This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Magnolia tripetala L. Sp. Pl. Ed. 2, 756. 1763. Magnolia virginiana var. tripetala L. Sp. Pl. 536. 1753. Magnolia umbrella Lam. Encycl. 3: 673. 1789.
A tree 20°-45° high, trunk 4'-18' in diameter. Leaf-buds glabrous; leaves clustered at the summits of the flowering branches, 1°-1 1/2° long, 4'-8' wide, obovate to oblanceolate, acute, cuneate at the base, dark green and glabrous above, light green and more or less pubescent beneath, at least when young; petioles stout, 1'-3' long; flowers 8'-10' in diameter, white, slightly odorous; sepals broad, reflexed, early deciduous; petals oblong-lanceolate or obovate-lanceolate, acutish; cone of fruit 4'-6' long, rose-colored when mature.
In woods, southeastern Pennsylvania to Georgia, west to Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi. Heart-wood brown, soft; sap-wood white; weight per cubic foot 28 lbs. The name tripetala is in allusion to the 3 petaloid petals. May.
M. virginiana and var. glauca L. Sp. PL 535. 1753. Magnolia glauca L. Sp. Pl. Ed. 2, 755. 1763.
A shrub, or tree 15°-75° high, trunk 5'-3 1/2° in diameter. Leaf-buds pubescent; leaves scattered along the flowering branches, 3'-6' long, I'-at broad, oval or oblong, obtuse or blunt-acuminate, acute at the base, coriaceous, dark green above, glaucous and more or less pubescent beneath, deciduous in the North, persistent in the South; petioles about 1' long; flowers white, depressed-globose, deliciously fragrant, 2-3' in diameter; sepals spreading, obtuse, nearly as large as the obovate rounded petals; cone of fruit oblong, 1 1/2'-2' high, pink.
In swamps and swampy woods, eastern Massachusetts, Long Island, Lebanon County, Pa., and southward, mainly east of the Alleghanies to Florida, west through the Gulf States to Arkansas and Texas. Heart-wood soft, reddish-brown; sap-wood nearly white; weight 31 lbs. White-bay, swamp- or white-laurel. Swamp-magnolia or -sassafras. Beaver-tree. Indian-bark. May-June.
Magnolia virginiana var. acuminata L. Sp. Pl. 536. 1753.
Magnolia acuminata L. Sp. Pl. Ed. 2, 756. 1763.
A tree 60°-90° high, the trunk up to 4 1/2o in diameter. Leaf-buds silky-pubescent; leaves scattered along the branches, 6-10' long, 3'~4' wide, thin, oval, acute or somewhat acuminate, rounded or truncate at the base, light green and more or less pubescent on the lower surface, especially along the veins; petioles I'-1 1/2 long; flowers oblong-campanulate, greenish-yellow, 2' high; petals obovate or oblong, much longer than the spreading deciduous sepals; cone of fruit cylindric, 3'-4' long, about I' in diameter, rose-colored when mature.
In woods, New York and Ontario to Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas. Heart-wood soft, yellowish-brown; sap-wood lighter. Weight per cubic foot 29 lbs. Ascends to 4200 ft. in Virginia. Yellow or black linn. May-June.