Looking for an elegant tree with airy, open style to use as a specimen in your landscape? Charming native Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) has an easy-care nature. This beautiful tree is a wonderful choice for many modern landscape applications.
Like many native trees, you can guess that it has several nicknames. If you live further South, you'll likely know it by Sweetbay Magnolia or Swamp Magnolia. If you have mild winters, Sweet Bay leaves will likely remain on the tree all year long. In colder climates, the leaves are deciduous and fall off for winter. Our horticulture team calls it a semi-evergreen.
Anyway you spell it or see it - you'll definitely smell it! All parts of the Sweet Bay Magnolia are fragrant. The roots, branches and leaves smell sweet and spicy, a bit like vanilla.
The lovely, creamy flowers layer in a hint of lemon fragrance. Sweet Bay Magnolia flowers perfume your entire yard for many weeks in spring and summer.
The compact Sweet Bay Magnolia is a fast-growing showpiece with enormous ornamental appeal. It features a long blooming period. You'll enjoy the lovely three-inch, pure-white flowers in May after all chance of frost, and sporadically throughout the early summer as well. They are infused with a fresh, citrusy scent that is never heavy or cloying.
Even the leaves are very attractive. Up to five inches long, symmetrical leaves are dark green on the top with a glossy surface. The underneath has a silvery, waxy, glaucous coating that truly shimmers in the sunlight. You will be forgiven for staring at the sophisticated effect as the slightest breeze catches them to flash that delightful underside of silvery-white.