Native to Japan, Magnolia stellata, also known as Star Magnolia, is a small deciduous tree with incredibly pretty star-shaped flowers in late winter or early spring. While the blossoms are fairly small, 4 in. across (10 cm), they are packed with up to 40 long and narrow tepals and are extremely showy. Fragrant, the flowers can be pure white, pale pink or dark pink. They appear on naked branches before the elliptic leaves unfurl.

One of the earliest of the spring flowering Magnolias, Magnolia stellata is also the hardiest of all the Magnolias. It enjoys a spreading, rounded habit and is often grown as a large oval to rounded shrub.

It makes a splendid spring flowering specimen tree or large shrub for lawns, foundations, shrub borders and may be grown as a tall informal hedge. It should be sheltered from strong winds and late frosts, where possible. While very hardy, its blooms, like those of most early blooming Magnolias, are susceptible to late frosts.