Southern Sweetbay Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana var. australis
Southern Sweetbay Magnolia
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 15 feet
Spread: 8 feet
Hardiness Zone: 6
Other Names: Swamp Magnolia, Laurel Magnolia
A small tree with sparse, extremely fragrant cup-shaped flowers in spring and sporadically throughout summer, large leaves with silver undersides are semi-evergreen; very adaptable, makes a wonderful front yard accent in the average home landscape
Southern Sweetbay Magnolia features bold fragrant creamy white cup-shaped flowers held atop the branches from mid to late spring. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn yellow in fall. The fruits are showy red pods displayed in early fall.
Southern Sweetbay Magnolia is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Southern Sweetbay Magnolia is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Southern Sweetbay Magnolia will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.
This tree performs well in both full sun and full shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.
Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for current availability. It does not include our entire selection of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.