Magnolia virginiana, commonly called sweetbay magnolia, is native to the southeastern United States north along the Atlantic coast to New York. In the northern part of its cultivated growing range, it typically grows as either a 15-20′ tall tree with a spreading, rounded crown or as a shorter, suckering, open, multi-stemmed shrub.   In the deep South, it is apt to be more tree-like, sometimes growing to 60′ tall.  It features cup-shaped, sweetly fragrant (lemony), 9-12 petaled, creamy white, waxy flowers (2-3″ diameter) which appear in mid-spring and sometimes continue sporadically throughout the summer.  The oblong-lanceolate shiny green foliage is silvery beneath.  Foliage is evergreen to semi-evergreen in the South.  Cone-like fruits with bright red seeds mature in fall and can be showy.

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