Although its flowers are not large and showy like other magnolias, this tall deciduous tree makes a fine shade tree for large spaces. A native of eastern United States from New York to Georgia, it has a pyramidal form when young but quickly grows to 50-80’ tall with wide spreading branches. The yellow-green leaves are simple, ovate and six to twelve inches long, creating a medium coarse texture. In fall the leaves turn yellow to gold and add to autumn coloration. The greenish-white flowers are fragrant and 2.5-4” across. They are produced in the spring but are usually hidden by the foliage. The cone-shaped fruiting body that follows, however, is attractive, resembling a cucumber as the common name suggests. It turns red as it matures and produces red seeds. Since the tree is very large it is best suited to a spacious area such as a park or golf-course. Several hybrids and cultivars are available varying in height and flower color and size.
Type: Deciduous tree
Outstanding Feature: Stately shade tree
Form: Pyramidal when young; wide spreading with maturity
Growth Rate: Fast
Bloom: Greenish-white flowers 2.5-4” across in spring, usually hidden by foliage; cone-like fruiting body maturing to red and bearing red seeds.
Size: 50-80’ H x 25-40’ W
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained; pH tolerant
Hardiness: Zones 4-10
Care: Low maintenance; prune after flowering if desired.
Pests and Diseases: None of significance; susceptible to scale
Propagation: Seed; tissue culture.