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Magnolia acuminata - L.                
                 
Common Name Cucumber Tree, Cucumber Magnolia
Family Magnoliaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich woods, especially in uplands[43]. Low mountain slopes and the rocky banks of streams[82].
Range Eastern N. America - New York to Georgia, west to Alabama and Ontario.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       
Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Pyramidal, Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Magnolia acuminata is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Beetles.

USDA hardiness zone : 3-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Magnolia acuminata Cucumber Tree, Cucumber Magnolia


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Bruce_Marlin
Magnolia acuminata Cucumber Tree, Cucumber Magnolia
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Thesupermat
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiperiodic;  Aromatic;  Diaphoretic;  Laxative;  Stimulant;  Tonic.

A tea made from the bark is antiperiodic, aromatic, mildly diaphoretic, laxative, stimulant, tonic[4, 222]. It has historically been used as a substitute for quinine in the treatment of malaria[222]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of stomach ache and cramps[257]. The bark has been chewed by people trying to break the tobacco habit[222]. A hot infusion of the bark has been snuffed to treat sinus problems and has also been held in the mouth to treat toothaches[257]. The bark is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. It does not store well so stocks should be renewed annually[238]. A tea made from the fruit is a tonic, used in the treatment of general debility and was formerly esteemed in the treatment of stomach ailments[222].
Other Uses
Rootstock;  Wood.

The roots are very disease-resistant and are used as a rootstock for less vigorous species[226]. Wood - finely grained, soft, light, durable, not strong[4, 46, 61, 82, 171, 229, 235]. It weighs 29lb per cubic foot[235]. It takes a very good polish and is used for boxes, crates, flooring, cabinet making etc[4, 46, 61, 171, 229].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Border, Firewood, Pest tolerant, Aggressive surface roots possible, Specimen. Best grown in a warm position in a moderately rich free soil of an open texture[1]. Tolerates limey soils[200] so long as they are deep and rich in humus[188]. The branches are brittle and so a sheltered position is required[200]. Very tolerant of atmospheric pollution[200]. Plants are hardy to about -28°c[200]. A fairly fast-growing tree, it takes about 25 - 30 years before it first produces flowers and lives about 125 - 150 years in the wild[229]. The sub-species M. acuminata cordata begins flowering at an earlier age[245]. Good seed crops are produced about every 3 - 5 years[229]. The flowers have a delicate perfume[245]. The fleshy roots are easily damaged and any transplanting is best done during a spell of mild moist weather in late spring[182]. Special Features: North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed must be kept cold over the winter and should be sown in late winter in a cold frame[200]. The seed usually germinates in the spring but it can take 18 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15cm tall, though should be well mulched and given some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Layering in early spring[200].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1143200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[43]Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany.
A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[82]Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader.
[171]Hill. A. F. Economic Botany.
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some a bit of detail about the plants it does cover.
[182]Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[226]Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.
[229]Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
[235]Britton. N. L. Brown. A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada
Reprint of a 1913 Flora, but still a very useful book.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
doris harris Fri Nov 30 2007
where can i buy the bark for tea for my own use.( kidney stones)
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