Here are two beauties in town, one on Lewis St. opposite the Wheelers, the other near the farmer's market.
A bit of research reveals that it's the Southern magnolia that's evergreen, with leathery leaves and the most delicious creamy saucer-shaped blooms. We some some gorgeous trees in flower at the National Arboretum last year.
I have been toying with the magnolia x loebneri 'leonard messel' that Martha Stewart recommends, for the back corner of the garden. This is one of the deciduous ones - I don't think I have the room for the Southern. But the spot I have in mind is too shady and occasionally too wet. Maybe in the front?? The dithering continues.