This tree is easy to locate, since it is the rightmost tree up against the south side of Kirkland Hall.
Sweetbay magnolia has typical magnolia flowers
: large white petals and many stamens and pistils joined in the center. This type of flower has been considered "primitive" because it isn't adapted to any particular type of pollinator
. The leaves
are leathery and white on the lower surface.
Sweetbay does not occur naturally in middle Tennessee. The two individuals by Kirkland hall are among the largest in the state and this individual on the right is a former state champion, with a diameter of 34 cm (13 in.).
This tree is described on p. 13 of The Trees of Vanderbilt