Many spring blooms are yellow. Not so those of plant of the week – Magnolia stellata. They are as pristinely, fresh white as they come. Add to that a good size, the flowers are up 10 cm wide, comprising around 30 narrow, spindly tepals. This beauty is difficult to miss, effectively illuminating the surrounding space at a time of the year when not much else growth is happening.
Plant of the week – Magnolia stellata
It does not come as a surprise that this plant is also known as star magnolia. While today ubiquitous in North America and Europe, it’s native to Japan where it grows wild at heights of around 50-600 m and thrives in moist, boggy soil near water streams. In a garden context it prefers the same, as long as it’s well-draining. Even moist alkaline soil (high pH value) works.
Magnolia stellata likes a sunny or partially shaded spot. It needs to be sheltered from too much wind. It’s a visual delight in city as well as country gardens. A sheltered courtyard or corner would be perfect, its compact size suits small spaces. Classified as a deciduous shrub, ultimate height is around 3m. After blooming, there will initially be bronze-green leaves changing into healthy green until autumn.