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Botanical Name: Magnolia virginiana var. australis ‘Perry Paige’ [Sweet Thing™]
Common Name: Sweet Thing Sweetbay Magnolia
Notable Feature: Noted for its compact and shrubby habit, making it useful for hedging, screens, foundation plantings, as well as growing in large, patio containers.
Habit: Small, multi-stemmed, evergreen shrub of compact, upright spreading habit, eventually forming a shrub-like tree. Growth rate is slow. Reaches 20’ in height and 10’ wide at maturity. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
Foliage: Evergreen, lustrous dark olive green above and bluish white and downy beneath, especially on young leaves. Ovate in shape, up to 5” long and 2 ½” wide.
Flower: Creamy white, 2 to 3” across with 9 to 12 petal-like tepals. Flowers are short-lived, but produced over a long period, from early to late summer, and are highly lemon-scented. They are cup-shaped upon opening, aging to a broad saucer-shape.
Fruit: Cone-like, 2”long, and a showy dark red. Bright red seeds are visible in late summer into early autumn.
Interesting Fact: Originally discovered by George L. Dodson and Fernando Campbell Boyd III in a group of Magnolia virginiana var. australis seedlings planted at Sleepy Hollow Nursery, McMinnville, Tenn. in 1990.