A native of southwest China and it is a beauty! It is a deciduous shrub, not a tree, to 4m tall (smaller than most other Magnolias), and is compact enough to fit attractively into small yards and landscaping. It blooms profusely in early spring with fragrant large pink to purple showy flowers, before the leaf buds open. The blossoms will continue throughout the season and some may appear in the summer.
Magnolias are shallow-rooted plants and one of the surest ways to slow the growth process or even kill a new specimen is to plant it too deeply. The root collar should be above the soil and the shoulders of the main roots at or just barely below the soil surface. Avoid disturbing the roots after planting.
It is also drought tolerant provided the roots have had a chance to firmly anchor themselves. It should be planted in full sun if possible and protected from strong winds. You should not need to do much pruning for this species or for Magnolia trees and shrubs in general.
If you find that some trimming is in order (i.e. you have wood that has become dead, damaged, or diseased), you should make your cuts right after the shrub has finished blooming. Germination can take many months and some report up to a year, so patience is much needed but well worth the wait.
USDA Zones 6 - 9. Magnolia liliiflora has been known to survive winter temperatures as low as -4°F (-10°C). Some of the cultivars and hybrids are hardy to zone 5.