petals, with each petal 3 to 4 inches long. The flowers are sometimes followed by cone-shaped purple or brown fruit, called follicles. As with other magnolia species, pollination is facilitated by beetles. The shrub's dark green elliptical-shaped leaves appear as its flowers fade. Its fall foliage is not showy. Lily magnolia is most often grown as a specimen or accent plant in sunny areas. It's also good for group plantings or as an informal hedge or screen.