Please identify this evergreen plant

Asked February 4, 2019, 4:39 PM EST

I found this small plant growing very slowly in shade in an area that gets flooded when we get a lot of rain. What is it and should I move it? Thanks

Talbot County Maryland plant identification tree magnolia seedling tree seedling

4 Responses

This looks most like a magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia), which will seed itself in Maryland.
We can't tell if the leaves are alternate or opposite though, so are not positive of the id. You can send more photos if you like.

Southern magnolia is a good native evergreen tree. Summer blooming. Big.


Magnolia will tolerate high soil moisture, but not standing water or consistently sodden soil. Prefers well-drained acid soil. And partial to full sun. As for moving it, the decision rests on whether the flood water sits and is not absorbed in 24 hours or drains, and how shady the site it. Since this is a desirable tree, it's certainly worth moving if its present location is too wet and shady. In Maryland, it transplants best in spring.


The plant is only 9” tall so it’s hard to tell but here are two more photos. The top and bottom leaves are almost opposite each other but then there’s one in the middle by itself.

It looks like an alternate leaf arrangement to us. That and the wooly growing tip in one of the pictures does suggest a Magnolia.