Description & Overview

Jane Magnolia is a truly gorgeous tree that is a statement piece wherever it’s planted. A multi-stemmed, late-blooming Magnolia, less likely than others to suffer from frost damage in spring, fuzzy reddish-purple buds open into a white flower. Blooming in mid-spring before the leaves emerge, lightly fragrant flowers are dramatic and showy. After the initial bloom, 6″ green leaves don the tree throughout the season until autumn when they turn yellow or bronze. If you’re lucky enough, the occasional bloom is possible throughout the summer. In winter, the attractive branching structure is accented by smooth gray bark.

Jane Magnolia is a cross between Magnolia liliiflora ‘Reflorescens’ and Magnolia stellata ‘Waterlily.’

Core Characteristics

Category: Tree

Wisconsin Native: No - Introduced

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 4

Mature Height: 10-15 feet

Mature Spread: 8-12 feet

Growth Rate: Slow

Growth Form: Compact, upright, rounded

Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Site Requirements: Moist, well-drained

Flower: Reddish-purple with white interior, 4" diameter, cup-shaped, lightly fragrant

Bloom Period: April-May, mid-spring

Foliage: Green, ovate, up to 6" long

Fall Color: Yellow/bronze

Urban Approved: Yes

Fruit Notes: Cone-like structure holding many orange-red seeds

Suggested Uses

Jane Magnolia can be planted in either full sun or part shade in a sheltered location where harsh winter winds are avoided. An east side of a home or structure is ideal, where it is not subjected to north winds in winter or warm southerly winds that trigger the flowers to open too early. Note that Magnolias do not like wet feet and cannot tolerate flooding or standing water.

A magnificent specimen tree, plant it in a mixed bed with perennials such as Montrose White Calamint to draw the eye. A protected location to enjoy the flower display and fragrance is perfect.
Magnolias are iconic specimens planted at the corners of a home, anchoring the house to the landscape. Ann is no exception and would make your neighbors jealous with its striking color and form!

Jane Magnolia is great for those small urban lots where size is a limiting factor. Tolerant of air pollution it can handle being planted next to high-traffic areas, airports, or bus station depots. They are showy trees planted in parks or areas where people congregate.

With a compact size, use Jane Magnolia as a screening plant. Reaching 15′ in height, it’s a good size to block the neighbor’s yard, shed, or garage.

Place Jane Magnolia in front of a green screen or conifer grouping to make the flower color even more striking, or to achieve different textures that will highlight the beauty of your plants.

Wildlife Value

While Magnolias aren’t known to be tremendous wildlife supporters, the flowers are pollinated by beetles rather than bees and squirrels enjoy eating the seeds that dangle from the cones. Seeds are occasionally enjoyed by rodents, Wild Turkeys, and Eastern Towhees.

The stout, irregular branches make poor nesting sites, although some may try. Songbirds are attracted to Magnolias for shelter and observation, especially migrating species. Consider adding other fruiting shrubs, trees, or conifers to supplement feeding the birds as Magnolias have little nutritional value for wildlife.

Maintenance Tips

A consistent watering regimen is important, especially for the first couple of growing seasons. During extended dry spells, Jane Magnolia should be thoroughly watered at least once a week. Consistent soil moisture will keep this plant happiest, so be sure to include a healthy mulch layer at the base.

Pruning is typically not needed, but lower branches can be removed to encourage a more tree-like habit. If pruning is necessary, do so immediately after flowering to prevent removing buds that will set for next year’s display.

Pests/Problems

Black Walnut Tolerant: Yes
Deer Resistant: Yes
Rabbit Resistant: No

Jane Magnolia is low maintenance and has few problems. They are mostly resistant to deer and would rather snack on other more enticing plants. No plant is truly deer resistant and if food is scarce, they will resort to eating leaves.

Potential insect problems include scale, thrips, and weevils but are usually not serious issues. Scale is a type of insect that can suck plant sap, excreting sticky honeydew which invites fungi like sooty mold to take hold. It can slow the growth of an already slowly-growing tree-like magnolia, and on heavily infested trees, can weaken branches and cause eventual death. Treatment can be tricky and requires the proper timing of the application. We recommend contacting an arborist for proper treatment.

Thrips feed on the flowers and buds of magnolia and can sometimes cause the flowers to fail to open. Ladybugs are natural predators of thrips. A diverse garden intermingled with native plants will attract beneficial insects. Butterflyweed, birch trees, coneflowers, coreopsis, hibiscus, juniper, mint, roses, and yarrow all attract Ladybugs!

Weevils, a type of beetle, punch holes in the leaves to feed and can cause leaf loss. While the leaves may look unsightly, weevil damage doesn’t affect the overall health of the tree. If you see them and can’t stand them, they can be physically removed. Pesticides aren’t effective and not necessary as they will go away on their own.

Rabbits have been known to nibble on the trunk. Consider using rabbit fencing or trunk protectors from late fall through spring.

Leaf Lore

The genus Magnolia was named after French botanist Pierre Magnol a French botanist who was a Director of the Royal Botanic Garden of Montpellier. The name was first used in 1703 referring to a flowering tree found on the island of Martinique.

Magnolias are ancient trees and have survived for millions of years, predating bees and other winged pollinators. Some sources say magnolias date back 58 million years, while others say 100 million years. One thing is certain, they are old and have survived the Ice Age and continental drift!

Associated with nobility, perseverance, and dignity, magnolias are often used in floral arrangements, particularly wedding bouquets to symbolize purity.

Companion Plants

Jane Magnolia’s flowers have a light fragrance, which tends to be a highly desirable trait for landscape plants. To create a fragrant retreat, combine with other scented plants such as Northern Catalpa, Spring Snow Crabapple, American Basswood, White Fringetree, Tuliptree, American Yellowwood, Fragrant Sumac, Carolina Allspice, Spice Island Koreanspice Viburnum, Sweet Fern, Early Wild Rose, and Daphne.

If planted in full sun, intermingle colorful perennials such as Summer Peek-a-Boo Ornamental Onion, Sensational Lavender, Pink Cat Catmint, Prairie Smoke, or Pink Diamonds Bleeding Heart.

If planted in part shade, combine with Hostas, Delft Lace Astilbe, Pink Diamonds Bleeding Heart, Shooting Star, Ivory Prince Hellebore, Canada Wild Ginger, or Jack Frost Siberian Bugloss.

Jane Magnolia is a truly gorgeous tree that is a statement piece wherever it's planted. A multi-stemmed, late-blooming Magnolia, less likely than othe…
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Written by Beth DeLain