Say you want or need to trap a beaver. First you need a trap, but then you need to bait the trap. And then the question becomes, what do you bait a beaver trap with? There is an answer: Magnolia virginiana.
Beavers find the fleshy roots of the “Sweet bay” irresistible, a preference that was not missed by early colonists to North America. Deer and cattle like the leaves and twigs. It can be up to 25% of their winter diet. Squirrels, white-footed mice, turkeys, quails and songbirds like its fruit. Humans make a tea from its leaves and use them to flavor soups and stews.
Sweetbay appeals to the nose with a hint of vanilla. Used in soups, stews, in making tea. A pickled Magnolia Blossom condiment is highly prized.-click for recipe
Medicinal possibilities (always do your own research) include cold remedies, body temperature regulation, and a mild hallucinogen. Not sure that last one is medical but there you go.
How to grow:
Soak the seeds in water for 24-48 hours
Place in a Ziploc bag with a moist paper towel in the refrigerator for 6 weeks
Plant approx 10 seeds per 4" pot and bury up to the lip of the pot in a garden bed (when weather allows)
When seedlings are large enough to prick out of the soil, plant in individual pots and return to the garden row.
Grow out in a protected location for the first year and plant in final location in the spring of their second year.