Plant DetailShow Menu

Magnolia stellata

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
mag-NO-lee-ah stell-AY-tuh
Description

Magnolia stellata, commonly called star magnolia, is a small deciduous shrub or small tree that typically grows with a rounded crown and is often grown as a large pyramidal multi-stemmed shrub. It grows up to 241⁄2'. It is noted for its compact size and late winter (February) to early spring (March) bloom of star-shaped white flowers. Since blooms open early, they are subject to damage. It is the earliest of the deciduous magnolias to flower.  It is frost sensitive, so plant it in protected site though it does tolerate heat. Winter, pubescent floral buds appear to be in need of a haircut and trim.

Best grown in full sun, in moist, organically rich, acidic to neutral, well-drained loams, although will tolerate clay soil.  It tolerates partial shade but flowers best in full sun. Appreciates consistent and even moisture in summer, and is intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet), most urban pollutants, and high winds.  Avoid southern exposures where the buds may be induced to open too early and subsequently are damaged by frost. This plant is heat tolerant. Mulch helps retain soil moisture. Prune only if needed immediately after flowering.  If the plant needs rejuvenation, prune out 1-2 older stems per year.  It works well as a single specimen tree, planted in borders, small groupings, or as an accent plant. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Will become chlorotic in alkaline soils. It is relatively pest free.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Gigantic white blooms with 12-18 strap-like tepals 
  • Flowers appear before leaves in late winter
  • Winter floral buds appear and are in need of a haircut and trim

 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Royal Star
  • Rubra
Tags:
#butterflies#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#specimen#white flowers#flowering tree#playground#wet sites#fast growing#children's garden#wet soil#star shaped flowers#borders#small groups#edible seeds#pollinator plant#fantz#leathery leaves
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Royal Star
  • Rubra
Tags:
#butterflies#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#specimen#white flowers#flowering tree#playground#wet sites#fast growing#children's garden#wet soil#star shaped flowers#borders#small groups#edible seeds#pollinator plant#fantz#leathery leaves
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Magnolia
    Species:
    stellata
    Family:
    Magnoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 24 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Multi-stemmed
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Aggreagate of folicles that turn red in the fall, are twisted, and are 2" long.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Showy, fragrant star-shaped flowers 2"-4" wide with 12-18 narrow white tepals
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, simple, entire margin, narrow-oblong to obovate, 2"-4" long, acute base, obtuse apex. They are dark green and glabrous above, and the underside of the leaf is a lighter green, hairy, and reticulate. The fall color is yellow.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Light gray and smooth.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Terminal flower buds are large, hairy, and appear 1 year before flowers. Twigs are slender and brown.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Wet Soil