Trees or shrubs with deciduous or evergreen foliage. Twigs moderate or thick, terete; pith rather large, continuous, round, often with firmer plates at intervals. Buds solitary, ovoid or fusiform, covered by a single scale, which, morphologically, is composed of the 2 coalescent stipules of the topmost leaf. Leaf-scars alternate, round or U-shaped; bundle-traces numerous, scattered; stipule-scars linear, encircling the twig.

Fig. 102. Magnolia virginiana

Fig. 102. Magnolia virginiana.

Fiq. 103. Magnolia acuminata

Fig. 103. Magnolia acuminata.


Leaves more or less evergreen


M. virginiana


Leaves deciduous


Leaf-buds silky-hairy


M. acuminata


Leaf-buds glabrous

c. Terminal buds about 2. 5 cm. long


M. fraseri

c. Terminal buds 3.5-5 cm. long


M. tripetala

1. M. virginiana L. Sweet Bay. Small Magnolia. Large shrub or small tree up to 20 m. high, buds silky; branchlets glabrous or glabrate; leaves evergreen (or deciduous northwards), oval to broadly lanceolate, obtuse, glaucous, 0. 8-1. 5 dm. long. Swamps and wet woods, mostly in the coastal plain, Florida to Texas, north to Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Arkansas (Fig. 102).

2. M. acuminata L. Cucumber-tree. A tree 20-40 m. high, 6-12 dm. in diameter; bark grayish-brown, furrowed; twigs moderate; leaf-buds silky, 10-20 mm. long; leaf-scars U-shaped. The common name refers to the shape of the young fruit; only vestiges of the fruits are present in winter. Rich woods, New York and Ontario, south chiefly in the mountains, to Georgia and Arkansas (Fig. 103).

3. M. tripetala L. Umbrella Magnolia. A small tree 8-15 m. tall, 2.5-4 dm. thick; leaf-buds glabrous, purple, 3.5-5 cm. long, acute; leaf-scars large, oval. Rich woods, mostly in the mountains, Georgia to Arkansas, north to Pennsylvania and Missouri (Fig. 104).

Fig. 104. Magnolia tripetala

Fig. 104. Magnolia tripetala.

Fig. 105. Magnolia fraseri

Fig. 105. Magnolia fraseri.

4. M. fraseri Walt. Fraser Magnolia. A slender tree 9-20 m. tall, 3-4. 5 dm. thick; bark smooth, dark brown; leaf-buds glabrous, purple, 2.5 cm. long; twigs glabrous and glaucous, relatively slender; leaf-scars rounded. Rich woods, mostly in the mountains, Virginia and West Virginia to Georgia and Alabama (Fig. 105).