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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Magnolia acuminata (L.) L.
Cucumbertree, Cucumber tree, Mountain magnolia
Synonyms: Tulipastrum acuminatum, Tulipastrum cordatum
USDA Symbol: maac
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
The hardiest of all magnolias, Cucumber-tree is a large, round-topped, deciduous tree that can grow 60-75 ft. tall and wide. Its leaves, from 6-10 in. long, are deep-green in summer and yellow-brown in fall. Flowers are not showy; only 2 in. across and greenish in color. They are followed by a cucumber-like fruit which turns from green to red. The flowers and fruit are often missed because they occur at the top of the tree.
Cucumber-tree is the only magnolia native to Canada. It is extremely rare in Ontario and is threatened with extirpation throughout its Canadian range. (Kershaw)
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: May , Jun
AL , AR , CT , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
W. NY, s. Ont., s. IN, s. IL & s. MO, s. to FL & LA Native Habitat:
Rich, wooded slopes; stream banks; uplands USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
High Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist , Wet Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Rich, moist, acidic soils. Conditions Comments:
This is a good specimen tree
with a medium growth rate. Use cucumber tree
only in an area where the huge leaves, dropping thoughout the late summer and fall, are not a maintenance problem. This tree
is affected by few diseases or pests however it does not withstand extreme drought or wetness or pollution. Mature trees are reluctant to heal wounds or cleaning cuts.
Many fruits fall to the ground with their seeds still enclosed and become forage for towhees and other ground-feeding birds, as well as small mammals. Use Food:
Flower buds and flowers are edible, and may have provided a minor food source to First Nations and white settlers. (Athenic) Use Medicinal:
First Nations People used bark
extracts as analgesics, antidiarrheal, cold and toothache remedy. (Athenic) Conspicuous Flowers:
Remove seeds from fruit
shortly after harvest and handle with care. Excessive drying or heat can damage seeds. Seed Treatment:
Cold-stratify for 3-6 months. Commercially Avail:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Picayune, MS
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Record Modified: 2012-10-13
Research By: TWC Staff