Magnolia virginiana, Sweetbay Magnolia
Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
Lovely, lemon-scented, cup-shaped flowers appear mid-spring and bloom intermittently throughout the summer, followed in the fall by showy conelike fruit. This elegant, semi-evergreen tree is native to the lowlands and freshwater swamps primarily along the Mid-Atlantic* and Gulf coasts.
Print Version: Magnolia virginiana, Sweetbay or Swamp Magnolia
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets
Tags: Acer palmatum – Japanese Maple, Magnolia grandiflora – Southern Magnolia, Paulownia tomentosa – Princess Tree, Pyrus calleryana – Bradford Pear, It is native to DC. It is common in the Coastal Plains of DE and VA. It is infrequent to rare in the VA Piedmont but is native to Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-10 NoVA except to Fairfax County. It is rare in PA., Use as specimen, patio plant or in shrub borders, rain gardens (larger than 150 sq ft), or wet areas, Attracts birds and other wildlife species; larval host for the Eastern Tiger and Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies and for the Promethea and Sweetbay silkmoths, Deer severely damage seldom in northern part of range, more frequently in south and west, No serious pests or diseases, Tolerates clay soils, boggy soils, shade, occasional flooding, air pollution, and some salt, Green to pink cone-like fruits mature late summer & split open to reveal bright red arils (seed coverings), Very fragrant 2- to 3-inch creamy white flowers with 9 to 12 petals from May to June, Evergreen to semi-evergreen, lanceolate foliage is shiny green above and silvery below, Semi-evergreen tree with spreading, rounded crown, Bark smooth, gray, and lightly scented