Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star'

Overall Plant in Bloom
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. Best flowering in full sun. Appreciates consistent and even moisture in summer. Generally intolerant of soil extremes (dry or wet). Intolerant of most urban pollutants. Best sited in locations protected from high winds, but generally avoid southern exposures where the buds may be induced to open too early in late winter. Mulch (compost or bark) helps retain soil moisture. Prune only if needed immediately after flowering.

'Royal Star' 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.

Magnolia stellata is synonymous with Magnolia kobus var. stellata.

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

Specific epithet is in reference to the star-like shape of the flower.

‘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 in spring is a concern.


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