Magnolia virginiana L.
Magnolia virginiana, commonly known as Laurel Magnolia, Sweet Bay, is a shrub.
Magnolia virginiana was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
The comparatively short-lived shrubs produce a single stem and reach heights of 7 to 9 metres. The main growing season is in spring and summer.
Wood and Bark
Magnolia virginiana is evergreen. The dark-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are ovate and petiolate with entire margins and pinnate venation. The surface of the leaves is leathery.
Flowers and Fruits
Magnolia virginiana produces showy solitary erect, white cup-shaped flowers from May to June. The plants are hermaphroditic.
The shrubs produce ornamental red follicles from summer to autumn.
Magnolia virginiana is native to the Northeast of the US, the southern Prairie States of the US, the Southeast of the US and Florida.
The shrubs prefer a half-shady situation on fresh to moist soil. They prefer sandy loam with a pH between 5 and 6,9. The plants need a soil depth of at least 76 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -23Â°C (USDA zone 6) and need a frost-free period of at least 26 weeks.
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: soil salinity, drought, calcareous soil
- low: anaerobic soil
- high: city climate
The ornamental value of Magnolia virginiana lies especially in its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 2 to 3,5 metres. From a commercial point of view the shrubs can be used to produce pulpwood. The plants have only low potential for fuelwood production.
Maintenance and Propagation
The plants usually need very little maintenance.
- Plants can be cut back down to the trunk (coppicing) as necessary.
Propagate by sowing. The seeds require vernalization. Also by cuttings.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.