Ann Magnolia (Magnolia x 'Ann')
This delightful small tree is a sister to Betty, Jane, Judy, Pinkie, Randy, Ricki and Susan. They were all developed in the 1950s by the U.S. National Arboretum and are collectively as "The Girls" or the "Little Girl" group [source: U.S. National Arboretum].
These small magnolia trees provide a spectacular floral showing in spring, two weeks later than other magnolias, which means less chance of frost damage. The large purple-red flowers of the Ann magnolia resemble tulips, and the leaves are dark and leathery and survive well in drought or heat. This tree is hardy and will tolerate shade. But for the maximum in flowering, give it full sun. For variety, Ann's sisters flower in shades of pink, red and purple.
If you like a bunch of flowers on a tree, the next page describes one option for getting that in your yard.