Magnolia virginiana 'Moon Glow' - Sweetbay Magnolia

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Full SunDeer ResistantRain GardenPart ShadeBird Friendly
Sweetbay Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana 'Moon Glow'

'Moon Glow' is an improved selection with more vigorous growth, better cold hardiness and slightly larger blooms. The elegant flowers are creamy white and have a wonderful lemony fragrance. This tree flowers heavily in late spring to early summer and again sporadically the rest of the season. The shiny, deep green foliage is exquisite and often used in fresh and dried flower arrangements. The cone-like fruits contain bright red seeds that are an important source of food for birds in the fall. Combines well with rhododendrons and azaleas.

  • Waxy, white fragrant flowers for many weeks
  • Evergreen to semi-evergreen foliage
  • Seeds are a good source of food for birds in fall
  • Larval host plant for the Sweetbay Silkmoth
  • Vigorous grower, grows in wet soil

Native Range

Swamps, low woods and savannas, mostly along the coast; from Eastern Massachusetts and New York to Florida and eastern Texas.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


Magnolia seed is surrounded by a bright red covering that is high in fat, which provides migrating birds with a source of energy.



Plant in full sun to part shade. Grows best in acidic soil with consistent soil moisture. Prefers moist, rich, organic soils, but does quite well in heavy clay soil. Plant in an area protected from harsh winter wind in USDA Zone 5.


Mature Size: 30-35ft. Tall x 30-35ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 5-10

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

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