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 (foliage falls off)
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 direct 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


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