Cucumber Magnolia, Magnolia acuminata
Origin: North America (from the lake Erié to Louisiana). The name Cucumber tree comes from the unripe fruit, which is often shaped like a small cucumber
Height: until 30 m tall.
Deciduous, big, light green leaves. Oval to oblong, 12-25 cm long and 6-12 cm wide, with smooth margins and downy on the underside. They come in two forms, acuminate at both ends, or moderately cordate at the base.
Flowers: they appear from May to the end of June according to varieties, in the form of tulip, in yellow colour, slightly fragrant.
Cultivars: 'Koban Dori', 'Seiju'...
Hybridization: very often used for its yellow flowers and its robustness. M. acuminata x M. denudata: 'Elizabeth ', ' Butterfly ' - M. acuminata x soulangeana: ' Brooklyniensis ' - M. acuminata x M. stellata: "Gold Star"
Origin: Pennsylvania, Mounts of the Appalachians in the United States, where it is called umbrella magnolia ("umbrella" because of its big leaves). It was introduced into Europe in 1752.
Habitat: in its original area, the Magnolia tripetala grows in forests of Acer rubrum, Liriodendron, Liquidambar. It fits well in Europe. Prefers rich, humid soils.
Shape: irregular, sparse foliage.
Rate of Growth: fast.
Bark: grey, smooth.
Height:small tree from 10 to 12 m tall.
Deciduous, very big leaves (from 30 to 60 cm), green yellow. The leaf is spatulate (broader in 3/4 of its length), on sharpened base, and acuminate (ending in tip). Because of its big size, it is fragile and can be torn by the wind, the rain, the hail. Its pace drooping is of a strange effect. It gathers in whorl at the end of stems and envelops flowers, hiding it somewhat.
20 cm flowers, formed from 6 to 9 big cream white petals, in May-June. The rain can detach them or shred them prematurely. The flowers emit an unpleasant smell.
Fruit: agglomeration of seeds in September-October, of red colour.
Hybridization: x sieboldii = "Charles Coates", x virginiana M. = thomsoniana.