big leaf magnolia

notascrenameMay 28, 2013

the big leaf magnolias in my backyard started blooming last week

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Sweet dreams are made of these. "!975" Girl Scout Camp, Kanawahala (KPC). 700 acres of mountainous natural beauty at its best. Streams running over huge rocks, Fern Valley, Birdsong Valley, Middle Mountain....trails twisting thru hours of a very mature forest and almost every plant known to an Alabamian.

That was '75, fast forward to 2013....The biggest clump-cluster of these Cucumbertree Magnolia's this side of the Mississippi made way for progress, space to park a car , VIEW the lake and eat. There were more clumps,but no where near the size of this one.

The phrase " This too shall pass", took down another piece of nature. One step forward ,THREE steps back.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Good to see the Cucumbertree (Magnolia macrophylla) It has been a long time since I saw the huge flowers. You are lucky. Love the huge leaves also.
Tony Post a picture of the tree, if possible.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 5:50PM
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When I was a kid we had a cabin on "Skeeter Creek" on the Warrior River. This magnolia grew almost like a weed there, and you just had to bring a few flowers inside while they were blooming. It made a great, but challenging, tree for a kid to climb, as well!

I saw one for sale at PFTP this spring, and wished like heck I had a place to grow one. They're not meant for every garden, but are magnificent if you have the space & place.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:14PM
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it's amazing how these trees bring back memories of the past. Thats kinda why I planted these 13 or 14 years ago. little whips dug from the side of the road by my father-in-law. hard to get a good picture of them ( I planted 3,all grew),here goes. Jim

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 1:03PM
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Love the picture. Makes me want to get a quilt and a book. Make a pallet and go to sleep. Sure is peaceful looking.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 5:09PM
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A True Bit Of Beautiful Southern Charm. Thanks for the picture.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:38PM
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Beautiful!.... I've always loved these trees!..Unfortunately I haven't noticed any around I correct in assuming that these Magnolias are deciduous?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Magnolia acuminata....cucumber tree

Magnolia macrophylla....big leaf magnolia

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Magnolia macrophylla big leaf magnolia has always been. called Cucumber Tree. Ask any country folks about cucumber tree and they will tell you about the big leaves and pretty flowers. We might have been wrong, but we know what tree we were talking about.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Wrong...?...NO WAY !!!!!! A Cucumber Tree by any other name is still a Cucumber Tree.

There was Girl Scout Troop that called them 'Trash Trees'. Why? The routine of always leaving Kanawahala cleaner than it was when we arrived....there were always some of the girls who would pick these leaves up - - because they thought the leaves to be paper trash. Oh, what a beautiful tree.

Ever give a tree a hug? I have. Ever taken a pocket knife and carved a heart with initials of the one you loved (at that time). I have. And I learned not to carve in a Sycamore Tree if I wanted it to be visible years later.

Would I carve a tree to day. No.....but I sure would not tell my grandchildren not too. They will learn to hug a tree in due time.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:20PM
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as a group, there are even more native, "big-leaved" deciduous magnolias -
m. tripetala, m. fraseri, m. pyramidata and m. ashei (or susp. m. ashei, depending on the taxonomy source viewed).
i like knowing and using the botanical names, especially when communicating in an open, national forum.

my daddy shared some plants from his garden which he called "lambs ears". it was rose campion to me or simply lychnis. what i call lambs ears would be stachys.
oh... those common names can be so variable, depending on where you walk about! *lol*
thanks for the pictures!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 2:06PM
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If you will check you will see that the Latin name was used. This tree has been called Cucumber tree for ever. Not just by us local hicks that like common names. Check Daves Garden page. If you are a collector or sale plants, both of which I do you have to have the right names. You can use common names in a friendly post. Don't need correction. I have Yellow Bells, Monkey grass, and yes, I have lamb's ear. If you want the other name, I can give you that.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 4:24PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Cucumber magnolia (M. acuminata) was given its common name because of the odd, cucumber shaped fruit that are formed after the smallish yellow flowers fade away. I've been actively involved with trees my entire professional life and have never heard Big Leaf referred to as a cucumber tree.

Yes, common names can be confusing....which is what was happening to me during this discussion. M. acuminta also has large leaves, perhaps leading to confusion about what to call it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 6:26PM
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rhizo, I understand, but I was not confused about what I was calling it. My first post had both common and Latin name. I even remember while living in Miss., that some called it Cowcumber tree. I have been growing plants all my life and I am a senior , don't make me know everything. We have lost a lots of our country traders and posters because they were made to feel they were not wanted because they called a yellow bell a yellow bell. If anything is posted, you can do a search and get a lots of info. I would say that all the poster knew there was two different tree and knew the difference, they were just reliving their childhood. I post a lots and will continue to do so, I use common names a lots. If you want the Latin ones search or just ask me, Jeff, this is a free foram, we don't need you to tell us not to use common names. The tree on this post will always be a cucumber tree. You call it what you want.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:46PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You misunderstand me. I wholly appreciate the idiosyncranies of common names and am not criticising anyone. Our original poster posted a picture of Big Leaf and called it that. It was confusing to me, never having heard this plant called a Cucumber magnolia, when that name was used. It would be easy for others to be confused, too.

I am not telling you to stop using common names familiar to you nor would I ever do so. Common names are an important part of communication between gardeners.

This thread is a very good example, however, of the fact that common names can be regional. There's nothing wrong with that.....but all the more reason to keep the Latin name in mind. In my opinion.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:16PM
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Thank you. I have the Latin names for all my plants that I have been able to get. They are very important in my collecting and for just learning. I have buyers that wants Latin names, but I also have ones that ask for plants by common names. We very much need common names. We have some of the best gardeners who know no Latin names. We also have a lots of people who know how to use the search box and knows how to find the Latin names, but don't know anything about gardening.
My take on plant names. Latin names are necessary, common names are good to have and fun. The mark of an educated person is one that can talk with understanding with the most educated person and the most common. You can't do that without common names.

Well at least we have had some posting on Al. Forum.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:12AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I hope that no one feels like this discussion has been rancorous. This kind of interaction leads to a higher level of understanding.

It's worth noting that even Latin names evolve. As science progresses and finds that DNA is helpful in categorizing plants, some plants are being renamed or moved from one family or genus to another. It's a pain to keep up with, sometimes!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 6:13AM
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This is getting to be fun
rancorous - what % of people both educated and un. know meaning. Latin names v common names
bitter - little maybe - don't think anyone has the right or education to be able to tell you what to write or think
long - lasting resentment don't know either of you. do not care how much you know about plants. I know what I need to know or am able to read, ask, listen, or research and find out. (not resentful)
deep - seated ill will - that is a laugh. Don't know. Would have liked to talk to both, but would have had to have my search box with me. Could have maybe learned something from you, and you might have learned something also.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:31AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I am totally confused now, lol. NO ONE has been telling you what to say, for crying ' out loud. Sheesh, so much for a friendly discussion.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 5:16PM
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glad to know we are all lovers of plants and this big beautiful southern belle is just another example... by any name....

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:38PM
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Southern "Belle" you say? Littlehelper, your attempt at gender "re-assignment" will not be taken lying down, no matter what "position" you take (O.K., probably should have left that out).

No....this my friend, is a Southern "Gentleman", and let no man forget it.

Tongue-in-cheek here! I ignored this thread until Peggy dangled a carrot in my face (and I will ignore any references to that statement). ;-D

You can call it what'choo want....just get'choo one.

Nelson M. (the "M" stands for "macrophylla")

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:56PM
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