Magnolia virginiana

Sweet-bay Magnolia

Magnoliaceae

Plant Specifics

Form:Tree
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White
Fruit Color:Red,brown
Phenology:Evergreen
Noted for:Showy flowers, Interesting foliage, Hurricane wind resistance

Landscaping

Recommended Uses:Specimen plant in moist areas. Wetland tree.
Considerations:Clonal: will send up suckers in some situations.
Propagation:
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Quality nurseries, Seed
Light: Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Tolerant of inundation with brackish water
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Organic material (muck), Sand
Soil pH:Acidic

Ecology

Wildlife:
  

Seeds are eaten by woodpeckers, kingbirds, red-eyed vireos, mockingbirds, robins, thrushes, crows, cardinals, squirrels, mice among others. Deer browse leaves and twigs.

Insects:
  

  • Larval host plant for Eastern tiger swallowtail (Pterourous glaucus) and palamedes (Papilio palamedes) butterflies. (IRC)
  • Beetles are the primary pollinators of magnolia flowers. The flowers have a hardened carpel to avoid damage by their gnawing mandibles as the feed. The beetles are after the protein-rich pollen. Because the beetles are interesting in pollen and pollen alone, the flowers mature in a way that ensures cross pollination. The male parts mature first and offer said pollen. The female parts of the flower are second to mature. They produce no reward for the beetles but are instead believed to mimic the male parts, ensuring that the beetles will spend some time exploring and thus effectively pollinating the flowers (In Defense of Plants blog).

Native Habitats:Bay swamp, forested seep slopes, floodplains of small streams.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Comments

General Comments:The silvery undersides of the leaves are striking. Erroneously listed as a host for palamedes swallowtail butterflies. Palamedes swallowtails only feed on native members of the genus Persea.