Magnolia 'Gold Star'
Common Name: magnolia 
Type: Tree
Family: Magnoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Creamy yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Clay Soil


Best grown in organically rich, neutral to slightly acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Appreciates a root-zone mulch to help retain soil moisture. Also appreciates a location protected from strong winds, but avoid warm southern exposures which may promote premature bud opening in spring. Fleshy root system is easily damaged during transplanting, so it is best to select a landscape location carefully and leave this magnolia undisturbed once planted. Prune as needed immediately after flowering. Usually requires little pruning other than removal of dead or damaged branches.

Noteworthy Characteristics

The genus Magnolia consists of about 100 species (plus numerous additional hybrids and cultivars) of deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs. Most plants feature large simple leaves and showy, sometimes fragrant flowers (yellow, white, pink or purple) which bloom in early spring before or while the leaves are emerging or in late spring to summer when trees are fully leaved.

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

‘Gold Star’ is a yellow-flowered deciduous magnolia with a broad pyramidal form that was hybridized in the 1990s by Phil Savage, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It typically matures over time to 20-25’ tall with a spread to 15-20’ wide. Parents of this hybrid are M. acuminate var. subcordata ‘Miss Honeybee’ and M. stellata ‘Rubra’. Star-shaped, creamy yellow flowers bloom late April-May (about 2 weeks after M. stellata plants bloom). Each flower has 14 narrow tepals. Elliptic to oval leaves (to 7” long) emerge in spring with attractive bronze tones before maturing to medium green.


No serious insect or disease problems. Potential disease problems include leaf spots, anthracnose, canker, dieback and powdery mildew. Potential insect problems include weevils, snails, scale, and thrips.

Late frosts may damage flowers.

Garden Uses

Excellent specimen or accent for sunny areas in the landscape where spring flowers can be appreciated. Small shade tree.