Woodlanders Bringing you the best in rare native and exotic plants since 1979

Magnolia virginiana (Dodd's small leaf)

Photo by Carl Dawson

Sweetbay Cultivar

Sweetbay Magnolia is a common tree of moist soil areas in eastern United States where it ranges from Massachusetts to Texas. The northern plants (Magnolia virginiana var. virginiana) are deciduous and the southern (Magnolia virginiana var. australis) are larger trees and are evergreen. The 4-5 inch long leaves are white beneath and the 2-3 inch wide flowers are very fragrant. Dodd's Small Leaf, a clone of the southern variety, was one which to the amusement of the late great Tom Dodd, Jr., we did not even recognize as a Sweetbay when we first saw it exhibited by Tom Dodd Nurseries at the Atlanta trade show some years ago. It has small two inch long leaves and small flowers. Mr. Dodd shared several plants with us which are now sizeable trees at Hopelands Gardens here in Aiken, South Carolina. Supposedly there are several clones named for Alabama rivers but we belive they are much alike and do not know which one we are growing. We recall Mr. Dodd telling us that the seed parent tree, apparently a normal tree, was at Codien, Alabama and that a number of seedlings grown at the nursery turned out to be the small leaf form.  Recent information shared with us suggests that we are propagating the variety 'Tensaw' as it is supposedly the only clone that can readily be rooted from cuttings.

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20-30 Feet


8-12 Feet


USDA Hardiness Zone 5b - 10a

Characteristics & Attributes

Tardily Deciduous
Soil Properties
Sun Requirements
Full Sun to Part Shade