General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10a
Plant Height: 20 to 30 feet (6-9m)
Plant Spread: 10 to 20 feet (3-6m)
Leaves: Evergreen
Semi-evergreen
Deciduous
Broadleaf
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Attracts birds and other animals
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
4"-5"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Flowering Tree
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Flood Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Softwood cuttings
Pollinators: Beetles
Bumblebees
Bees
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Image
Common names
  • Sweet Bay Magnolia
  • Sweetbay magnolia
  • Sweetbay
  • Swampbay
  • Silver Bay
  • Swamp Bay
  • Laurel Magnolia
  • Magnolia

Photo Gallery
Location: Lutz, Florida
Date: 5-5-2018
Location: Beautiful Tennessee 
Date: May 6, 2014
heavenly scent
Location: Beautiful Tennessee, my garden
Date: 2018-08-18
Pretty shiny berries/seeds
Location: My garden, Pequea, PA 17565
Date: 2016-05-29
Location: Fairfax, VA
Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PA near Media
Date: winter in 2011
tree in winter

Date: 2008-07-04
Location: Aberdeen, NC Pages Lake park
Date: January 30, 2023
Loblolly bay Magnolia #192; RAB p. 473, 80-1-1; AG p. 49, 2-1-?;
Location: East Tennessee
Date: 2014-05-27
Location: East Tennessee
Date: 2014-05-27
Location: Beautiful Tennessee, my garden
Date: 2019-04-07
Location: Missouri zone 6a
Date: 2022-06-07
Location: 382 River Road, Pequea, PA 17565
Date: August 13, 2015
Magnolia virginiana is the host species for several butterflies.
Location: Aberdeen, NC Pages Lake park
Date: May 26, 2022
Loblolly bay Magnolia #192; RAB p. 473, 80-1-1; AG p. 49, 2-1-?;
Location: My garden, Pequea, PA 17565
Date: 2016-05-29
Location: Lutz, FL
Date: 2015-05-11
Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, Ga
Date: 2018-06-07
Sweetbay Magnolia 001

Date: c. 1925
illustration from Walcott's 'North American Wild Flowers', 1925
Location: East Tennessee
Date: 2014-05-27
Location: Lutz, FL
Date: 2014-04-16
Bud getting ready to open.  Had kind of a lemony smell to it.
Location: My yard, Archer, Florida
Date: 2019-05-18
Location: zone 8 North Central, Fl.
Date: 2017-12-21
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2008-06-13
solitary white flower

Date: 2013-09-02
Pod opening to show bright red seeds.
Location: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Date: 2018-06-13
wild tree at large pond edge in bloom
Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania USA
Date: 2018-03-07
Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, Ga
Date: 2019-06-09
Magnolia virginiana - Sweetbay Magnolia 014 text
Location: Tyler Arboretum
photo by Derek Ramsey.
Location: Tyler Arboretum
Date: September
photo by Derek Ramsey.
Location: Aberdeen, NC Pages Lake park
Date: May 26, 2022
Loblolly bay Magnolia #192; RAB p. 473, 80-1-1; AG p. 49, 2-1-?;
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2014-09-22
follicle cluster of red seeds
Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, Ga
Date: 2019-07-28
Sweetbay Magnolia Seed Pod 002
Location: My garden in N E Pa. 
Date: 2014-09-26
Note the leaf turned up to show the white on the underside of the

Date: c. 1865
illustration by P. J. Redouté from Michaux's 'The North American

François André Michaux North American Sylva, Plate 52 (P.J.Redo
Location: Along the Alligator River... somewhere in North Carolina | June, 2022. And yes, we did see an alligator.
Date: 2022-06-12

Photo Courtesy of Secret Garden Growers.
  • Uploaded by Joy

Date: 2011-01-23
Hardy to zone 5 but sometimes it will lose its foliage due to col

Date: 2013-06-05
Pure white flowers that open late and are not bothered by frost.
Location: Odessa, FL
Date: 2015-05-25
Location: Lutz, FL
Date: 2016-05-14
Just starting to open and already smells great!
Location: Lutz, FL
Date: 2015-05-17
Bought this tree about three months ago.  I'm hoping to attract T
Location: Lutz, FL
Date: 2015-04-29
Location: Aberdeen, NC Pages Lake park
Date: May 26, 2022
Loblolly bay Magnolia #192; RAB p. 473, 80-1-1; AG p. 49, 2-1-?;
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-06-30
Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PA near Media
Date: 2011-08-24
full-grown tree in summer
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-05-31
upper crown
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2014-09-22
leaves, trunks, fruit

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Location: Odessa, FL
Date: 2015-05-24
This is about a 10 year old tree growing next to a small lake
Comments:
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 29, 2018 7:26 PM concerning plant:
    Sweetbay Magnolia is usually a small tree in most of its native range, but in the North it can be a large shrub. Its glossy dark green leaves that are silvery beneath are usually evergreen, but are semi-evergreen to deciduous in the North. My evergreen specimen in southeast Pennsylvania drops some leaves much of the year, and it renews its leaves that fall off a lot in late March into early June to be replaced by the new season's leaves. It bears waxy, white solitary flowers to 3 inches wide in late May & June and a few in a small amount in July & August, and wonderfully sweetly fragrant. It then bears red follicle clusters that open with red seeds in September & October that are eaten by some birds, especially catbirds. The bark is smooth and gay to brown-gray. It grows in bogs, swamps, and bottomlands from Long Island & coastal New Jersey down the Atlantic Coast into southern Florida and then along the Gulf Coast into eastern Texas. It grows about 1.5 to 2 feet/year and should live about 100 years. It forms fibrous, deep coarse lateral roots and is sort of difficult to transplant. It is sold by a good number of nurseries in the South and the Mid-Atlantic Region, and sometimes in the Northeast and Midwest, and by native plant nurseries. I bought one in a 5 gallon container from a native plant nursery in southeast PA that grew fast in my backyard and is about 30 feet high in 2018. I've seen some as large shrubs in the Chicago, IL, area doing well in neutral pH soils.
  • Posted by robertduval14 (Milford, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Dec 16, 2013 7:55 PM concerning plant:
    Birds feed on the fruit and disperse seeds in their droppings.
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