Sweetbay Magnolia

All About the Sweetbay Magnolia:

Scientific Nomenclature: Magnolia virginiana

Common Names: sweetbay magnolia, sweetbay, laurel magnolia, swamp magnolia, beavertree

Mature Height: 10–35 feet

Mature Spread: 10–35 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate 

Attracts Wildlife: Birds, mammals and select butterfly species

Messiness: Flowers in mid-spring and occasionally throughout summer; the flowers drop shortly after. Fruit matures in the fall and will drop in winter. Leaves are evergreen or semi-evergreen in the south however they will drop during autumn elsewhere.

Shape: Oval, open, multi-stemmed

Native to Kentucky: No

Preferred Soils: Tolerates wet or swampy sites but prefers well-drained acidic (<6.0pH) soils with high organic matter content.

Screening: Not useful as a privacy or screening plant.

Drought Tolerance: Is not drought tolerant.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous, semi-evergreen.

Pruning: Pruning is unnecessary, but deadwood can be removed in late winter or early spring to keep the tree healthy.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one sweetbay magnolia will:

  • Sequester ~973 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 331 gallons.