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Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) is one of the smallest magnolias. It is originally from the highlands of the Japanese Island of Honshu, and was introduced to the United States in the 1860's.

This is a slow growing deciduous plant and can be grown as a large shrub, or pruned up as a small multi stemmed tree. Star Magnolias will grow from 15-20 feet and spread to 10-15 feet wide when mature. It is denser and more compact than saucer magnolias.

Buds open in late winter with clusters of fragrant, 3-4 inch white flowers appearing in late winter. This plant is absolutely spectacular when covered with blooms from the top of the plant all the way to the lowest branches. The flowers appear on the Royal Star Magnolia just before the saucer magnolia blooms.

This is a great flowering tree (or small shrub) in a small yard and it stays relatively small and compact for many years. It does best when planted in moist, organic, acid soil in full sun. No pruning is generally required unless you want to train it as a tree. Pruning should be done before flower buds appear.

I love this plant. If I find room, I will plant another one.

Eloise Muxworthy, Smith County Master Gardner
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

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