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The species Magnolia stellata may be found growing wild in certain parts of the Ise Bay area of central HonshÅ«, Japan’s largest island, at elevations of 50 to 600 m (160 to 1,970 ft). It grows by streamsides and in moist, boggy areas with such other woody plants as Enkianthus cernuus, Corylopsis glabrescens var. gotoana and Berberis sieboldii. Magnolia stellata, sometimes called the star magnolia, is a slow-growing shrub or small tree native to Japan. It bears large, showy white or pink flowers in early spring, before its leaves open. This species is closely related to the Kobushi magnolia (Magnolia kobus), and is treated by many botanists as a variety or even a cultivar of that. However, Magnolia stellata was accepted as a distinct species in the 1998 monograph by Hunt.
Magnolia stellata, commonly called star magnolia, is a small deciduous shrub or small tree that typically grows with a rounded crown and is often grown as a large pyramidal multi-stemmed shrub. It grows up to 241⁄2'. It is noted for its compact size and late winter (February) to early spring (March) bloom of star-shaped white flowers. Since blooms open early, they are subject to damage. It is the earliest of the deciduous magnolias to flower. It is frost sensitive, so plant it in protected site as it can be severely damaged by frost. It does tolerate heat. Winter, pubescent floral buds appear to be in need of a haircut and trim. status source Ghanimi, H.; Schrödl, M.; Goddard, J. H. R.; Ballesteros, M.; Gosliner, T. M.; Buske, Y.; Valdés, Á. (2020). Stargazing under the sea: molecular and morphological data reveal a constellation of species in the Berthella stellata (Risso, 1826) species complex (Mollusca, Heterobranchia, Pleurobranchidae). Marine Biodiversity. 50(1)., available online at https://doi.org/10.1007/s12526-019-01027-w
Similar species: Although Magnolia stellata is easily confused with some other Asian magnolias, it does not resemble any species of the Chicago Region. It has densely hairy buds, stipular scars that encircle the lemon-scented twigs, fragrant white flowers with twelve to eighteen narrow petals, and elongated, woody aggregated fruits that split to reveal orangish red seeds.Silene stellata is a very distinct species with its broadly lanceolate leaves in groups of four at each node, and its brilliant white, multilobed petals. Two varieties are recognized by some workers: var. stellata, with glabrous pedicels; and var. scabrella, with scabrous pedicels. The former tends to have longer, more slender pedicels and be more common towards the northeast, whereas the latter tends to be more western. The correlation of characters and distribution is poor, however, and intermediate plants are often encountered. (Source: www.efloras.org)