Plant Guide

Magnolia 'Athene'

Deciduous tree with an upright habit when young and a rounded canopy when mature, 5-7 m tall, flowering from about 3 years of age with large, scented flowers in late winter and early spring. Developed in New Zealand by Felix Jury during the 1960s from a cross between Magnolia x soulangeana 'Lennei 'Alba' and Magnolia 'Mark Jury'. Flowers have a cup-and-saucer shape, with the outer petals opening out to form the saucer and the inner petals remaining more or less closed in a loose cup. Flowers are white, flushed with dark rosy pink-red at the base. Large green, ovate to obovate leaves.

Prefers a position in full sun or partial shade, in well-draining neutral to acidic soil. Likes a cool root-run, which over time will be provided by the shade from its own canopy. After planting, cover the ground with mulch to keep the root-zone cool. For areas with poorly drained soils, consider planting Magnolia 'Athene' in a raised bed or on a slope. Protect from strong winds. No pruning required other than shaping and removing dead branches. Frost hardy.

Excellent specimen tree, producing masses of large flowers from a young age. 

Type of plant

Tree - Deciduous


5-7 m tall

Landscape Use

specimen tree for flower display and fragrance


  • Temperature: Hardy
  • Light: Medium High
  • Moisture: Medium
  • Soil: Light Medium
  • Wind tolerance: Low
  • Coastal tolerance: Low