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Magnolia tripetala (L.) L.
Umbrella tree, Umbrella magnolia
Synonym(s): Magnolia virginiana var. tripetala
USDA Symbol: MATR
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Tree with large leaves, very large flowers, and a broad, open crown of spreading branches; often with sprouts at base. The leaves of this 15-45 ft. deciduous magnolia are clustered at the end of stems to resemble an umbrella. Individual leaves are 10-24 in. in length. The showy flowers are 6-8 in. in diameter and creamy-white in color. Their petals are thin and less symetrical than those of other magnolias. The flowers are followed by cone-shaped, rosy-red fruits.
Fairly common at low altitudes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina-Tennessee. The arrangement of spreading leaves somewhat resembles the ribs of an umbrella, hence the common name. The Latin species name, meaning 3 petals, probably refers to the 3 sepals, which are longer than the more numerous petals.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
, WV Native Distribution:
Irregularly distributed from e. PA
to s. IN,
s. to n.w. FL
& s.e. OK Native Habitat:
Stream banks; swamps; rich woods
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Moist, rich, acidic, well-drained soils. Conditions Comments:
A good native deciduous
magnolia for some home landscapes, although the large leaves and coarse texture may be cumbersome. The floral scent of umbrella magnolia is rather unpleasant.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Cleaned, fall-sown magnolia seed will sprout the following summer.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery
- Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Mt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter1991 VOL. 8, NO.2
- Wildflower Outlook, Photography Seminars Offered, Ten Favorite Wildflower Areas,...Wildflower Newsletter1993 VOL. 10, NO.2
- Berry Browsing in the Backyard, Director\'s Report, Essays on Trillium\'s, Natio...Wildflower Newsletter1993 VOL. 10, NO.6
- Saving Trees and Plants at New Center Site a Big Job, Director's Report, Wildflo...
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-07
Research By: TWC Staff