Virginia Tech Dendrology

sweetbay magnolia Magnoliaceae Magnolia virginiana L. Listen to the Latin symbol: MAVI2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, narrow elliptical, 3 to 5 inches long, entire margin, evergreen to semi-evergreen in the south, shiny dark green above, silvery white below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; creamy white, 2 to 3 inches in diameter, 9 to 12 petals, mild lemony scent, appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Cone-like cluster of follicles, 2 inches long, pink to red ripening to reddish brown; bright scarlet-red seeds, ripen in late summer.
Twig: Moderate, pale green, pubescent, stipule scars circle twig; buds are long (1/2 inch) with fuzzy, silvery-gray scales that curl at their ends.
Bark: Smooth, reddish brown to gray, often mottled.
Form: A small tree typically not over 20 feet in height and multi-stemmed, grows taller in the south.
Looks like: loblolly bay - redbay - common sweetleaf
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Magnolia virginiana is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting sweetbay magnolia.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson