cucumbertree Magnoliaceae Magnolia
acuminata (L.) L.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical or ovate, 6 to 10 inches long, pinnately veined, entire margin, acuminate tip, dark green above and paler, whitened below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; 2 1/2 to 3 inches long, high in the tree, green to greenish-yellow, appearing in late spring or early summer.
Fruit: An aggregate of follicles, 2 to 3 inches long, cylindrical, initially green (cucumber-like), then red, and later dark brown; seeds inside follicles are 1/2 inch long, nearly round, red when mature in the fall.
Twig: Moderately stout, red-brown, light lenticels; large, silky, white terminal bud, stipule scars encircle the twig. Twigs have a spicy-sweet smell when broken.
Bark: Light gray-brown and flaky, quite soft (can dent with thumbnail), much darker reddish brown when flaked away.
Form: Pyramidal when young, developing a straight trunk and a rounded crown reaching up to 80 feet tall.
Looks like: pawpaw - umbrella magnolia - bigleaf magnolia - Fraser magnolia
Additional Range Information: Magnolia acuminata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting cucumbertree.
More Information: Fall Color - Wood
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson