'Susan' is a cross between M. liliiflora 'Nigra' and M. stellata 'Rosea'. It is part of the Little Girl series ('Ann', 'Betty', 'Jane', 'Judy', 'Pinkie', 'Randy', 'Ricki' and 'Susan') of hybrid magnolias that were developed at the National Arboretum in the mid-1950s by Francis DeVos and William Kosar. Plants in this series flower about 2-4 weeks later than M. stellata and M. × soulangiana, thus reducing the risk of damage to flowers from late spring frosts. 'Susan' is primarily noted for its compact shrubby habit, slightly fragrant, fuchsia flowers and late bloom (mid-April to early May). It is a slow-growing, deciduous shrub or small tree that typically rises overtime to 8-12' tall with an equal spread. Goblet-shaped flowers, each with 6 slightly twisted tepals, bloom shortly before the foliage begins to appear. Flowers (to 5" wide) are purple-red or fuchsia, with paler tones inside. Flowers may sporadically repeat bloom in mid-summer. Ovate medium green leaves (to 6" long). Leaves turn yellow-bronze in fall.