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Magnolia acuminata, Cucumber Tree, Cucumber Magnolia
Magnolia acuminata 'Hattie Carthan'

Magnolia acuminata

Cucumber Tree, Cucumber Magnolia
Family: Magnoliaceae
Origin: North America
Small tree 10-20 ftFull sunSemi-shadeRegular waterModerate waterWhite, off-white flowersYellow, orange flowersDeciduous plantSubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

This small to medium-sized deciduous tree native to North America grows 10-20 ft tall and wide, with an upright oval canopy. The leaves are shiny dark green with whitish undersides and contrasting yellow fall foliage. The name Cucumber Tree refers to the unripe fruit, which is green and often shaped like a small cucumber.

It has scented rabbit-like white to off-white flowers in late spring and sometimes again in fall. Small yellow and orange fruit adorn the tree in summer. The tree requires full sun and semi-shade and moderate watering, either equally distributed throughout the season or more frequent during dry periods. With regular water and good drainage, it will grow in fertile, evenly moist, slightly acid soils.

For colder regions, this tree can be grown in a pot. It is recommended that the roots are kept covered and insulated from the cold with plenty of good quality compost, and the pot should be placed in a sheltered, sunny spot during the winter. The mature plant is cold hardy at least to 30 F for a short time. USDA Zone for this tree is 9-11.

This is an ideal tree for lawn or garden, providing interest all year round. The cucumber fruits are inedible but attract birds, squirrels and other wildlife when ripe. Magnolia acuminata is a popular ornamental that can brighten any yet and make a great feature tree in the garden.

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