Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Umbrella Magnolia - Magnolia tripetala

Umbrella Magnolia - Magnolia tripetala is a small that reaches heights of only 30-40 feet tall and not usually more then 1 foot in diameter. It is most easily identified by it's smooth, thin, gray leather like bark and crooked form. The bark is so thin that when pressed on with your fingernail it will leave a slight indent, this indent will recover once the pressure is released. Umbrella Magnolia is named for the open umbrella like positioning of the leaves within the canopy.

Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

The leaves of the Umbrella Magnolia are 10-24 inches long and 5-10 inches wide. Each leaf has a pointed tip that slowly rounds/tapers back to the pointed base. The leaf edges are smooth, occasionally waving up and down along the length of each leaf. The flowers bloom in mid summer and are large in size, fragrant and showy. The fruit of the Umbrella Magnolia is egg shaped and rose colored, maturing in the fall and cracking open at it's many small vertical slits to release red berries.

Image Citation: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Most often the Umbrella Magnolia is planted as an ornamental because of it's leaves and showy white flowers. It is found growing from Southern Pennsylvania and Indiana through Georgia and Mississippi in the South. Recommended for hardiness zones 5-8, it is most commonly found growing in moist woodland type soils, in full sun or partial shade. Umbrella Magnolias appreciate consistent/regular moisture throughout the year, and are considered to be intolerant of soil extremes.

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