The Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia Virginiana) may not produce as many blooms as other magnolias, but should not be counted out of your landscape plans. This tree flowers late in the spring, avoiding much of the frost that can spoil a blooming tree’s beauty. The sweetbay magnolia grows to a height of 10–20′ and a spread of 10–20′ at maturity. This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13″ to more than 24″ per year. Produces creamy white flowers 2–3″ in diameter that carry a light lemon scent. Blooms May through June, avoiding damaging spring frost. Features simple leaves 3–5″ in length that are dark green and often lustrous on top with a silvery, frosted-looking underside. Produces clusters of red fruit that attracts wildlife and songbirds
Full sun and partial shade are recommended.