Monday, March 12, 2012

Star Magnolias are Simply Heavenly

Have you ever seen a star magnolis (Magnolia stellata) in bloom? It is certainly a heavenly sight to see. Clarksville is very fortunate to have a huge star magnolia located on Madison Street right in front of the US Post Office. If you are local and haven't noticed this splendid tree you really must make an effort to drive by the post office to view this tree. Each year this tree stands head and shoulders above all other star magnolias in town. Normally star magnolias; which are native to Japan; grow to be large shrubs or small trees. I'd call this tree more like a medium tree because it must be at least 30-40 feet tall and it probably has a spread of more than 20 feet. The flowers have a faint scent that is most pleasant.
I am not sure who initially planted this star magnolia but it is within feet of the post office proper, and is surrounded by pavement; yet it shines and grows and flourishes with no help at all from humans. Star magnolias are a unique sight to see in the spring because their blossoms are so large and so white that the tree really looks like a naked Christmas tree with whole stars hanging on the tips of the branches.
I loved these trees so much I purchased a Royal Star magnolia for my own garden in 2009. It took me about two years to realize I did not have the right conditions for it. So I dug it up and passed it along to my daughter Christine who just moved into a new house in southeastern Alabama. She tells me the star magnolia is just about ready to bloom and it is looking fantastic. I hope she'll enjoy for many years to come. Her garden has more sun and less congestion from tree roots than my garden. The fact I have shade and lots of tree roots is what I think caused the star magnolia to go into decline when it was in Tiger Gardens. Sometimes you just have to say goodbye in cases like this and pass that plant along. Nonetheless I will be able to still enjoy it when I visit and I know she'll enjoy her heavenly star magnolia while we here in Clarksville can enjoy our very own public star magnolia....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. It takes years for a magnolia to reach good size. The post office one looks like 'Dr. Merrill' the most often planted white. Beautiful.

    'Leonard Messel' (the pink) started putting out tentative blooms here in February. They got killed by frost. He put out a few more to be frost bitten. The eventual big show is over now.

  2. Beautiful and I wish I were there to see it shine in its glory some time. I grew up not far from the Post Office and went there often even by foot and I never noticed this beauty before. Hum, I bet it could tell wonderful stories if it could only talk.....

    Busy busy busy in the Garden....

  3. I think all Magnolias are heavenly. We only have a few around here but they are just stunning when in bloom. The one up in front of Copenhaven's house is breathtaking when blooming. It is so very big. Last year a gal that was only in her 40's and worked at the town office dropped dead suddenly and in her memory they planted a large one in front of the town office. Can't wait for that one 2 bloom. I would have had one years ago but in my zone 5 you really need a sunny and protect spot. For my town we are on pretty high ground and get wind all the time so, no Magnolia.

  4. Gorgeous. I love Start Magnolias and just really got to see my first ones in bloom this spring at fabulous new nursery I found. We have a Saucer Magnolia here at our house that was here when we we moved in and it is huge and beautiful. It bloomed a bit to early this year and some of the blooms were damaged in a freeze. Oh well!

  5. I agree,all magnolias are heavenly.So so breathtaking beauty...

  6. Your daughter won the jackpot with that one. I love Star Magnolias. Decided to replace the dead 'Jane' Magnolia with a Star. (one Jane lived and one didn't). My local nursery has one in a 3 gallon pot..a size I can dig a hole for! Think we will get it on Wednesday when we go into town.

  7. Judging by your post and the photos, you probably have the happiest post office workforce in the entire universe, if that's the spectacle they're exposed to, day in, day out! :-)

    Greetings from London.

  8. I absolutely love these regal on the tree and what a perfect name..Star...they are...I seem them rarely around here...

  9. I love this plant and spec them when I can. But the flowers never last long enough.

  10. I hope the next garden I move to will have much more room because I think I would like to collect a few of these.

  11. Such a beautiful tree! We had a magnolia at our old house--a different type, I'm sure--and I loved it. But every other year the frost came just as it began to bloom and zapped all those lovely blooms. I'm sure it would have been happier somewhere else, too.