The Giant Magnolias with flowers larger than a dinner plate are native to the South. A previous director of the Cornell Plantations started a seed from a tree that was growing in the South at a high elevation. About 50 years later, it is a huge tree in a micro environment in the gardens, protected by both the stone building next to it and a hill produced from glacial deposits on the other side. The flowers are in bloom right now and are magnificent! Although the top of the tree was hit by the late frost, the flowers are still blooming.