Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Magnolia liliiflora Desr.

Fully hardy bushy, deciduous shrub with elliptic leaves, to 20cm long and goblet-shaped, purplish-pink flowers, to 7cm across, in spring and summer.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘There is a magnificence about the plants of this genus which renders them unsuitable subjects of representation in a work the size of ours; nor would it have been in our power to have given a figure of this new and beautiful species, differing so materially from all the others in the colour of its flowers, had we not fortunately been favoured by the Countess of Coventry with a small plant of it, about a foot high, which flowered with her ladyship in town; we have since seen much larger plants with proportionate flowers.’  Reportedly first flowered in the collection of the Duke of Portland at Bulstrode.  [BM t.390/1797].  Introduced to Europe in 1790.  [PD].  ABR pl.324/1803.  

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.662/1843].


Published Mar 24, 2010 - 11:41 AM | Last updated Mar 24, 2010 - 11:46 AM

Figured are elliptic leaves and upright, vase-shaped, purple flower, white inside.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.390, 1797.

Magnolia liliiflora Desr. | BM t.390/ 1797 | BHL

Family Magnoliaceae
Region of origin

China, but probably no longer grows wild

  • Magnolia purpurea Curtis
  • Magnolia discolor Vent.
  • Magnolia obovata Willd.
Common Name

Mulan magnolia, Purple magnolia, Tulip magnolia

Name in the Camden Park Record

Magnolia purpurea 

Confidence level high