Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 10 Professionals
Common Name: star magnolia
Type: Tree
Family: Magnoliaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: March
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Clay Soil


Best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Generally intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet). Intolerant of most urban pollutants. Best sited in a location protected from high winds, but generally avoid southern exposures where the buds may be induced to open too early in late winter. This cultivar blooms about 2 weeks later than the species is accordingly less susceptible to frost problems.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Magnolia stellata, commonly called star magnolia, is native to Japan. It is a small deciduous tree that typically grows 15-20’ tall with a spreading, rounded crown. It is also often grown as a large oval to rounded shrub. It is noted for its compact size and late winter to early spring bloom of star-shaped white flowers. Each flower typically has 12-18 narrow strap-like tepals.

Genus name honors Pierre Magnol, French botanist (1638-1715).

Specific epithet, cultivar name and common name are in reference to the star-like shape of the flower. Magnolia stellata is synonymous with Magnolia kobus var. stellata.

‘Royal Star’ is a popular cultivar that has slightly larger and showier flowers than the species. Fragrant white flowers (3-4” diameter), each with 25-30 tepals.


No serious insect or disease problems. Frost damage to flowers is a concern.

Garden Uses

Beautiful specimen flowering tree or shrub for lawns, foundations, shrub borders or woodland peripheries. May be grown as a tall informal hedge.