Sweetbay Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana

Sweetbay Magnolia

Sweetbay magnolia is a beautiful, smooth, white barked tree with fragrant six inch white flowers followed by red fleshy seeds dangling from a cone.

Sweetbay magnolia is found along the edge of marshes in tree islands and other moist, raised ground high in organic  matter.  It needs moisture, yet will die if flooded for more than a few days.

This tall tree will form a colony by suckering and makes a great screen while young.  The trees will become 40 feet tall and seem to do well on the edge of ponds or lakes where organic matter tends to accumulate.  Under plant with ferns like the giant leather, marsh or swamp fern, and shrubs including wild coffee, marlberry, virginia willow, dahoon holly or pond apple.  Cypress and red maple look nice nearby.

Sweetbay magnolia is the larval food of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and will attract this butterfly to unexpected areas like eastern Palm Beach County.
The seed source should be local and the soil acidic, fertile and moist. Add fertilizer with iron if the leaves turn yellow.