The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Cucumber Magnolia Castanea acuminata

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The Cucumber Magnolia (C. acuminata), (so called from the appearance of the young fruit, which is not unlike a green cucumber) takes the same place in the north, in point of majesty and elevation, that the Big Laurel occupies in the south. Its northern limit is Lake Erie; and it abounds along the whole range of the Alleghanies to the southward, in rich mountain acclivities, and moist sheltered valleys. There it often measures three or four feet in diameter, and eighty in height. The leaves, which are deciduous, like those of all the Magnolias except the M. grandiflora, are also about six inches long and four broad, acuminate at the point, of a bluish green on the upper surface. The flowers are six inches in diameter, of a pale yellow, much like those of the Tulip tree, and slightly fragrant. The fruit is about three inches long, and cylindrical in shape. Most of the inhabitants of the country bordering on the Alleghanies, says Michaux, gather these cones about midsummer, when they are half ripe, and steep them in whiskey; the liquor produced, they take as an antidote against the fevers prevalent in those districts.