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).