Magnolia stellata

 

Magnolia stellata (Star Magnolia)

Planted by Polly Wakefield, our oldest M. stellata are probably 'Centennial,' considered one of the finest selections, a plant released by Harvard's Arnold Arboretum to commemorate the institution's 100th anniversary in 1972. Its many-petaled flowers are white with a hint of pink, while the upright, vigorous pyramidal plant reaches 25' tall and is considered one of the best cultivars and is very popular in the trade.

Last fall and this spring, we have add several varieties of Magnolia, which will be highlighted here in coming weeks.

The tree is easy to identify in winter because of its "fuzzy" buds that persist all winter, splitting open in spring to allow the blooms to emerge and swell into their characteristic beautiful form. Always welcome as one of the first blooms of the spring, magnolias blooms often get frost tipped in the event of a late frost. By fall, the pollinated flower withers away, allowing a reddish-green knobby "pickle or pinecone-like" fruit to swell to its full size of 2". It often drops before it fully develops and when mature, its compartments crack open to reveal red seeds.

Magnolia_stellata

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