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Common name: Sweetbay MagnoliaType: TreeAspect: Prefers full sunColour: WhiteSeason: SpringSoil: Not specifiedSize: MediumDelivery: Collection onlyImage: WTGN
Sweetbay Magnolia. An extremely fine and sadly all-too rare ornamental tree, grown for its very large fragrant creamy-white flowers and correspondingly large leaves.
Effectively fully hardy in all but the very coldest parts of the UK, happy down to -10C.
Magnolia virginiana will be happiest in fertile and reliably moist soils in full sun or some dappled shade. Height will in the region of 6-8m.
Magnolia virginina can rightfully claim a most significant place in the history of garden plants in the UK, as it was first Magnolia introduced here as early as 1678 after the English botanist and missionary John Banister collected specimens in the south-eastern United States - although subsequently it was some over-shadowed by the now more common Magnolia grandiflora. Perhaps even more remarakably Magnolia virginiana is not only the type species for all Magnolias (i.e against which all other plants claimed to be Magnolias must be compared) but also because Magnolia is regarded as the archetype of all flowering plants it can be said to be the ultimate defining benchmark for all other flowering plants. Impressive.