Magnolia stellata

This is one of the most versatile of magnolias, and certainly the best for small gardens. It is a hardy and compact deciduous shrub which grows slowly but flowers when young, producing masses of pure white, scented blossom reliably every spring. The flowers, which appear on bare branches, are quite unlike those of the cup-shaped magnolias, and have many ribbonlike petals, so that the bush really does look starry in its season.

Magnolia stellata grows to about 12 feet (3.6 m), looking dramatic as a specimen shrub in a lawn, but it could also take its place among other shrubs, or by the house. To add to its other virtues, it is lime-tolerant, though it wants good soil, and on chalk soils should be dressed with peat. There is a pinkish variety called ‘Rosea’ but I prefer the purity of the white-flowered species. Some blue bulbs round about would be good companions; I suggest blue anemones (A blanda or A. nemorosa ‘Robinsoniana’, a blue form of wood anemone) or grape hyacinths, but in some gardens these last seed too freely and become a troublesome weed.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.