Southeast and Deep South Trees and Shrubs

Magnolia virginiana is better known as Sweetbay Magnolia, or Laurel Magnolia. Sweetbay blooms with beautiful, creamy flowers that smell of lemon. Magnolia grows up 20 feet and does very well in the shade. Its seed is often eaten by turkey, quail or other songbirds. Sweetbay also plays host to the beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly.

Malvaviscus arboreus is a wonderful shrub that loves the shade. More commonly known as Turkscap, Malvaviscus arboreus produces wonderful hibiscus-like flowers that never quite open all the way, thus its other common name: Sleeping Hibiscus or Sleepy Mallow. Turkscap can grow to eight feet tall.

Myrica cerifera has several common names including, Southern Wax Myrtle, Southern Bayberry, and Candleberry for its wax, once used to make candles. Bayberry is a small tree, 3 to 8 feet tall. Both sexes are on the same tree which produces globular berries. Bayberry is used in homeopathic therapy.

Sabal minor is a small palm, better known as a Dwarf Palmetto. Sabal minor grows to an average of four feet, but can grow up to 10 feet. Dwarf Palmetto produces white flowers and black fruit and is cold hardy, though it needs hot summers to thrive.

Taxodium distichum is a very large tree (60 to 70 feet) most of you will know as the Bald Cypress. So, you might consider a large rain garden if you would like to include the Bald Cypress. I'm sure the idea of Bald Cypress conjures up visions of vast Cypress swamps, which makes it ideal for wet depressions.