In 2004, a magnolia tree displaying a rare phenotype was observed in a secondary forest at an elevation of 4908 ft (1496 m) in Wufeng County, Hubei Province, China. On further investigation in subsequent years, this tree was verified as belonging to a new species in Magnoliaceae, which was named Magnolia wufengensis (Ma et al., 2006). With the ongoing efforts of Luyi Ma, Luorong Wang, and Xin Liu, this rare phenotype has been propagated vegetatively via grafting. On July 31, 2012, the State Forestry Administration Office for the Protection of New Varieties approved the release of the new cultivar M. wufengensis Jiaohong No. 1, which is under patent protection by Beijing Forestry University (patent no. 20120073). In 2015, it was authorized as an improved variety of forest tree of Hubei Province (certificate no. S-SV-MW-012-2013). Because of the presence of only one remaining M. wufengensis individual in its natural habitat, ‘Jiaohong No. 1’ has been cultivated and introduced both to preserve the M. wufengensis germplasm and propagate it for public view.
Ma, L.Y., Wang, L.R., He, S.C., Liu, X. & Wang, X.Q. 2006 A new species of Magnolia (Magnoliaceae) from Hubei, China Bul. Bot. Res. 26 4 7