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Wild Florida Photo - Magnolia virginiana - Sweetbay

Magnolia virginiana L.

Sweetbay

Florida native

Volusia Co. FL (landscape) 05/09/22
Volusia Co. FL (landscape) 08/04/22
Volusia Co. FL (landscape) 05/09/22
Lake Co. FL 09/14/19
Lake Co. FL 09/14/19

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Sweetbay magnolia is an evergreen tree of wet hammocks, bayheads, swamps and bogs in most of Florida. The range extends through the coastal states from Texas to Massachusetts, plus Arkansas, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. In the northern part of this range they may be deciduous or semi-evergreen.
Typically these trees have straight trunks and grow not more than 30 m (almost 100 ft.) tall. Leaves are alternate, simple, entire and elliptic in shape, 5-15cm (2 to 6 in.) long and 2-6cm (3/4 to 2-1/3 in.) wide. The creamy white flowers have six to 15 petal-like tepals not exceeding 7cm (2-3/4 in.) across. The fruit is a knobby, ovoid cone-like structure, green at first then maturing to a pinkish-red before splitting open to expose the 1cm (3/8 in.) long seeds which are black and have a fleshy red coating that is attractive to birds.
Another magnolia tree with leaves having a light underside is Ashe magnolia - Magnolia macrophylla - but both the leaves and flowers are much larger than sweetbay. In Florida, Ashe magnolia is only found in the panhandle.

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Magnolia virginiana is a member of the Magnoliaceae - Magnolia family.


Other species of the Magnolia genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
  Magnolia grandiflora - SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA


Date record last modified: Mar 22, 2024


Paul Rebmann Nature Photography at pixels.com