(Magnolia virginiana )
The Magnolia Family (Magnoliaceae)

Small to medium sized tree with alternate, tardily deciduous leaves that are white on the underside, and smooth, reddish-brown, mottled bark.


Open woodlands, shaded woods, swamps.

Interesting Facts: 

Named for spice-like fragrance of the leaves, which are used as a cooking spice, and as a tea that treats a broad range of ailments. Colonists named it “Beavertree” because its roots were employed as trapping bait for that animal. Host of the Sweetbay Silkmoth.

2" long cone-like clusters, pinkish-red to reddish brown, with scarlet-red seeds; ripen in late summer.
White, lemon-scented blooms, 2-3" in diameter, 9 to 12 petals, appearing in late spring.
Wildlife value: 
Food and cover source for a limited number of moths and beetles, but few other animals.
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 3.00-5.00 inches
Tree height: 12.00-20.00 feet

Where to find Sweetbay Magnolia on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

TER - Walker Terrace 17.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.