We are fortunate in the eastern United States to have many beautiful native trees. Two of my favorites are magnolias: Magnolia virginiana and Magnolia grandiflora.
I wish you could experience the scent of Magnolia virginiana flowers. Intoxicating. the tree is worth growing for that alone. It is a smaller, slower growing tree than the more commonly planted M. grandiflora. In our area the tree is semi-evergreen.
It is the type species of the genus Magnolia; as Magnolia is also the type genus of all flowering plants (magnoliophytes), this species in a sense typifies all plants. Magnolia is an ancient genus. Plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae date to 95 million years ago. (Wikipedia)
With it's huge flowers and glossy leaves, Magnolia grandiflora is spectacular. We are north of its natural range so select a cultivar that is suited to our climate. At maturity this tree can reach 90 feet or more. One of the pleasures of living in our region is to experience the beauty of a mature southern Magnolia.