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Magnolia virginiana (Sweet bay)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
9m
Max height
6m
Max spread
20-50 Years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Magnolia virginiana

Other names

Sweet bay, Swamp bay, Swamp laurel, Beaver tree, beaverwood, Castorwood, Elk bark, Small laurel magnolia, Swamp sassafras, White bay, White laurel, Magnolia glauca

Genus

Magnolia Magnolia

Species

M. virginiana - M.virginiana is deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub or small tree with glossy, ovate, green leaves and cup-shaped, fragrant, creamy-white to greenish-white flowers from early summer to early autumn.


Magnolia virginiana is: Semi evergreen

Fragrance

Very fragrant vanilla-scented flowers.

Tree shape

Conical

Flower

Greenish-white, Cream in Summer; Cream, Greenish-white in Autumn

Foliage

Bright-green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Capsid bug , Horse chestnut scale , Scale insects , Snails Capsid bug , Horse chestnut scale , Scale insects , Snails

Coral spot , Honey fungus Coral spot , Honey fungus

General care

Propagation methods

Budding, Grafting, Layering, Seed, Semi-hardwood cuttings, Semi-ripe cuttings


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Where to grow

Magnolia virginiana (Sweet bay) will reach a height of 9m and a spread of 6m after 20-50 Years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, City, Cottage/Informal, Low Maintenance

Cultivation

Plant in moist, humus-rich soil. Prefers acid to neutral soil.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Magnolia virginiana

Other names

Sweet bay, Swamp bay, Swamp laurel, Beaver tree, beaverwood, Castorwood, Elk bark, Small laurel magnolia, Swamp sassafras, White bay, White laurel, Magnolia glauca

Genus

Magnolia Magnolia

Species

M. virginiana - M.virginiana is deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub or small tree with glossy, ovate, green leaves and cup-shaped, fragrant, creamy-white to greenish-white flowers from early summer to early autumn.

Native to

Eastern United States

Foliage

Semi evergreen

Fragrance

Very fragrant vanilla-scented flowers.

Tree shape

Conical


Colour

Flower

Greenish-white, Cream in Summer; Cream, Greenish-white in Autumn

Foliage

Bright-green in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Capsid bug , Horse chestnut scale , Scale insects , Snails

Specific diseases

Coral spot , Honey fungus

General care

Propagation methods

Budding, Grafting, Layering, Seed, Semi-hardwood cuttings, Semi-ripe cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Magnolia virginiana (Sweet bay) will reach a height of 9m and a spread of 6m after 20-50 Years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, City, Cottage/Informal, Low Maintenance

Cultivation

Plant in moist, humus-rich soil. Prefers acid to neutral soil.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Magnolia virginiana (Sweet bay)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Phytophthora kernoviae

Type

Oomycete

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Pathogen of certain tree and shrub species; subject to a containment strategy the UK.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Magnolia virginiana (Sweet bay)

Common pest name

Japanese long scale; Japanese maple scale; Long scale; Japanese; Pear white scale

Scientific pest name

Lopholeucaspis japonica

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Regulated only on Citrus at present; regulation on other hosts needs to be considered. Only likely to be a pest under glass in UK.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Magnolia virginiana (Sweet bay)

Common pest name

Black timber bark beetle; Smaller alnus bark beetle; tea root borer

Scientific pest name

Xylosandrus germanus

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Ambrosia beetle affecting a wide range of trees and woody hosts. Widespread in Europe and elsewhere and now present in the south of England. Impacts can be reduced by good silvicultural practices. Surveillance is being carried out to better determine distribution.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Clay, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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Yellow Leaves

I just planted a sweetbay magnolia in my front yard last weekend and I have been watering it on a regular basis and we had a really hard rain on Wednesday of this week. So, it has received plenty of… read more

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