Alphabetical Plant Listing

Magnolia acuminata (Cucumber Tree)

Cucumbertree, Cucumber Tree, Mountain Magnolia, Magnolia acuminata var. cordata, Magnolia acuminata var. ozarkensis, Magnolia acuminata var. subcordata, Magnolia cordata, Tulipastrum acuminatum, Tulipastrum cordatum


The hardiest of all magnolias, Magnolia acuminata (Cucumber Tree) is a magnificent, deciduous tree with a straight trunk and a pyramidal crown. In late spring to early summer, tulip-shaped, slightly fragrant, yellowish-green flowers, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), open with the emerging leaves on mature trees (at least 12 years old). Handsome at close range, they are borne so high on the tree that they are often missed. Flower buds and flowers are edible, and may have provided a minor food source to First Nations and white settlers. The blossoms are followed by cucumber-like fruits which turn from green to red and open to reveal small red seeds in late summer. The fruits become forage for towhees and other ground-feeding birds, as well as small mammals. The foliage of huge, ovate, deep green leaves, up to 10 in. long (25 cm), turns dull yellow in fall. The bark is smooth and pale gray on young tree, becoming brown, deeply furrowed and ridged on mature trees. Native to eastern North America, Cucumber Tree makes a superb shade tree or specimen tree for a large landscape.

  • Grows up to 40-70 ft. tall (12-21 m) and 20-30 ft. wide (6-9 m)
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in organically rich, moist, acidic, well-drained soils. Moderately tolerant of drought and salt. Does not withstand extreme drought or wetness or pollution.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant.
  • Low maintenance, this beautiful tree is not subject to serious insect or disease issues.
  • Propagate by seed, layering, grafting/budding.
  • Native to eastern North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 2 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Magnolias
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 40' – 70' (12m – 21m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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Edita Medeina, Christopher Mousseau, Kryvosheia Yurii, Shutterstock, 阿橋 HQ, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 2 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Magnolias
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 40' – 70' (12m – 21m)
Spread 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Guides with Magnolias

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