Magnolia fraseri

Magnolia fraseri

Magnolia fraseri (Fraser Magnolia, Mountain magnolia, Earleaf cucumbertree, or Mountain-oread), is a species of Magnolia native to the southeastern United States in the southern Appalachian Mountains and adjacent coastal plain south to northern Florida and west to eastern Texas.

It is a small, deciduous tree growing to 14 m tall, basal-branching, fragrant plant, with brown bark with a "warty" or "scaly" texture. The leaves are 15–25 cm (rarely up to 53 cm) long and 8–18 cm (rarely up to 29 cm) broad, with a pair of auricles at the base and an entire margin; they are green above and glaucous blue-green below. The flowers are white, 16–25 cm diameter with nine tepals; they open in late spring or early summer, after the foliage. The fruit is a woody, oblong, cone-like structure (like all Magnolias) 6.5–12 cm long, covered in small, pod-like follicles which contain one or two red seeds that hang out from the cone by a slender thread when ripe. A good seed crop occurs only every 4 to 5 years. Reproduction is accomplished by both seed and vegetative reproduction.

This tree grows best on rich, moist, well-drained soil. The very large showy white flowers and large coarse foliage make this an attractive ornamental tree, but otherwise it has little commercial value. It is sometimes used in North America as a native alternative to exotic magnolias; it can be grown a considerable distance north of its natural range if given conditions favorable to its growth. The fruit is eaten by wildlife.

There are two varieties:

  • Magnolia fraseri var. fraseri. Appalachian Mountains.
  • Magnolia fraseri var. pyramidata (Bartram) Pampanini. Coastal Plain.

Another species with auriculate-lobed leaves is the Bigleaf magnolia.

Fraser Magnolia is named after the Scottish botanist John Fraser (1750–1811), who collected extensively in the Appalachian Mountains.

References

  • Hunt, D., ed. (1998). Magnolias and their allies. International Dendrology Society & Magnolia Society. ISBN 0-9517234-8-0.
  • Sternberg, G. (2004). Native Trees for North American Landscapes pp. 264. Timber Press, Inc.

External link/references

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