Deciduous Magnolias are spectacular at the end of winter when the flowers appear before the leaves. This behavior is known as hysteranthous, and its purpose is thought to attract more insects for pollination by mass flowering.
The other theory is that the buds have lower temp requirements, so they can emerge sooner than the leaves.
Either way, they are stunning and make the most spectacular specimen trees. They are highly symmetrical and come in a range of sizes and colours, although it is only the outside petals that are coloured, the inside ones are always white.
If you want to get the best out of your tree here are a few hints: