Magnolia acuminata
Common name: 
Cucumber Magnolia
Cucumbertree Magnolia
Mountain Magnolia
Pronunciation: 
mag-NO-li-a a-ku-mi-NA-ta
Family: 
Magnoliaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Deciduous tree, 50-80 ft, (15-24 m), upright branches, pyramidal, upper branches curved upward, lower branches droop.  Root system deep.  Leaves alternate, simple, 10-25 cm long, apex acute to acuminate, dark green above, soft pubescent and light green below.  Buds greenish to white, pubescent, covered (as with all magnolias) by a single keeled scale.  Flowers have greenish yellow petals (5-7.5 cm long), borne solitary, not very showy.  Fruit an aggregate of pinkish-red follicles, 5-7.5 cm long, briefly persisting in fall (may look like a small cucumber).
  • Sun or partial shade.  Prefers deep, moist, well-drained, slightly acid soil.   Performs well in the calcareous soils of midwest, does not tolerate extreme drought or wetness.  Often difficult to transplant.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3     Native range from New York to Georgia, west to Illinois and Arkansas.  A large number of selections have been introduced but apparently few available commercially.
  • Magnolia: after Pierre Magnol (1638-1715), professor of botany at Montpellier.  acuminata: a long point, the leaves.
  • Salem, Oregon: Bush Prairie Park, in garden east of Bush House.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, spring flowering

    plant habit, spring flowering

  • flower bud and leaves

    flower bud and leaves

  • flowers and leaves

    flowers and leaves

  • flower

    flower

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leaf

    leaf

  • green fruit, early summer

    green fruit, early summer

  • mature fruit and emerging seeds, fall

    mature fruit and emerging seeds, fall

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark