Magnolia stellata are native to Japan and while an iconic spring flowering plant in our gardens, where they have been planted in abundance since their introduction around 1862, they are in fact very rare in the wild, being found only in a small area of the western Tokai district of Japan. A large, deciduous, shrub or occasionally small tree, they produce a mass of white star shaped, fragrant flowers, before the leaves, in early spring. Royal Star was raised on Long Island, New York in 1947 and differs from the species type in having considerably larger flowers, pink in bud, opening white and blooming rather later than other varieties. A very beautiful plant and one that heralds the imminent arrival of spring! Easy to grow in a sunny or semi shade location. They prefer a moist but well drained location and do not do well on chalky soils. This plant can be used in a mixed planting or as a stand alone specimen in the garden or can easily be grown in a pot or other container. If growing in a pot or container use a good quality John Innes compost as this plant will be there a long time and peat composts will eventually degrade. A hungry plant is a poor performer so add a controlled release fertiliser in early spring. We recommend Osmocote 8-9 month. One application is sufficent for a whole year. John Innes is a soil based compost.