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Star Magnolia Tree

Growing Tips for the Star Magnolia Tree


The Star Magnolia Tree, which is officially called the Magnolia stellata, is a type of shrub or small tree that grows very slowly.  This particular tree originates from Japan and when blooming, it features stunningly beautiful flowers of pink or white.  These showy blossoms are seen during the early part of spring, prior to leaves growing.

The Star Magnolia Tree is similar to the Kobushi Magnolia, although distinct differences exist.  This particular tree can grow up to 20 feet tall, although some only reach 15.  In addition, the spread of this Magnolia is around 18 feet wide.  One of the unique features is the oval growth during younger years, with the tree growing upright but the older the tree gets, it begins to spread wider and wider.

The first blooms of the Star Magnolia Tree appear while still young during the latter winter months and into early spring.  Typically, the tree is bare yet covered with flowers that measure from three to four inches in diameter.  Not only are the flowers beautiful but the fragrance produced is wonderful and sweet.  These trees have been popular in the United States, specifically Georgia where many stories, poems, and songs have referenced the Magnolia.

One of the fascinating aspects of the Star Magnolia Tree it that it yields pink flowers but the actual hue changes each year.  This change of color is due to changing temperatures during the day and night just before the flowers bloom.  Then, the name of this Magnolia comes from the flowers being star-shaped.  Most will have a minimum of 12, thin and delicate tepals and some of the cultivars feature more than 30 tepals.

In addition to the fragrant and beautiful flowers, coupled with wonderful foliage, the Star Magnolia Tree also produces knobby aggregate fruit.  This fruit is a reddish green color that measures approximately two inches long.  During the fall, the fruit matures and just before being fully matured, the fruit will drop to the ground and open.  Inside fruit of the Star Magnolia Tree are reddish orange seeds.

This Magnolia also has a number of young twigs, which are smooth and shiny.  Twigs are a darker brown than the primary trunk, which is also smooth but more of a silvery/gray color.  The roots of the Star Magnolia Tree are quite dense and fleshy.  The roots grow close to the surface so to ensure it grows strong, the roots should never be disturbed.

Although the Star Magnolia Tree originated in central Honshu Japan, it is also a favorite in other parts of the world.  However, this tree does best in moist areas surrounded by woody plants.  Today, the Star Magnolia Tree is popular in the United States, Canada, and many parts of Europe.  While all Magnolia trees are beautiful, something special is seen in the Star Magnolia.  The combination of flowers, foliage, and fruit, growing on a tree that has both silver and brown bark is a remarkable sight.



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