Magnolia ashei (Ashe magnolia), a spectacular large-leafed deciduous magnolia native to just a handful of counties in Florida, has been named the 2017 Plant of the Year by Garden Clubs of America. An understory small tree/shrub, M. ashei produces large, very fragrant blossoms in late spring that attract pollinators. Fruit is consumed by wildlife.
The Florida Department of Agriculture has named M. ashei endangered due to its limited distribution. While not common, plants may be found in the nursery trade. Planted in the landscape, M. ashei performs best in partial shade in soils that retain some moisture in dry periods.
(In total transparency, your author is a native magnolia fan. M. ashei is my absolute favorite magnolia. Perhaps 2017 is the year my seedling will finally flower.)
March 1, 2017 NewTerrain