Sweetbay Magnolia

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(Redirected from Magnolia virginiana)
Sweetbay Magnolia

Sweetbay Magnolia leaves and flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Magnoliales
Family:Magnoliaceae
Genus:Magnolia
Species:M. virginiana

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

The Sweetbay magnolia, Magnolia virginiana, also called just Sweetbay, is a member of the magnolia family, Magnoliaceae. It was the first magnolia to be scientifically described, and is the type species of the genus Magnolia; as Magnolia is also the type genus of all flowering plants, this species can be seen to typify all flowering plants.

Sweetbay magnolia is a deciduous or evergreen tree to 30 m tall, native to the southeastern United States. Whether it is deciduous or evergreen depends on climate; it is evergreen in areas with milder winters in the south of its range, and deciduous further north. The leaves are alternate, simple (not lobed or pinnate), with entire margins, and 6-12 cm long, 3-5 cm wide. The flowers are creamy white, 8-14 cm diameter, with 6-15 tepals. The fruit is a fused aggregate of follicles, 3-5cm long, pinkish-red when mature, with the follicles splitting open to release the 1cm long seeds. The seeds are black but covered by a thinly fleshy red coat, which is attractive to some fruit-eating birds; these swallow the seeds, digest the red coating, and disperse the seeds in their droppings.

It is an attractive tree for parks and large gardens, grown for its large, conspicuous, and scented flowers.

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