Cucumber Tree Magnolia (Magnolia acuminata)
Although the cucumber magnolia does not produce showy flowers like most other magnolia species, it produces interesting, small, pink-red, cucumber-shaped fruit pods. The cucumber tree has large, dark green leaves, and a wide spreading shape. This tree attracts songbirds.
Family: Magnoliaceae (Magnolia)
Characteristics: The 4-inch to 10-inch-long leaves are ovate and dark green. In the fall, leaves turn golden. The non-showy, yellow-green flowers appear after the leaves. These flowers are followed by small, pink-red, cucumber-shaped fruits. Bark is gray and smooth, though becomes furrowed with age. This tree has a distinct pyramidal shape when young and becomes rounded, with wide spreading branches, with age. It grows 50-80 feet high and wide.
Foliage: Deciduous (leaves lost seasonally)
Geographic Origin: Eastern North America (native)
Cultivation Notes: Requires low maintenance. Does best in full sun to part shade. Prefers acidic, moist, and well-drained soils. This tree will not do well in windy or polluted areas, and is sensitive to soil-extremes.
Number on Campus: 2
Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden