March 2018 Plant Profile: Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’

Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’ is a stunning spring blooming tree.  Originally thought to be a M. stellata ‘Rosea’, the ‘Jane Platt’ cultivar was first discovered in the garden of the well-respected, late plantswoman Jane Platt of Portland, Oregon.

Magnolia stellata Jane Platt

The flower has 20-30 tepals (modified petals), more than twice as many as the ‘Rosea’, and has a lighter pink shade. A winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society, the ‘Jane Platt’ is regarded to be one of the best pink-flowering magnolias in the horticultural trade. Magnolia stellata ‘Chrysanthemumiflora’ is another cultivar very similar to ‘Jane Platt’, but with slightly smaller, and less pink flowers.

magnolia stellata 'jane platt'_
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Star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) are early spring treasures, presenting a showy display of starburst flowers ranging from white to pink. Introduced to the United States in the late 1800s, these deciduous trees are native to Japan, and a wide variety of cultivars can be found at local nurseries. At one time they were classified as a variety of Magnolia kobus, but botanists now typically classify them as a unique species. At a relatively small height of 15-20 feet at maturity, and spreading 10-15 feet, these make excellent street or home garden additions in the Pacific Northwest. The genus honors the French botanist Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), and the specific epithet refers to the star shaped flowers.


Common Name: Star Magnolia ‘Jane Platt’

Location: Located in grid 28-3E (West of Arb Dr E at the top of Loderi Valley, Northern Magnolia collection). Six cultivars of M. stellata can be found throughout the Washington Park Arboretum’s living collection, including M. stellata ‘Royal Star’ in the Witt Winter Garden.

Origin: Species is native to Japan, hybrids are of garden origin

Height and Spread: 15-20’ tall, 10-15’ spread

Bloom Time: March – May, flowers can be affected by late season frost

Hardiness Zone: USDA 4-8

Pruning: Avoid heavy pruning, as it will result in excessive water sprouts. Prune only lightly as needed after flowering.

magnolia stellata 'jane platt'
Leonora Enking
Photo credit: Leonora Enking