Description from Flora of China
Magnolia insignis Wallich, Tent. Fl. Napal. 3. 1824; M. insignis var. angustifolia (J. D. Hooker & Thomson) H. J. Chowdhery & P. Daniel; M. insignis var. latifolia (J. D. Hooker & Thomson) H. J. Chowdhery & P. Daniel; M. shangpaensis Hu; Manglietia insignis var. angustifolia J. D. Hooker & Thomson; M. insignis var. latifolia J. D. Hooker & Thomson; M. maguanica Hung T. Chang & B. L. Chen; M. rufisyncarpa Y. W. Law et al.; M. yunnanensis Hu.
Trees, to 30 m tall, to 20 cm d.b.h. Twigs glabrous or nodes ferruginous to yellowish brown pubescent when young. Stipular scar 0.5-1.2 cm. Petiole 1.8-3.5 cm; leaf blade narrowly ovate or elliptic, 10-26 × 4-10 cm, leathery, adaxially glabrous, midvein abaxially reddish brown pubescent or scattered appressed hispidulous, basal ca. 2/3 tapered to base, apex acuminate to caudate-acuminate. Brachyblasts thick and strong, 8-10 mm in diam.; bract scar 1, ca. 1 cm basal to tepals. Flowers fragrant. Tepals 9-12; outer 3 tepals abaxially brown and adaxially reddish to purplish red, obovate-oblong, ca. 7 cm, curved outward; middle and inner tepals milky whitish pink, obovate-spatulate, 5-7 cm, erect, basal ca. 1/4 tapered and clawed. Stamens 1-1.8 cm; filaments nearly as long as exserted part of connective; connective exserted and forming a triangular mucro; thecae slightly distinct. Gynoecium terete, 5-6 cm; carpels glabrous, abaxially shallowly furrowed. Fruit purplish red when fresh, ovoid-ellipsoid, 7-12 cm; mature carpels tuberculate, completely dehiscing along dorsal sutures. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Aug-Sep. 2n = 38.
Manglietia carimina Y. W. Law & R. Z. Zhou, M. laojunia Y. W. Law & R. Z. Zhou, M. malipoensis S. C. Yang & Y. W. Law, M. miechangensis Y. W. Law & D. X. Li, M. nucifera D. X. Li & R. Z. Zhou, M. paruicula Y. W. Law & R. Z. Zhou, M. tengchongensis S. C. Yang & Y. W. Law, and M. zhengkangensis R. Z. Zhou & D. X. Li (in Y. H. Liu, Magnolias China, 126, 158, 166, 173, 176, 184, 196, 204. 2004) belong here but were not validly published because no Latin descriptions or diagnoses were provided and no types were indicated (Vienna Code, Art. 36.1 and 37.1).
This species is grown as an ornamental and used for timber.
Evergreen broad-leaved forests; 900-1200 m. Guangxi, Guizhou, SW Hunan, SW Sichuan, SE Xizang, Yunnan [NE India, N Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand].