70315Before its new lime green foliage emerges, the otherwise modest star magnolia, Magnolia stellata, dazzles with a surprising profusion of crisp white, blushed or pale pink bloom. The three inch wide flowers have between a dozen and two dozen floppy petals (which are actually tepals). If the weather is right, the flowers might be slightly fragrant. If only bloom could last longer than it does!

Star magnolia is too small to be much of a tree, but too open and sculptural to be shrubbery. It grows slowly and might never reach downstairs eaves. Only the biggest trees might reach the lower sills of upstairs windows. However, the angular low branches, usually on multiple trunks, are ideal for displaying the distinctive bloom. The light gray bark resembles that of fig trees. Leaves are about four inches long, and an inch and a half wide. Foliage turns soft yellow before falling in autumn.

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15 thoughts on “Star Magnolia

    1. It s probably my favorite magnolia flower. I do not like other magnolias much, but this one happens to look really pretty in white. (I think that magnolias are at their best in white.) I only wish that the trees got bigger.

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    1. How funny. I used to grow them, but was never all that keen on them, except for the white star magnolia and the Southern magnolia. The Southern magnolia was one that we did not grow.

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      1. Ew! We grew quite a few of those, and had a small grove of them up in the forest. They bloomed very well, but held their fading flowers like used Kleenex.

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    1. Our do not get big enough to lose branches. There is a larger cultivar with blushed flowers that gets bigger, but the white stare magnolia and a similar pink star magnolia barely reach the downstairs eaves.

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