This happened to me last week, while on holiday in Cornwall (of which much more later). The plant in question was a Michelia doltsopa in Caerhays - a fabulous garden, with a National Collection of magnolias and their close relatives, which include the Michelia family.
Now, I discovered while doing a bit of research for a recent article that this not-very-commonly-grown tree is causing some excitement in magnolia-growing circles (not very mainstream, admittedly) - since one of its close relatives (M. yunnanensis) in the process of being recategorised as a magnolia. Well - all I can say is, you might think magnolias are spectacular - but cop a load of this.
(my eight-year-old doesn't much like having her photo taken)... and every single one of those millions of flowers looked something like this:
You could walk right inside the tree, and in the centre, too, this was a magical, architectural, unforgettable plant:
And as if all that wasn't enough, the whole thing was scented - a rich, musky, sultry scent that went right to your head. Magnolia fans - eat your hearts out.