En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - March 16, 2011

From: Chevy Chase, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Native magnolias in MD
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

We live in Chevy Chase MD. Three tulip magnolias planted three years ago as part of a hedge died during the blizzard conditions we experienced the winter following their planting. This year as well we have had record snow and cold weather. Our landscape architect is suggesting we replace the tulips with magnolia virginiana. I want to know if these shrubs are winter hardy enough to survive in our climate. Thank you in advance.

ANSWER:

The trouble with common names is that they can refer to more than one plant, so I am not sure whether your "tulip magnolia" is our native Liriodendron tulipifera (Tuliptree) or Magnolia liliiflora which is a native of Aisa.  Either one should have been hardy enough to survive in your cllimate.

That being said Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay), is a great choice for a replacement and we agree heartily with your landscape architect. If you are replacing the Asian magnolia, you will have a trouble free tree that is native to your ecosytem.  If it is the larger "tulip popar", you will have a smaller, multistemmed tree whose form is more suited to a hedgerow and whose beautiful, delicately fragrant blooms and ornamental fruit are close enough to the ground to be appreciated.

If you check the USDA Range Map for Sweetbay magnolia you will see that it has quite a broad range and it is hardy in Zones 5-8.  Depending on the winter and the cultivar you select, it will be deciduous to semi-evergreen.

Go for it!


Magnolia virginiana


Magnolia virginiana


Magnolia virginiana

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Native trees for revegetation project
October 05, 2007 - We live in a MUD just outside of Round Rock Texas. There is a developer building apartments behind about 20 houses. Last year, we got the developer to agree to leave 20' of native vegetation in the e...
view the full question and answer

Brownish haze on live oak leaves in Austin, TX.
October 09, 2009 - My live oak tree leaves are getting a brownish "haze" on them, almost as if they have been spray painted (lightly) with brown paint. I did use the oak wilt identifier and that is not at all what it ...
view the full question and answer

Holly-like groundcover under live oak tree.
June 21, 2012 - I have looked and looked and cannot identify a wonderful groundcover holly growing in the shade beneath my 100 year old Live Oak here in Austin. I have looked up every possible Ilex variety and am stu...
view the full question and answer

Difference in native and non-native cherry laurel
October 02, 2014 - I have a backyard volunteer that I have identified as a cherry laurel, but how do I tell the Carolina from the non-native? This is still young (2 years or so), and not flowering, at least not now.
view the full question and answer

Spring blooming Acacia farnsiana in Austin
April 04, 2007 - I've been seeing a large shrub, possibly tree, around Austin this spring - and it is covered is small ball-like orangish-yellow blooms - very tightly covered in these blooms. From the car, it looks ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center