This widely planted ornamental tree is a hybrid of two Chinese magnolias, the Yulan Magnolia and the Lily Magnolia. The Saucer Magnolia is smaller than our native Cucumbertree, also a magnolia. The bark is smooth and light gray. This tree grows well in humid temperate regions. It likes rich, moist, but not wet soil. The Saucer Magnolia originated by chance in 1820, as an accidental seedling in a French garden. The person who described this hybrid gave it its specific scientific name, soulangiana, in honor of the nurseryman, Étienne Soulange-Bodin, in whose garden the tree was found. Because of its colorful and conspicuous flowers, landscape designers use this tree widely as an ornamental.