Magnolia virginiana sweet-bay Magnoliaceae MAVI; R, cp, ev, t;

   

Magnolia virginiana.M. B. Gargiullo 2010.

Magnolia virginiana.M. B. Gargiullo 2010.

Magnolia virginiana is a to 20 m, usually smaller, multistemmed, leaning habit; bark smooth, gray. 

Leaves alternate, late-deciduous, Rhododendron-like, aromatic, white below. 

Flowers white, fragrant, about 5 cm wide, solitary; blooms May-July. 

Fruit green becoming brown, lumpy, cone-shaped about 4 cm long, opening to release seeds with red, fleshy coat (aril), Sept.-Oct., seeds dispersed by birds. Seed load: 41%. Aril pulp nutrients: water 42%, lipid 37%, protein 5%, CHO 24% (White, 1989). Fruit eaten by many birds, seeds eaten by a few birds and small mammals (Martin et al. 1951). 

Wetland status: FACW+. 

Frequency in New York City: Very infrequent (Endangered; NYS, S1, U). 

Origin: Native but Long Island is northern limit of range. 

Habitat: Understory and edges of swamp forests. Fairly flood and shade tolerant. Soil pH 5-6.9 (USDA, NRCS 2010). 

Notes: Apparently not eaten by deer or rabbits (Gargiullo personal observation).