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Magnolia virginiana

Native Plants

Sweet Bay

4 Photos


Grace your patio path with the pleasing lemon-scented fragrant blossoms of sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana). Blooming sporadically, the solitary 2-3” wide, creamy white flowers are followed by small red fruits, which are highly valued by a variety of wildlife. The shiny leaves of this multi-stemmed small tree are semi-evergreen cast with silver on the underside. Sweet bay’s loose, open, upright habit provides a lovely vertical element in the garden. Naturally growing in moist to wet, acidic soils, it will thrive in medium to heavy clay, and it prefers filtered shade to sun. Sweet bay makes a handsome companion for ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), Lyon’s turtlehead (Chelone lyonii), cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum), inkberry (Ilex glabra), and summer sweet clethra (Clethra alnifolia). Zones 5-10. 

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  • Plant Type
    shrub, tree 
  • Sun/Shade Conditions
  • Foliage Character
  • Soil Moisture
  • Flowering Period
  • Soil PH
  • Flower Color
  • Summer Foliage Color
  • Fall Foliage Color
  • Fruit/Seed Color