As the name suggests Colossus is a vigorous fast-growing Magnolia, featuring large pure white rose-like nodding flowers, with characteristically thick petals and red centres.
Most Magnolias flower quite early in the spring, but Colossus is an unusual summer-flowering variety, flowering over a long period from May to July.
The flowers are also strongly scented.
In the autumn Colossus will often produce strange brown fruits with bright red seeds.
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Colossus was developed in the 1980s by August Kehr, one of the world's leading Magnolia breeders. One of his particular interests was polyploidy. Whereas most humans, and many plants are diploid - they have two sets of chromosomes - some plants have multiple sets. This characteristic often expresses itself in extra vigour, better disease resistance, larger thicker flowers and so on. One of the parents of Colossus is Genesis, a polyploid Magnolia also developed by Kehr.