TREES & plants


This large, deciduous magnolia tree is excellent for large properties such as parks, golf courses, and naturalized areas. Cucumbertree's wide-spreading branches are covered with dark green leaves that turn an attractive yellow-brown in the fall. Although its flowers are not as showy as those of other magnolia species, the cucumbertree yields interesting pinkish-red fruit pods.

Botanical name: 
Magnolia acuminata
All Common Names: 
Cucumbertree, cucumber magnolia
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • North America
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Growth Rate: 
  • Medium
  • Fast
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant
  • Yellow
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Oval
  • Pyramidal
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Shade
Time of Year: 
  • Late spring
More Information: 

Cucumbertree magnolia (Magnolia acuminata)Cucumbertree magnolia (Magnolia acuminata)photo: John Hagstrom
Tree & Plant Care

  • Must be planted in the spring

Disease, pests, and problems


Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Native geographic location and habitat



Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife


Bark color and texture 

  • Color: gray 
  • Texture: smooth

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

  • Color: dark green
  • Fall color: attractive yellow-brown

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

  • Arrangement: singular

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

  • Type: aggregate fruit pods
  • Size:
  • Color: pinkish-red

Cultivars and their differences