Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Cucumber Tree/Cucumber Magnolia
Magnolia acuminata
Magnoliaceae

Leaves are simple, alternate, deciduous, obovate to elliptical, 5-10 inches long and downy hairy underneath. Twigs are stout and smooth with velvety hairy white buds and stipular scars surrounding the twig. Bark is gray-brown and scaly. Flowers are green-yellow and fruit is a bright red, misshapen, cone-like cluster of red follicles (often curved like a cucumber when green). Form is up to 30 m (100 ft) in height and 1.2 m (4 ft) in diameter. Cucumbertree is found on rich, moist sites in the eastern U.S. The pale, hard wood is used for pulpwood, furniture, and framing. This tree is planted as an ornamental for its attractive leaves, flowers and fruit.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: