• Central Park Conservancy Logo
  • Official Caretakers of Central Park

Star Magnolia


Star Magnolia Tree
The star magnolia is usually the first magnolia to bloom in spring (or even sometimes in winter, depending on the weather). It has elegant, starburst flowers made up of long thin petals that can vary in color from snow white, to deep pink, and from lightly to intensely scented. Just a handful of star magnolia have been planted in Central Park, most behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art were planted during the reconstruction of the Great Lawn in the 1990s. The star magnolia has a subtle lemon scent when pruned.

Common Name: Star Magnolia

Scientific Name: Magnolia stellata

Origin: Japan

Family: Magnoliaceae

Size: 15 - 20' tall, 10 - 15' spread

Form: Branching upright and spreading

Culture: Thrives in full sun and fertile, moist-organic soil

Leaves

2 - 4" long, 1 - 2" wide, elliptic

Flower

3 - 4" across, white to pink-tinged, twelve to eighteen tepals, bloom in March just before the saucer magnolia

Fruit

2" aggregate, knobby surface, reddish-green

Bark

Young twigs are smooth, chestnut brown; main trunks have smooth, silvery-gray bark; cut branch reveals slight lemon scent