Magnolia virginiana

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Common name: sweetbay [1]

Magnolia virginiana
Magnolia virginiana BM.JPG
Photo by John B
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Species: M. virginiana
Binomial name
Magnolia virginiana
Natural range of Magnolia virginiana from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: M. virginiana ssp. australis (Sargent) A.E. Murray

Varieties: none


M. virginiana is a perennial shrub/tree of the Magnoliaceae family native to North America. [1]


M. virginiana is found along the southeastern coast of the United States from Texas to Massachusetts. [1]



M. virginiana proliferates in pocosins, bay forests, and swamps in the Coastal Plain, streamhead pocosins, swamps, and sandhill seeps in the Sandhills, bogs and peaty swamps in the Piedmont and Mountains. [2] Specimens have been collected from shrub tree bog, wet hammock, wet woodland, pine woods, moist roadside on edge of woods, moist sloping plain, bottomland woodland, edge of cypress swamp, sandy roadside, swampy woods, slash pine flatwoods, floodplain, pine-palmetto flats, wiregrass bog, wet cabbage palm hammock, and live oak hammock. [3]


M. virginiana has been observed flowering April through June. [4]

Fire ecology

M. virigniana is fire resistant but has no fire tolerance. [1]

Use by animals

M. virginiana is highly palatable to browsing animals. [1]

Conservation and Management

M. virginiana is listed as endangered by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Land and Forests, and as threatened by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Natural Heritage Program. [1]

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 USDA Plant Database
  2. Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  3. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: R.K. Godfrey, Loran C. Anderson, Gwynn Ramsey, Richard S. Mitchell, L.B. Trott, R. Kral, P. L. Redfearn, Lovett Williams, Andre Clewell, E.A. Hebb, N. Summerlin, Robert Lemaire, N.H. Chevalier, Sidney McDaniel, Gary KNight, Mark Garland, J.P. Gillespie, R.A> Norris, R. Komarek, Lisa Keppner, Cecil Slaughter, Morris Adams. States and counties: Florida (Liberty, Jefferson, Osceola, Leon, Madison, Jackson, Wakulla, Taylor, Gadsden, Polk, Volusia, Bradford, Walton, Union, Bay, Broward, Collier, Franklin, Bay, Orange, Calhoun, Washington, Holmes) Georgia (Thomas, Grady) Alabama (Houston)
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 24 MAY 2018