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Sweetbay Magnolia, Silver Bay, Swamp Bay 'Moonglow'

Magnolia virginiana

Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia (mag-NO-lee-a) (Info)
Species: virginiana (vir-jin-ee-AN-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Moonglow
Additional cultivar information:(PP12065; aka Jim Wilson, Moonglow)
Hybridized by Cully
Registered or introduced: 2000



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall





Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Odessa, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Carrollton, Georgia

Hanna City, Illinois

Georgetown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Horton, Michigan

Lebanon, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Sandy, Utah

Falls Church, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Shoreline, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 18, 2012, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Grows fine for me in southern MI (zone 5b) and has survived very harsh winters without damage. Needs acidic soil to grow well and won't tolerate a hot, dry area for long. Sweetbay Magnolia grows in southern swamps so it will tolerate wet areas. Grows upright, not shrubby like the species. I've not had a problem with cold hardiness with sweetbay magnolia but got this one to be one the safe side, both survive growing in the open for me.


On Dec 17, 2007, laurax40 from Carrollton, GA wrote:

while in the process of building our new house two years ago, a tornado hit our new home (in mid august), and took about thirty of our trees. we walked around our four akers of land . thats when i came upon this wonderful find-sweet magnolia tree. we have a creek and about three springs ,and it stays swampy in some spots. we have about twenty sweet magnolias and fourof the trees are very large ones. we are wanting to find small ones and re plant them in our front yard and different places around the yard. they stay green about all year . we have great photos of the creek and the trees where they hang over the creek . in what month would you recomend we transplant them.

laura carter
carrollton, ga.... read more


On May 11, 2005, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I was blown away by this trees performance. It is very hardy. It has been reported to withstand -33F in northern Illinois. As for my yard it does very well. I have been able to get an incredible three feet of growth a year. It starts blooming in early to mid May here and it smells terrific. Past its big and long initial bloom of the season there are always a flower or two to provide some fragrance in the yard. The foliage is lustrous and looks almost tropical. This tree is semievergreen here and holds most of its leaves into january when you seem to need it the most then they begin to shed as you cross from mid winter to late winter. A few leaves on the end of branches always remain luckily to last until spring. The fruit cones can be ornamental can as well. After many weeks of ... read more