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Sweetbay Magnolia

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Sweetbay Magnolia or Silver Bay Magnolia, Magnolia virginiana, is a medium to large tree growing taller than broad up to 70 feet or more. It comes from wetlands and is best located where the soil is always moist. They are NOT adaptable to average to dry soil. The 7 inch leaves are leathery, medium green above and silvery white underneath. The leaves are aromatic if crushed and have been used as a replacement for European Bay Leaf used for seasoning.The sweet smelling large white blooms are 2 to 3 inches across and showy. The flowers attract pollinators to the nectar and birds are attracted to the large red seeds that are contained in the cone like seedpods. This is a beautiful and wildlife friendly tree for areas appropriate for it's requirement of moist soil. Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. It is a larval host plant for Eastern tiger swallowtail and palamedes butterflies. Attracts beetle and moth pollinators. Turkey, quail and other seed eating birds and small mammals eat the seeds.

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