Sweet Bay Magnolia

Sweet Bay Magnolia


The Sweetbay Magnolia tree, Magnolia virginiana, is also called sweetbay, swampbay, or swamp magnolia. This tree is often grown as an ornamental landscape tree because of its attractive foliage, flowers, and fruit. It occurs naturally in moist and wet soils in wetland areas such as swamps and along streams and ponds. Large, multi-stemmed and evergreen this magnolia is noted for its creamy white flower whose fragrance has been described as cool, sweet, and fruity. The leaves, pale green with silvery underside and crimson fruiting cones, are unmistakable. The fruits provide a good food source for many wildlife species, such as, turkey, quail, and numerous songbirds. Sweetbay magnolia is a medium, evergreen tree that generally has a pen crown of sparsely spreading branches, and it is deciduous in the northern United States.

  • Mature Size: Typically 20 to 30 feet in height and 1 foot in diameter, but may reach 60 feet in height.

  • Form: Small tree with a rounded, narrow crown.

  • Habitat: Swamp edges and other low, wet areas.

  • Soil Type: Widely Adaptable

  • Moisture: Moist to Wet

  • Mature Form: Conical, Narrow, Rounded

  • Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast

  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun - Partial Sun

  • Flower Color: White, Fragrant

  • Fall Color: Evergreen

  • Foliage Color: Evergreen Green, Underside is Grey Blue

  • Zones: 5-9


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Information source: University of Missouri - Horticulture


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Sweet Bay Magnolia