Magnolia virginiana, or Sweetbay Magnolia, is a small tree or shrub at home in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains and piedmont as far north as New York.. With 3- to 5-inch, oval, leathery green leaves with silvery undersides, and beautiful, sweetly-scented, small (3″ wide) ivory flowers in spring and summer, followed by showy red seed cones in fall, Sweetbay is a wonderful plant to have around. If can be grown with several stems, and will blend in to a shrub border, or as an upright, single-leader specimen yard tree with a wide-columnar form. Sweetbay is different from other magnolias in that it can tolerate saturated and flooded soils as well as droughty conditions, making it an excellent candidate for a rain garden. It can grow for 50 years. There is disagreement as to its ultimate height, as a southern natural variety, M. virginiana ‘australis’ is truly evergreen and grows to an unapologetic 60′. The largest known specimen of Magnolia virginiana (the evergreen form), 28m (= 92 feet) in height with a trunk diameter of 1.4 m (=4.6 feet), is recorded from Union County, Arkansas (American Forestry Association 1994). In the Northern part of its range, reports range from 20′ to 40′, and we have only seen 20-foot specimens in our area in the central NC piedmont.