Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
Sweetbay Magnolia trees can grow up to 20 feet tall and deserve a special place to be admired. This tree does well in the sun or partial shade in a moist environment and makes a lovely addition to any landscape. The plant has the most glorious white blooms that can reach up to 3 inches wide. The flowers appear in late spring to late summer, are pleasant to smell, and are lovely to see.
Along with being a gorgeous tree, it is the host plant for the Tiger Swallow Butterfly. If you see a large yellow and black butterfly flying around a Sweetbay Magnolia, you might see the female lay eggs. Look for a torn leaf (see image below). It’s a sign a caterpillar is near.