Magnolia virginiana
Common name: 
Sweetbay Magnolia
mag-NO-li-a ver-jin-ee-a-na
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen, tree/shrub, 15-20(60) ft [4.5-6(18) m] high, nearly equal spread, often multi-stemmed, loose, open, may form a large pyramidal tree.   May be deciduous to nearly evergreen.  Leaves alternate, simple, entire, elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, 7-13 cm long, about half as wide, lustrous dark green above, grayish bloom below.  Creamy, lemon-scented flowers, 5-8 cm wide, water-lily shape, appear in late spring to early fall.  Fruit are cucumber-like pods to 5 cm, contain red seeds.
  • Sun to part shade.  Does well in wet swampy areas, requires acid soil, tolerates some shade and wind.  Shows chlorosis on calcareous soils. Several cultivars, one, 'Henry Hicks', reportedly remains evergreen at temperatures as low as -17° F.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      Native from Massachusetts to Florida and Texas, near coast.
  • Magnolia: after Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), professor of botany at Montpellier.   virginiana: of Virginia.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: northwest corner of Cordley Hall.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • branches


  • branch, leaves

    branch, leaves

  • leaves


  • flower bud and flower

    flower bud and flower

  • leaves and immature fruit

    leaves and immature fruit

  • immature and mature fruit

    immature and mature fruit

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • winter twig, buds

    winter twig, bud