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PlantFiles: Star Magnolia
Magnolia stellata

Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia (mag-NO-lee-a) (Info)
Species: stellata (stell-AY-tuh) (Info)

11 members have or want this plant for trade.

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10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JonthanJ On Oct 16, 2010, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

Just to be clear: Star Magnolia does well at my home, but the one I am writing about was at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. When I was an undergraduate there was one in front of Goldwin-Smith Hall to the left of the main entrance on the Quad side. Despite considerable shade from some very carefully preserved American Elms, it bloomed gracefully if thinly in the springs I was there.

Positive philomel On Nov 8, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a plant that takes me back to childhood and possibly was one of the influences that brought me to be interested in plants and gardening. My father put a group of these in our new garden, underplanted with vivid blue scillas, which flowered at the same time as the magnolias. A truly beautiful sight every spring.

Many people describe it as smaller growing than soulangeana etc., but in truth it is only the flowers that are smaller (dainty and starlike), the shrub itself is large once mature

Positive cinemike On May 3, 2004, cinemike from CREZIERES
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a lovely small Magnolia for average sized gardens. Though slow-growing, it is very beautiful when in flower in spring.

Neutral miltboyd On Jul 29, 2003, miltboyd from Haverhill, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

5 years experience.
Nursery staff says it is common to take several years to get established.
We bought it in full bloom, about 4 feet high, from reputable local nursery (Lake Street in Salem NH), and it looked good through to late summer, shed leaves a little early. Next (1st) spring it looked near dead: few leaves, no flower buds. Watered it regularly, fertilized sparingly, checked for pests (none found) per instructions, and it survived. 2nd spring, a few flower buds, more leaves, some new branches, and it looked ok. 3rd spring, and it looked real good, all year. In 4th and 5th years, it thrives, with lovely display of flowers.

Neutral Terry On Jan 25, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Star Magnolias are a small tree or large shrub, depending on your perspective. Like M. soulangiana, they are deciduous and bloom before leafing out.

This native of Japan was introduced to the United States in the late 19th century, and remains a popular ornamental element in many gardens. Early blooms may be destroyed by late frosts, but they're a beautiful addition to the landscape.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Whittier, California
Glastonbury, Connecticut
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Monroe, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Pontiac, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Logansport, Indiana
Springfield, Kentucky
Coushatta, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Lexington, Massachusetts
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
Wayland, Massachusetts
Grosse Ile, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
South Saint Paul, Minnesota
Beatrice, Nebraska
Jefferson, New York
Andrews, North Carolina
Highlands, North Carolina
Akron, Ohio
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Mercer, Pennsylvania
Merion Station, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Ninety Six, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Nashville, Tennessee
Carrollton, Texas
Lexington, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Hager City, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

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