Swampbay - Whitebay - Beaver Tree
Magnolia virginiana - Linnaeus
Sweetbay is a tree with a narrow, rounded crown that sheds its leaves in winter or is almost evergreen in this area. The foliage is aromatic and spicy. The tree height is usually no more than 60 feet with a trunk diameter of about 1.5 feet. Its preferred habitat is wet soils of coastal swamps and borders of streams and ponds.
The leaves are 3 - 6 inches long and about 2.5 inches wide, oblong in outline, blunt at the tip, no teeth and no lobes; slightly thickened and on short stalks; shiny green above and whitish finely hairy beneath.
The flowers are about 2.5 inches wide, cup-shaped, with 9 - 12 white petals; fragrant; in late spring and early summer.
Fruit is cone-like; eliptical; dark red; composed of many separate pointed fruits, each with 2 red seeds; maturing in early autumn.