Description from Flora of China
Trees, to 30 m tall but usually shorter when cultivated. Bark pale brown to gray, thinly scaly fissured. Twigs, vegetative buds, petioles, and leaf blade abaxial surfaces densely brown to grayish brown shortly tomentose but abaxial surface of young leaf blades glabrous. Twigs thick and strong. Petiole 1.5-4 cm, deeply furrowed, without a stipular scar; leaf blade elliptic, oblong-elliptic, or obovate-oblong, 10-20 × 4-7(-10) cm, thickly leathery, adaxially deep green and glossy, secondary veins 8-10 on each side of midvein, base cuneate, apex obtuse to shortly mucronate. Flowers 15-20 cm in diam., fragrant. Tepals 9-12, white, obovate, 6-10 × 5-7 cm, thickly fleshy. Stamens ca. 2 cm; filaments purple, flat; connective exserted and forming a mucro; anthers introrse. Gynoecium ellipsoid, densely long tomentose; carpels ovoid, 1-1.5 cm; styles reclinate. Fruit terete to ovoid, 7-10 × 4-5 cm, densely brown to pale grayish yellow tomentose; mature carpels abaxially rounded, dehiscing along dorsal sutures, apex long beaked. Seeds ovoid, ca. 1.4 × 0.6 cm; testa red. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Sep-Oct. 2n = 114.
This species is widely cultivated as an ornamental and for timber.
Cultivated in provinces south of Chang Jiang [native to SE North America].