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Magnolia virginiana Linnaeus var. australis Sargent. Subgenus: Magnolia. Section: Magnolia. Southern Sweet Bay. Phen: Apr-Jul; Jul-Oct. Hab: Pocosins, bay forests, and swamps in the Coastal Plain, streamhead pocosins, swamps, and sandhill seeps in the Sandhills, bogs and peaty swamps in the Piedmont and Mountains. Dist: Se. NC south to s. FL, and west to e. TX, rarely extending into more interior provinces; disjunct in nw. Cuba.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: Magnolia virginiana has been discovered in Cuba, the single population named as ssp. oviedoae A. Palmarola, M.S. Romanov, & A.V. Bobrov (Palmarola-Bejerano, Romanov, & Bobrov 2008), but based on molecular results of Azuma et al. (2011), it seems better to consider this population as part of M. virginiana var. australis. Morphological, molecular, and chemical studies have shown strong variation in M. virginiana in North America, but the patterns are not clear based on the limited current studies (Azuma, Thien, & Kawano 1999). Based on the studies of Azuma et al. (2011), Azuma, Thien, & Kawano (1999), Tobe (1998), and McDaniel (1966), the recognition of two varieties seems clearly warranted, with a strong genetic break occurring in SC (a secondary and less strong genetic break separates West Gulf Coastal Plain populations from more eastern populations) (Azuma et al. 2011). Additional study is needed to understand the exact distributions of the two taxa in the area of contact (SC and adjacent GA and NC), whether species status is warranted, as suggested by Azuma et al. (2011), and the correlation between morphological traits and genetic variation.

Synonymy: = F, K3, K4, Tx, Tobe (1998); = Magnolia virginiana L. ssp. australis (Sarg.) A.E.Murray – Palmarola-Bejerano, Romanov, & Bobrov (2008); < Magnolia virginiana L. – AqW, Ar, C, Fl2, FNA3, G, GW2, K1, RAB, S, S13, Tn, W, WH3, Frodin & Govaerts (1996), Hardin & Jones (1989), Sima & Lu (2012), Spongberg (1998)

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Great Plains: OBL (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)

Heliophily: 5

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image of plant© Sonnia Hill | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Weakley source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Sonnia Hill | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Sonnia Hill | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Sonnia Hill | Original Image ⭷


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