Plants by Genus Species

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Document Type


Publication Date




Genus Species

Magnolia virginiana

Common Name

Sweetbay Magnolia




Magnolia virginiana has a native range from Florida, north to Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, and south to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas in swamps (Callaway 1994).


From where or whom obtained and when: Original source of the plants were from a seed pod that was collected at the married student housing on the Eastern Illinois University during the fall of 1960. Dr. Whiteside planted the seeds in the old greenhouse that was near the student services building. He took the seedlings home to Rock Island County and planted them. The plants in Rock Island County provided the seed for the original plantings at the Whiteside Garden around 1965. One of the original planting sites was along the creek where the plants did very poorly, likely due to the agricultural lime runoff, since the sweet bay magnolia prefers a more acid condition. Two of these original seedlings still are at the south of the garage. Another source was from Joe McDaniel who offered both seed and whole plants as he tried to develop the southern evergreen forms of the plant in the early 1970’s. Roy Klehm who had a small nursery west of Champaign, Illinois, offered Dr. Whiteside a named selection called “Moon glow” as a whole plant around 2005. Sweet bay magnolia has since seeded around quite a bit throughout the Whiteside Garden.