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Magnolia Virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia) Description

General Information

Magnolia Virginiana or what is commonly called Sweetbay Magnolia or Swamp Magnolia is native to North America. This is a plant under the family Magnoliaceae that can survive in wet soils, but the soil needs to be acidic. The tree also survives with full sun but can tolerate areas with partial shade (Magnolia Virginiana).

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The Features

Magnolia virginiana is an ornamental tree or can also be classified as an ornamental shrub. This is a tree that matures about 20’ tall and 15’ wide but can be two times larger in other climates. The tree grows in an upright oval growth with a branching that is layered sympodially but it becomes rounded with age. The tree’s Foliage is medium to dark green and somewhat shiny above. The tree remains colored green during the fall, but the leaves change color from chartreuse to tan before their slow abscission during the late winter and autumn period. The tree flowers minimally from late May to June but thereafter fit flowers sporadically. The fruits of the tree are sparse, but they are very noticeable, the plant also has stems that are colored green during the first years, but it becomes greenish-brown and turns gray in its second year (Magnolia virginiana).

The Usage

The tree can be used as a foundation or a specimen or a small tree that can be used as a focal point. This is a tree that is bicolored with green or silver foliage during breezes. This is a tree that can be an excellent specimen for lawn trees and shrub borders. This can also be planted near the patios or in the periphery of the woodland areas and it can also grow on lands near the ponds or streams (Magnolia Virginiana).

The Habitat

As the tree survives best in acidic soils, this can be the unique feature of the tree because the tree is not easily infested with pests and diseases that would affect the tree’s survival. However, when the tree is planted in alkaline soils it is prone to developing chlorosis (Magnolia Virginiana).


The seed is best sown when it is ripe and in a cold frame (Magnolia Virginiana). Thus, it should always be stored in a cold climate. The seed germinates during the spring, however, it would still take18 months thus it is advisable to grow the seeds during their first winter in a colder frame or even in a greenhouse. You can then transfer the trees when they are already 15cm tall to their permanent places, but it is important to remember that this tree may be sensitive when transferred during the autumn season (Magnolia Virginiana).

This is the angiosperm with a unique habitat that helps it survive the infestation of serious diseases and pests thus requiring lesser maintenance. This is a tree that you can plant and easily propagate in your home.

Reference List

Magnolia virginiana. Kemper Center for Home Gardening. Web.

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Magnolia virginiana – L. Laurel Magnolia. Plants for a Future. Edible, medicinal, and useful plants for a healthier world. Web.

Magnolia virginiana: Sweetbay Magnolia, Laurel Magnolia, Swamp Magnolia Magnoliaceae. Web.

Magnolia virginiana Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnoliaceae – Magnolia Family). Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 28). Magnolia Virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia) Description. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, July 28). Magnolia Virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia) Description.

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"Magnolia Virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia) Description." StudyCorgi, 28 July 2022,

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