Magnolia × soulangeana, also known as the saucer magnolia, is a hybrid between M. denudata and M. liliiflora. The cross was first made in 1820 by Frenchman Étienne Soulange-Bodin (1774–1846), a retired cavalry officer in Napoleon’s army, at his château de Fromont near Paris. They are quite extensively used in our area and are quite beautiful. Their flowers range from nearly pure white to fairly dark pink, almost purple. There are very similar trees with yellow flowers but these are a somewhat different hybrid, between M. acuminata and M. liliflora, and called Magnolia x brooklynensis, first made by Mrs. Evamaria Sparber at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. In any case, they are lovely flowers and bloom early, so are quite welcome after winter.