ID this shrub
June 29, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Shrub ID Filter: Can you identify this shrubbery?

Here are some photos:

Wide shot
Flower close up

It currently stands about 4-5 feet tall. The little pods are about the size of the circle made by your thumb and index finger. The one white flower pictured was of a similar size and fell off within a day or two of the photo being taken. Any ideas?
posted by rocketpup to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It is a magnolia of some sort. I'm at work and don't have the resources right now to look up the kind.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:49 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Do the flowers have fragrance? It sort of looks like a gardenia.
posted by jerseygirl at 7:46 AM on June 29, 2012

looks like a rhododendron to me, but the flowers are weird.
posted by virginia_clemm at 7:57 AM on June 29, 2012

Response by poster: I didn't get to sniff the flower but I think it had a very slight fragrance, if any.
posted by rocketpup at 7:59 AM on June 29, 2012

I'm pretty sure sciencegeek is right. Where is this plant?
posted by WyoWhy at 8:08 AM on June 29, 2012

Best answer: I believe that is a sweet bay magnolia. They are native to lowland marshes on the East coast. Should have a delicate tea-like aroma. They are slow growing, but will eventually reach 25-30 feet over twenty years or so.

They are considered ideal specimens for small yards, and it looks very healthy and happy.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:24 AM on June 29, 2012

Response by poster: halfbuckaroo and sciencegeek for the win!

Thanks, the previous best ID was the Cow Itch Tree, which didn't really make any sense given the environment but which nevertheless filled us with horror considering the description of the plant.
posted by rocketpup at 8:34 AM on June 29, 2012

It looks to me what we call mock orange but you might call Philadelphus.
posted by TheRaven at 8:36 AM on June 29, 2012

Magnolia virginiana, as halfbuckaroo says. You can scratch the twig and get the aroma (and the seed pods smell awesome when they ripen and open up!)
posted by Red Loop at 4:19 PM on June 29, 2012

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