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Magnolia acuminata

cucumber tree

A large tree, conical when young, spreading with age, up to 30m in height. Large, mid-green ovate leaves slightly downy on the underside. The small, pale green/yellow flowers with a metallic blue sheen bloom in late spring and early summer, with a slight fragrance. The young fruits, when produced, look like small cucumbers, which is where the tree gets its common name.

Other common names
cucumber tree
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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Yellow Green
Summer Blue Green Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Magnoliaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Magnolia can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs, with large, showy, often fragrant flowers, often opening before the leaves, and sometimes followed by colourful cone-like fruit

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Canada, USA

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well drained neutral to acid soil in full sun or light shade with shelter from cold winds. Late frost may damage the flower buds. For more information see magnolia cultivation

Propagation

Propagate from seed (tree/shrub, softwood cuttings or semi-ripe cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning Group 1. See magnolia pruning

Pests

May be susceptible to scale insects, horse chestnut scale and capsid bug damage

Diseases

May be susceptible to honey fungus and coral spot

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