General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 60 to 80 feet
Plant Spread: 35 to 60 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Edible to birds
Other: Popular with birds and other wildlife.
Fruiting Time: Late spring or early summer
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Green
Other: Yellowish-green
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Provides winter interest
Shade Tree
Useful for timber production
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Pollinators: Beetles
Various insects
Containers: Not suitable for containers

Common names
  • Cucumber Tree
  • Cucumbertree
  • Cucumber Magnolia
  • Magnolia

  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 29, 2018 8:12 PM concerning plant:
    The Cucumber Magnolia is usually a medium-sized tree in landscapes of about 30 to 50 feet, but it often gets 75 to 100 feet in nature. It grows in upland forest from western New York and some spots in the southern tip of Ontario down through most of Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio down the Appalachians to northern Georgia to areas of Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana and then around the Ozark Region to southern Illinois & Indiana. It has large leaves about 4 to 10 inches long x 2 to 5 inches wide that turn yellow or ashy brownish in fall. It bears yellow-green solitary flowers that are located higher up in the tree and masked by foliage, so not real conspicuous. It bears 2 to 3 inch long pinkish-red follicles that resemble cucumbers in October. It is medium to fast growing of 1.5 to 3 feet/year and lives about 150 years. I've seen some planted in estates, arboretums, and parks in southeast Pennsylvania and the Chicago area. It is not commonly planted, though it is a good shade tree. It is sold by some larger diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries. There is a natural variety of this species that is the Yellow Cucumbertree, Magnolia acuminata subcordata from North Carolina & Georgia, that is smaller of about 20 to 30 feet high and that truly yellow flowers that can be seen with some cultivars. Recently, a number of cultivars of yellow blooming magnolias have come from the hybridizing of this more yellow variety with the Yulan Magnolia (M. denudate) from China, as 'Butterflies' and 'Elizabeth.'

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